Cooper--Skinner Woods, owned by Ball State University, is a woodland complex located in northwest Muncie, Delaware County, Indiana. The study site is primarily woodlands. An inventory of the vascular flora, conducted in the 2015 growing season, indicated that the 42 hectare site harbors significant regional plant diversity with 355 taxa representing 226 genera in 85 families. The ten families containing ~52% of the documented species were Poaceae (44 spp.), Asteraceae (38), Cyperaceae (29), Rosaceae (20), Fabaceae (12), Fagaceae (9), Brassicaceae (9), Lamiaceae (9), Polygonaceae (7), and Ranunculaceae (7). Of the documented flora, 275 (77.5%) were native, 80 (22.5%) non-native. A detailed physiognomic analysis revealed that of the 275 native species, 63 were woody, 156 were herbaceous vines or forbs, 53 were graminoids, and three ferns and fern allies. Of the 80 non-native species, 14 were woody, 45 were herbaceous vines or forbs, and 21 were grasses. The Floristic Quality Index (FQI) for native species is 54.6 and the mean Coefficient of Conservatism (mean C) is 3.3. The native FQI indicates that the site is of nature preserve quality. The FQI for all species is 48.0 and the mean C is 2.5. The latter numbers indicate that the exotics are having a negative impact on the native flora.
Ahmed Hubini, Ball State University
Botany graduate student
Advisor: Dr. Donald Ruch PhD., Land Manager: John Taylor, and Content Contributer: Megan Crecelius