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Title A vegetative survey of back-barrier islands near Sapelo Island, Georgia
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This study was designed to examine the forest composition, structure and species richness of vegetation among undeveloped back-barrier islands near Sapelo Island, Georgia. Known colloquially as "marsh hammocks," back-barrier islands are completely or partially encircled by estuarine salt marsh. There are upwards of 1200 hammocks along the Georgia coast, comprising approximately 6900 ha. In the face of increased development pressure, the cumulative impacts caused by small-scale construction of homes, roads, bridges, and septic fields may alter natural hydrologic and ecological processes. We surveyed vegetation on 11 undeveloped hammocks in four size classes and found that overall species diversity is low, but the abundance and diversity of vascular plants may increase with island size. Local and regional planners and conservation organizations may use this information to help develop land-based projects that are consistent with the sustainable use of coastal resources.

Contributors Gayle Albers and Merryl Alber

Albers, G. and Alber, M. 2003. A vegetative survey of back-barrier islands near Sapelo Island, Georgia. Hatcher, K.J. (editor). Proceedings of the 2003 Georgia Water Resources Conference. Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.

Key Words back-barrier islands, plant, Sapelo Island, SINERR Publication, Student Publication, survey, UGAMI Publication, vegetative
File Date 2003
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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grants OCE-9982133, OCE-0620959, OCE-1237140 and OCE-1832178. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.