Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Thomas Bragg


This study evaluates vegetation of Nebraska Sandhills wetlands and adjacent plant communities in order to describe them and quantitatively distinguish wetlands from non-wetlands. Field data, supplemented with 35mm color infrared imagery, distinguished four zones around a small sandhill's lake: (1) non-wetland, (2) outer marsh, (3) inner marsh, and (4) submerged aquatic zones. Community comparisons between the Lake zones and two subirrigated meadows indicate the greatest similarity occurs between non-wetland communities. Of these areas categorized as wetlands, the greatest similarity was recorded between the lakes outer marsh zone and the wetland zones of the subirrigated meadows. This lack of similarity between wetlands indicates that species composition alone cannot quantitatively separate wetland from non-wetland communities. Therefore, a community “hydric value,” based on moisture preferences of individual species in the relative importance values was calculated. This method allowed for the quantitative separation of wetland zones both around the lake and in the subirrigated meadows. While additional study is needed, this procedure may prove useful in studies requiring the designation of a community as a wetland.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Biology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1980 Michael C. Gilbert.