Vascular flora and vegetation classification of the South Atlantic Coastal Plain Limestone forest association of central Georgia
Lynch, Patrick Sumner
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The South Atlantic Coastal Plain Limestone forest is a globally imperiled (G2) forest association known only from the upper Coastal Plain of central Georgia. These calcareous forest communities support diverse floristic assemblages unique among the Georgia Coastal Plain, but have not been subject to detailed floristic study. I conducted a comprehensive floristic inventory, multivariate community analyses and floristic quality assessments to document composition, elucidate community structure and underlying physiographic regimes, and assess habitat integrity for seven sites in Houston, Bleckley and Twiggs counties. Community analyses revealed twelve community types within two floristically defined domains corresponding to uplands and slopes, and bottomlands, respectively, and governed largely by moisture content and degree of inclination. Floristic quality assessments revealed varying degrees of floristic quality and habitat integrity corresponding primarily to local physiography and disturbance history. Floristic inventory recovered 339 vascular plant taxa representing 218 genera in 98 families, including 17 rare Georgia species.