Ryan McEwan, Ph.D.
Maintaining and fostering biodiversity is a critical component of natural areas management and conservation because of its known links to ecosystem function and stability. Identifying and documenting species through a floristic inventory is an important strategy for detecting the presence of rare or unique species, as well as invasive species that pose a threat to biodiversity. Bill Yeck Park is a 194-acre nature park maintained by Centerville-Washington Park District and is largely surrounded by residential areas. The goal of this project was to generate list of vascular plant species for Bill Yeck Park, a large park within the Centerville-Washington Township park district. Floristic surveys for this project began in March of 2017, and continued through 2018. Through these efforts we identified 251 species across a variety of habitats, including meadows, riparian corridors, and upland forest. Plant species were identified in a multitude of life forms, including fern + fern allies, graminoids, forbs, trees, shrubs, and woody vines. All identifications were made using a dichotomous key. A biodiversity inventory was developed and critical areas for conservation were identified with attention given to rare native and invasive species. Specifically, nascent foci of threatening invasive species were located for optimal efficiency of removal efforts. The resultant species list and locations of conservational interest within the park were given to park management in order to support science-based management strategies within the park, and the ultimately protect Bill Yeck Park as an urban green space whose biodiversity provides ecosystem services and recreational opportunities to the Dayton area.
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Sparbanie, Taylor, "The Vascular Flora of Bill Yeck Park: Supporting the Conservation of Local Biodiversity" (2019). Honors Theses. 238.