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The Vascular Flora of Three Top Mountain Game Land Preserve, Ashe County, North Carolina

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  • Ecology

Abstract

This study documented the flora of a Game Land Preserve on an isolated massif in Ashe County, North Carolina from Spring 2009 – Summer 2011. 317 taxa from 198 genera and 94 families compose the flora at Three Top Mountain Game Land Preserve. Of these 317 taxa, 27 taxa are listed as imperiled by the U.S. or North Carolina, including Liatris helleri, Geum radiatum, Houstonia montana, and Juncus trifidus. This flora is the only documentation of Campanula rotundifolia in the state of North Carolina. In addition to the previously documented communities, a Carolina Hemlock Forest community was documented. The flora compares with the other studies in the area, sharing similarities and showing variations in floristic composition. The flora compares with the expected number of taxa based on the generated species area curve from Southern Appalachian floras. This study addressed the challenges faced by botanists conducting floristic studies by introducing botanist and ecological effects that should be acknowledged when completing floristic studies and using floristic data. A cautionary note on the need to gather more data about floristic studies to be able to compare results appropriately is presented, as well as a theoretical model for the completion of a floristic study.

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