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81 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 54
IN THIS ISSUE
The preservation of natural ecosystems has necessarily become a topic of in- creasing concern in recent decades. The two principal articles in this issue deal with this common concern in two very different ways. The first article takes se- riously the threat posed by aggressive invasive plants. Most frequently, an inva- sive is a non-native species unrelated to plants in the native habitat. In this case, however, the threat is particularly pernicious, because the invasive element is an introduced genotype of a species already present as a native and posing no threat to the habitat in question, that is, common reed, Phragmites australis. The au- thors address the preliminary process of determining the presence of the differ- ent genotypes in habitats along the West Coast of Michigan and their distribu- tion. They also discuss the factors that might contribute to an increase in the presence of the invasive genotype and propose certain control measures.
In an era of massive habitat destruction, the restoration of natural ecosystems has become an important aspect of overall preservation. The second article, based on a Master’s thesis, presents a thorough study of the effect of introducing species with various ecological roles in the restoration of a sand prairie, an ecosystem that was once common in the Upper Great Lakes region, but has now been reduced to vanishing remnants. The goal of the study is to determine whether the introduction of certain mixes of species in varying quantities has an effect on the diversity and floristic quality of the restored prairie while at the same time reducing the impact of non-native invasives.
In this issue, we are making a change in the format for “Noteworthy Collec- tions” articles, following a suggestion by a contributor. “Noteworthy Collec- tions” will be a section of the journal, and each article in the section will have its own title. That way, the articles can more readily be cited and listed in bibliogra- phies in a way that makes their content apparent. Although it happens that each of the Noteworthy Collections articles in this issue treats a single species, that does not mean that articles submitted for this section with more than one item need to be divided into separate articles, each with its own title. Multiple-item articles may carry relevant titles, such as “Five New Reports for Michigan,” or whatever might be appropriate. The two articles in this issue confirm the pres- ence in western Michigan of American Lotus, not seen there since 1942, and re- port the first occurrence in Michigan of a non-native species that has been spreading in North America for some time.
This issue closes with a review of two excellent field guides to a substantial portion of the graminoids of Wisconsin that should be useful throughout the western Great Lakes region.