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TitleBiodiversity Inventory and Assessment of the National Guard Training Center at Fort Indiantown Gap (FIG-NGTC), Pennsylvania
AbstractIn 2002 Penn State Institutes of the Environment and Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (PDMVA) (Environment Division) made a Cooperative Agreement to initiate and pursue the research program for biodiversity of the National Guard Training Center at Fort Indiantown Gap (FIG-NGTC), Pennsylvania. This cooperative project aimed to explore and document the state of biodiversity and to provide baseline information on the total biodiversity of the FIG-NGTC ecosystem. This information would be used to develop a comprehensive biodiversity database and site-specific monitoring system for the ecologically sustainable management of habitats and natural resources at the PDMVA/FTIG National Guard Training Center. This report summarizes the results of three research activities pertaining to the state of the FIG-NGTC biodiversity and ecosystem and to present the progress of this comprehensive biodiversity program (2003-2006). This program consists of the three projects, for which objectives are enumerated separately for each project below: Project 1 Invertebrate Biodiversity Inventory and Assessment (2002-2004) 1. Establish biodiversity sampling sites throughout the FIG-NGTC ecosystem; 2. Establish the baseline ecosystem profile with the description of physical and vegetation structure for each sampling sites; 3. Conduct the inventory and assessment of biodiversity with special focus on invertebrates at each sampling site; 4. Sort and identify all of the collected specimens into species or recognizable morphospecies. Project 2 FIG-NGTC Biodiversity Database (2003-2006) 5. Develop an all-taxa biodiversity database based on historical data, from taxonomic literature and unpublished reports, and current data so as to establish the current status of biodiversity and ecosystem integrity and potential species occurrence within the National Guard Training Center at Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, Pennsylvania. Project 3 Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring (2004-2006) 6. Conduct the inventory and assessment of biodiversity at additional sampling sites as needed; 7. Complete species identification, taxonomy, and guilds analysis; 8. Assess biodiversity profiles of specific sampling sites and characterize each sample site with respect to the relative dominance of different taxonomic groups to identify potential indicator species or groups; and 9. Develop a monitoring strategy and protocols with indicator species. The first project, invertebrate biodiversity inventory and assessment, which is basis of the last two projects is the most laborious and costly part of the entire biodiversity program. At the same time, the progress of taxonomic component this project is constrained by taxonomic bottleneck involving sorting and identification of specimens to higher taxa, namely at order and family level, and species identification by taxonomic expertise (Kim and Byrne 2006). The quality and level of progress for the all-taxa biodiversity database and biodiversity assessment and monitoring are heavily depended on the progress in the inventory and taxonomic service in the first project.
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Kim, K. C.
Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences

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