In less than 250 years the globally-rare Hempstead Plains grassland natural community that once covered over 50 square miles of western Long Island, has been reduced to a couple dozen acres on three Nassau County parcels that are surrounded by urban development and threatened by the spread of invasive species. Despite this long history of degradation, it is impressive to see that taken together, many of the characteristic native plants of the Hempstead Plains grassland have survived for decades, providing habitat for 14 rare plants tracked by the NY Natural Heritage Program. We surveyed a total of 93 plots and observation points over ten days within the study area. We sampled 18 relevé plots and 62 detailed observation points with vegetation cover data. We classified 16 natural communities in the five parcels.
Dec. 8, 2020 | Updated Dec. 11, 2020, 5:23 p.m.