Floristic Quality Analysis (FQA) is applied to prairies to monitor long-term quality and compare sites, but there is incongruence in research of floristic quality trends between longitudinal studies of single restorations over time and chronosequence studies of disparate restorations. Our study examined changes in floristic quality metrics of the Emiquon Preserve’s reconstructed prairie since the reconstruction’s seeding in 2007. By 2016, community level (n=5 sites) metrics showed no significant change in average quality over time but did show a significant increase in variance, suggesting divergent restoration trajectories among the sites. At the smaller plot level, significant differences were found for all metrics among sites, again indicating diverging trajectories. Two sites showed increasing floristic quality while the other three sites which had experienced flooding showed a range of decreases. This study agrees with longitudinal research that suggests that without significant disturbance, floristic quality increases throughout the early maturation of the reconstruction.
Additional Contributors: Amy McEuen, Christy Troxell-Thomas & Emily Staley