Native Plant Diversity vs. Invasives Along the Kiwanis Trail

The Kiwanis Trail is a paved, eight-mile walk/run/bike trail in Lenawee County occupying the former Detroit-Toledo-Ironton rail line and managed by the City of Adrian. The trail crosses springs and creeks that drain into the River Raisin and thus runs through a gradient of wet to dry habitats. Historically, railroad trails have hosted rich collections of native plants. The Kiwanis Trail provides viewing of wet-mesic, dry-mesic, and dry forest, as well as wet-mesic prairie. However, disturbance along the trail may be favoring invasive species that threaten the growth of native plant species. The present study is a three-season record of plant species visible along the trail. Information on native and invasive plant presence is intended to be used in education efforts to promote conservation/restoration by public users, private land owners, and municipal managers of the trail.


Janet Salzwedel, Adrian College

Janet Salzwedel is a Professor of Biology at Adrian College, Adrian, Michigan. She has been teaching various plant and microbiology courses for twenty-four years. She is personally and professionally interested in native plant communities and in protecting them from invasive plant species.