Create your own conference schedule! Click here for full instructions

The Virtual Conference is located at

Abstract Detail

Floristics & Taxonomy

Schmidt, Ryan [1], King, Megan [2], Struwe, Lena [2].

Ballast Species and Herbarium Records: The Impact of Historical Shipping Trade on the Recent-Past and Contemporary Flora of Northeastern United States.

Located between the cities of New York and Philadelphia, the state of New Jersey has a rich history centered around shipping and trade facilitating the movement of a large amount of people and goods to and from North America over the last 300 years.   Throughout the nineteenth century, ships used large quantities of ballast stones for stabilization during their voyages.   This ballast was often temporarily or permanently deposited in the harbors and on piers along with inadvertently imported plant parts, fruits, and seeds that were embedded in sediment on the ballast.   Ballast heaps and harbors were among the favorite places for early American botanists to look for rare and unexpected species.   Some of those non-native species were seen once and then lost, others became part of the permanent flora.   In this project we are evaluating the current status of the species recorded in Burk's historic List of Plants Recently Collected on Ships' Ballast in the Neighborhood of Philadelphia (1877) to see which have remained and spread within New Jersey.   Using herbarium records from this area and a multitude of institutions associated with the Mid-Atlantic Megalopolis project, it was determined that of the 125 ballast-associated species listed by Burk, 68 species (54 genera and 26 families) are not represented in herbarium records within New Jersey after the year 1900, or not at all, showing just a fleeting presence in the local flora in the 1800s.   Of the remaining species from Burk, 57 (representing 47 genera and 17 families) continued to be collected by botanists into the twentieth century and of these, only 14 species (representing 13 genera and 8 families) have been collected in the twenty-first century.   The species which have been retained until present day-and have their earliest recorded collections within the state at known ballast locations-include common weeds and invasive species such as Artemisia vulgaris, Lotus corniculatus, Trifolium hybridum, and Tussilago farfara.   The fate of ballast plants therefore shows a wide variety of outcomes, including a few currently problematic invasives and many more "once-and-then-gone" occurrences.   We are mapping ballast species using georeferenced records to determine how their distributions have changed through space and time within New Jersey in connection with patterns in urbanization and railroad development.   The results will provide insights into the factors that influence the spread of non-native species into new areas and illuminate spatio-temporal trends in plant invasion ecology and floristic patterns globally.

Log in to add this item to your schedule

1 - 1 Windsor Drive, Oak Ridge, NJ, 07438, United States
2 - Rutgers University, Ecology, Evolution, & Natural Resources, 237 Foran Hall, 59 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901, United States

historical botany
nonnative species
invasive plants.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: FTII, Floristics & Taxonomy II
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Time: 12:30 PM(EDT)
Number: FTII001
Abstract ID:360
Candidate for Awards:Emanuel D. Rudolph Award

Copyright © 2000-2021, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved