Kline, Virginia M. / Long range management plan Arboretum ecological communities
Introduction, p. 1
1 . INTRODUCTION This document is an evaluation of the present status of a unique experiment in community restoration at the University of Wisconsin Arboretuirt, and a plan for its continuation. The original objectives for the Arboretum included the development of an example of each of the communities fo~d in Wisconsin before settlement---every type of forest, wetland, prairie and savanna--~an audacious challenge, indeed! A map showing the proposed locations for the different coniznunity types as envisioned by the first Arboreti ~ Committee was the first master plan. At that time there had ~en no systematic analysis of Wisconsin vegetation, so even tne desired endpoints lacked definition. In the early 1940's, John T. Curtis and his students began comprehensive studies of Wisconsin vegetation as preserved in relatively undisturbed remnants throughout the state. As the study proceeded, the information gained was used to develop the first long range management plan (1958) for the Arboretum ecological areas, a plan that has guided restoration activities in the ~ Arboretum for 34 years. The data were also incorporated into the landmark book "Vegetation of Wisconsinu by John Curtis (1959). There have been many changes in the communities since Curtis and his students wrote the 1958 plan. Some reflect growth and maturation of the desired communities, including the spread of the prairie species from their planted locations, and the growth of the planted forest trees. A less welcome change has been the spread and growth of exotic species. At least one of these invaders has affected virtually every community, and a substantial annual expenditure of valuable resources is required to keep the invaders~ under control in even a few selected areas. Land acquisitions have changed Arboretum boundaries, providing space for the expansion of some communities and the introduction of others. These and other changes are reflected in the 1992 plan. The objective remains the same: to develop and maintain examples of each of the natural communities of Wisconsin, to be used for teaching and research at all stages in their development, and, where appropriate, for the enjoyment of the public.
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