, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 777–788 | Cite as

Community Succession after Cranberry Bog Abandonment in the New Jersey Pinelands

  • Rebecca J. Klee
  • Kelly I. Zimmerman
  • Pedram P. DaneshgarEmail author
General Wetland Science


Cranberry agriculture once represented over a third of wetlands in the New Jersey pinelands, but many bogs have been abandoned as the industry has declined. The purpose of this study was to examine succession dynamics of cranberry bogs post abandonment in the New Jersey pinelands and also provide data on the association of local species in various ages of abandoned cranberry bogs in order to inform management practices. We assessed bog succession after abandonment from an active cranberry bog to 60 years since abandonment. We hypothesized the fate of community succession would be influenced by the original agricultural practice and whether or not the bog was kept flooded. Community diversity and structure was determined from plant and invertebrate inventories and a chronosequence for bog succession was developed. In abandoned bogs that were left to dry, there was a significant difference in groundcover and functional diversity over time. The most abundant functional group transitioned from herbs and graminoids to shrubs and trees. The ecological role of invertebrates shifted from pollinators to predators as a canopy developed. This work suggests despite the history of agricultural practice, cranberry bogs could return to a community similar to what is already found in the pinelands and differing management practices would determine their successional climax community.


Old-field succession Hydrarch succession model Hydrological manipulation Community resilience Groundcover diversity Functional diversity 


Supplementary material

13157_2019_1129_MOESM1_ESM.docx (32 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 31 kb)


  1. Barbour MT, Gerritsen J, Snyder BD, Stribling JB (1999) Rapid bioassessment protocols for use in streams and wadeable rivers: periphyton, benthic macroinvertebrates and fish, 2nd edn. US Environmental Protection Agency, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  2. Brown G, Matthews I (2016) A review of extensive variation in the design of pitfall traps and a proposal for a standard pitfall trap design for monitoring ground-active arthropod biodiversity. Ecology and Evolution 6:3953–3964CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bunnel JF, Procopio NA (2008) An ecological-integrity assessment of the New Jersey pinelands: A comprehensive assessment of the landscape and aquatic and wetland systems of the region. pinelands Commission. New Lisbon, New Jersey, USAGoogle Scholar
  4. Cabin R, Mitchell R (2000) To Bonferroni or not to Bonferroni: when and how are the questions. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 81:246–248Google Scholar
  5. Crawford RMM, Braendle R (1996) Oxygen deprivation stress in a changing environment. Journal of Experimental Botany 47:145–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dyderski M, Czapiewska N, Zajdler M, Tyborski J, Jagodzinki A (2016) Functional diversity, succession, and human-mediated disturbances in raised bog vegetation. Science of the Total Environment 2016:648–657Google Scholar
  7. Eck P (1990) The American Cranberry. Rutgers University Press. New Brunswick, N.J. Gusewell S and Nedic S. Effects of winter mowing on vegetation succession in a lakeshore fen. Applied Vegetation Science 7:41–48Google Scholar
  8. Gusewell S, Nedic C (2004) Effects of winter mowing on vegetation succession in a lakeshore fen. Appl Veg Sci 7:41–48Google Scholar
  9. Huschle G, Hironaka M (2018) Classification and ordination of seral plant communities. Journal of Range Management 33:179–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kangas, PC (1990) Long-term development of forested wet- Holocene and prehistoric environmental change from lakelands. In: Lugo, A.E., Brinson, M. & Brown, S. (eds.) Waikaremoana, New Zealand. Holocene 8: 443–454. Forested wetlands, Ecosystem of the world 15, pp. 25–51Google Scholar
  11. Kent M, Coker P (1992) Vegetation description and analysis—a practical approach. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  12. Larson JS, Mueller AJ, MacConnell WP (1980) A model of natural and man induced changes in open freshwater wetlands on the Massachusetts coastal plain. Journal of Applied Ecology 17:667–673CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lee S, You Y, Robinson G (2002) Secondary succession and natural habitat restoration in abandoned Rice fields of Central Korea. Restoration Ecology 10:306–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Li S, Cadotte M, Meiners S, Pu Z, Fukami T, Jiang L (2016) Convergence and divergence in a long-term old-fieldsuccession: the importance of spatial scale and species abundance. Ecology Letters 19:1101–1109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lindeman RL (1942) The trophic-dynamic aspect of ecology. Ecology 23:399–418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lindenmayer DB, Noss RF (2006) Salvage logging, ecosystem processes, and biodiversity conservation. Conservation Biology 20:949–958CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Majer J, Recher H, Keals N (1996) Branchlet shaking: a method for sampling tree canopy arthropods under windy conditions. Austral Ecology 21:229–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mitchell SJ (2013) Wind as a natural disturbance agent in forests: a synthesis. Forestry 86:147–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mitsch WJ, Gosselink JG (2007) Wetlands, 4th edn. John Wiley and Sons, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  20. Moir M, Brennan K, Majer J, Fletcher M, Koch J (2005) Toward an optimal sampling protocol for Hemiptera on understorey plants. Journal of Insect Conservation 9:3–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Nicholson S, Monk C (1974) Plant species diversity in old-field succession on the Georgia Piedmont. Ecology 55:1075–1085CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. NOAA (2018) National Centers for Environmental information, Climate at a Glance: Statewide Time Series, published December 2018, retrieved on December 11, 2018 from
  23. Noyce G (2007) Biogeochemistry and vegetation in a cranberry bog chronosequence. Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA. Prepared as part of a Semester in Environmental Science, MBL, Woods Hole, MAGoogle Scholar
  24. Oksanen AJ, Blanchet FG, Kindt R, Legen P, Minchin PR, Hara RBO, Simpson GL, Soly P, Stevens MHH, and Wagner H (2018) Package ‘ vegan ’ version 2.5–2. ISBN 0-387-95457-0Google Scholar
  25. Perez K, Barberena M, Aide M (2007) Changes in ant species richness and composition during plant secondary succession in Puerto Rico. Caribbean Journal of Science 43:244–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Poole M (2010) Plant community structure and soil properties along stream corridors of cranberry bogs since discontinuation of agriculture. Connecticut College, New London, CT. Report on an Independent Project. MBL, Woods Hole, MAGoogle Scholar
  27. Procopio N (2008) Stream and wetland landscape patterns in watersheds with different cranberry agriculture histories, southern New Jersey, USA. Landscape Ecology (7):771–786Google Scholar
  28. R Core Team (2017) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  29. Root PG, Pearson PG (1964) Small mammals in the early stages of old-field succession on the New Jersey Piedmont. Bulletin of New Jersey Academy of Science 9:21–26Google Scholar
  30. Savill PS (1983) Silviculture in windy cliates. Forestry Abstracts 44:473–488Google Scholar
  31. Scott AJ, Morgan JW (2012) Resilience, persistence and relationship to standing vegetation in soil seed banks of semi-arid Australian old-fields. Applied Vegetation Science 15:48–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Siemann E, Haarstad J, Tilman D (1999) Dynamics of plant and arthropod diversity during old field succession. Ecography 22:406–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Smith DC (2012) Succession dynamics of pine barrens riverside savannas: A landscape-survey approach. Masters Thesis. New Brunswick, NJ. Rutgers State University of New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  34. Stang E (1993) The north American cranberry industry. Acta Horticulturae 346:284–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Steven D (1991) Experiments on mechanisms of tree establishment in old-field succession: seedling emergence. Ecology 72:1066–1075CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Tramer E (1975) The regulation of plant species diversity on an early successional old-field. Ecology 56:905–914CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. USDA, NRCS (2018) The PLANTS database ( National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA
  38. Wagner B (2016) Variations in the invertebrate communities of wild Cape Cod cranberry bogs. In: Masters thesis. University of Massachusetts Amherst, AmherstGoogle Scholar
  39. Wen A (2010) Ecological functions and consequences of cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) agriculture in the pinelands of New Jersey. Ph.D. Dissertation. New Brunswick, NJGoogle Scholar
  40. Wilcox D (2004) Implications of hydrologic variability on the succession of plants in Great Lakes wetlands. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management 7:223–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Yearsley H, Parminter J (1998) Seral stages across forested landscapes: relationships to biodiversity (part 7 of 7). Extension Note No 18:1–8Google Scholar
  42. Zampella, RA, Procopio, NA, Brul D, and Bunnel JF (2006) Monitoring the ecology integrity of pinelands wetlands: a comparion of wetland landscapes, hydrology, and stream communities in pinelands watersheds draining active-cranberry bogs, abandoned cranberry bogs and forest land. The New Jersey pinelands commission. Final report submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyGoogle Scholar
  43. Zweig CL, Kitchens WM (2009) Multi-state succession in wetlands: a novel use of state and transition models. Ecology 90:1900–1909CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biology DepartmentMonmouth UniversityWest Long BranchUSA

Personalised recommendations