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The Herbaceous Layer in Forests of Eastern North America$
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Frank Gilliam

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199837656

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199837656.001.0001

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Populations of and Threats to Rare Plants of the Herb Layer

Populations of and Threats to Rare Plants of the Herb Layer

Still More Challenges and Opportunities for Conservation Biologists

(p.134) 6 Populations of and Threats to Rare Plants of the Herb Layer
The Herbaceous Layer in Forests of Eastern North America

Claudia L. Jolls

Dennis F. Whigham

Oxford University Press

The ability to understand the ecology of herbs of forests of eastern North America is hampered by declining abundances and increasing risks of extinctions, particularly for rare taxa. Major causes for global decline in biodiversity include habitat loss, the presence of alien species, overexploitation, and secondary (or indirect) effects resulting from impacts of other taxa. The consequences of the many ramifications associated with global change also have the potential to become another major cause of the decline in biodiversity. This chapter uses the framework of threats and global change to review major challenges to the diversity of herbs associated with forests of eastern North America, especially taxa listed as endangered or threatened. It considers what progress has been made in the understanding of the ecology of the herbaceous flora of eastern North American forests.

Keywords:   ecology, herbs, forests, eastern North America, habitat loss, alien species, overexploitation, forest herbs, biodiversity

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