Systematics Section / ASPT
Eisenman, Sasha , Clennon, Hope Elizabeth , Dulatas, Katrina , Struwe, Lena .
Ballast dumps from the late 1800.
THROUGHOUT history non-native plant species have been spread to new regions by many different vectors. Prior to the 20th century a significant method of introduction may have been due to the use of solid ballast on ships. In 1860-1880ís ballast heaps in PA, NJ and NY became common botanizing areas due to the uncommon and interesting species that were found growing on and among them. The publication of On the colonies of plants observed near Philadelphia, by Aubrey H. Smith in 1867 was the first of a series of papers devoted to cataloging the introduced flora found on ballast heaps. Subsequent papers catalogued the species found on ballast heaps at the ports and wharves of Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York. Many of these species did not survive past the initial introduction period. In The vascular flora of Pennsylvania: annotated checklist and atlas (Rhoads and Klein 1993) 81 species on record are known only from the few specimens collected on the ballast heaps. Ballast heaps are often recognized for having provided the odd species occurrence for the state checklist. To our knowledge the herbarium records have never been thoroughly studied to investigate the introduction and persistence of the other species listed in these papers. A preliminary search for specimens, of the species collected on ballast heaps, held at the Rutgers University Chrysler Herbarium (CHRB) showed that some of the ballast specimens are the first record of these species in the local area and that there are later specimens collected over the last 120 years from a wide distribution of inland localities. This preliminary data may provide evidence that the ballast heaps provided more that just waifs, but also served as the point of entry for species still found to be persisting in the local flora.
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1 - Rutgers University, Department Plant Biology & Pathology, 237 Foran Hall, 59 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901, USA
2 - Rutgers University, Douglass College, Project Super Enrichment Program, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901, USA
3 - Rutgers University, Ecology, Evolution, & Natural Resources, 14 College Farm Rd, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901, USA
history of botany
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Location: Auditorium/Bell Memorial Union
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 12:30 PM