Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Natual Science and Mathematics

First Advisor

Martin F. Quigley, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Anna Sher

Third Advisor

Jing Li


Anthropogenic disturbance, Elevational gradient analysis, Plant community ecology, Temporal change


We surveyed four plant communities along an elevational gradient in the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains for long-term overstory and understory changes. Our results were compared to those found in 1981 and 1996. We evaluated changes in succession, elevational species migration and range expansion, community diversity, and composition. We related temporal floristic shifts to prior literature on disturbance history at each site. Over time, all communities changed significantly, though in different manners. This analysis shows that plant communities are changing in dynamic and idiosyncratic ways that correspond to individualistic distribution shifts. Moreover, we exhibit the necessity of comprehensively investigating long-term community change using multiple approaches, incorporating plant guild relationships, and concentrating efforts to further understand the interplay between climate effects and disturbance.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Gregory Sproull


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

103 p.

A12013herbaceoussurveydata.xlsx (17 kB)
Herbaceous Survey Data - A

B12013herbaceoussurveydata.xlsx (21 kB)
Herbaceous Survey Data - B

C12013herbaceoussurveydata.xlsx (16 kB)
Herbaceous Survey Data - C

D12013herbaceoussurveydata.xlsx (15 kB)
Herbaceous Survey Data - D


Ecology, Plant biology