Plant community patterns of low-gradient forested floodplains in a New Jersey urban landscape

Myla F.J. Aronson, Colleen A. Hatfield, Jean Marie Hartman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This study characterized the vegetation of floodplain forests along a 66 km stretch of the upper Passaic River in northern New Jersey, USA. Although the study wetlands lie in a highly disturbed region of New Jersey, they are intact and well-buffered floodplains. A characterization of wetlands in this region is imperative to properly assess and restore natural lands in this ever increasingly developed landscape. As in similar floodplain systems, there was a change in canopy composition along the 66 km stretch. Specifically, Quercus palustris dominated forests shifted to Acer saccharinum dominated forests near the midpoint of the sampled river section. Sub-canopy, shrub and ground vegetation were sampled but clear patterns were not detected with respect to position along the sampled river section. Species richness was lower than any other published descriptions for this type of floodplain system. The low species richness in all strata may be attributed to urban influences although this requires additional study. Exotic flora represented up to 20% of the total flora, but did not appear to correlate with river position or canopy composition. Our data provide quantitative vegetation descriptions of reference wetland standards for a hydrogeomorphic model for this river system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-242
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Torrey Botanical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


  • Exotic species
  • Floodplain forests
  • Hydrogeomorphic models
  • New Jersey
  • Passaic River
  • River gradient
  • Urban landscapes


Dive into the research topics of 'Plant community patterns of low-gradient forested floodplains in a New Jersey urban landscape'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this