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Case Study: Plant-soil interactions in the South Puget Sound Prairies PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Case Study: Plant-soil interactions in the South Puget Sound Prairies. Persistence of prairie vegetation attributed to: Low summer precipitation Excessively drained gravelly soils Historically they frequently burned Strong interspecies competition

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Case Study: Plant-soil interactions in the South Puget Sound Prairies

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Case study plant soil interactions in the south puget sound prairies

Case Study:

Plant-soil interactions in the South Puget Sound Prairies


Case study plant soil interactions in the south puget sound prairies

  • Persistence of prairie vegetation attributed to:

    • Low summer precipitation

    • Excessively drained gravelly soils

    • Historically they frequently burned

    • Strong interspecies competition

  • Lang 1961; del Moral and Deardoff 1976


Scot s broom cytisus scoparius

Scot’s Broom (Cytisus scoparius)

  • Shrub that grows to 2 m

  • Native to Europe

  • Nitrogen fixer

  • Accumulates quinolizidine alkaloids in its leaves


Case study plant soil interactions in the south puget sound prairies

Study Site: Glacial Heritage Preserve


Does the legacy of scot s broom increase the growth and competitiveness of invasive plants

Does the legacy of Scot’s broom increase the growth and competitiveness of invasive plants?

Hypochaeris radicata

Widely distributed invasive plant that is very common in the prairies

Festuca roemeri

Dominant native vascular plant

Microseris laciniata

Common native forb


Greenhouse experiment

Greenhouse Experiment

  • Three soil treatments

    • LB: Soils from areas with historically low cover of Scot’s broom

    • HB: Soils from areas with historically high cover of Scot’s broom

    • HB+N: HB soils with nitrogen added as 5 g/m2 of N as NH4-NO3

  • Five species combinations:

    • Monocultures of each species (3 total)

    • Festuca grown in competition with Hypochaeris

    • Festuca grown in competition with Microseris

  • Measurements:

    • Total Biomass

    • Leaf chlorophyll level (Hypochaeris only)

    • Competition

      • RCI: Difference in biomass between monoculture and competition treatments divided by the biomass in monoculture treatment


Case study plant soil interactions in the south puget sound prairies

Mean (+/- SE) values for surface soils (0 - 15 cm depth) at Glacial Heritage Preserve


Growth after 20 weeks

Growth after 20 weeks

High-broom

Soils

(HB)

Low-broom

Soils

(LB)

Festuca roemeri

Hypochaeris radicata

Microseris laciniata


Case study plant soil interactions in the south puget sound prairies

Festuca roemeri

Hypochaeris radicata

Microseris laciniata


Case study plant soil interactions in the south puget sound prairies

Hypochaeris radicata


Species competition and n enrichment

Species competition and N-enrichment

Competition between Festuca and Hypochaeris

Competition between Festuca and Microseris

RCIs for Festuca vary significant by competitor identity (2x3 ANOVA, d.f. error = 28, P < 0.0001)

LB soils

HB soils

HB+N soils


Questions raised by the experiment

Questions raised by the experiment

  • What possible explanations are there for the higher total N found in the low broom (LB) soils?

  • Is there a plausible explanation for the lower chlorophyll levels measured in Hypochaeris leaves in LB soils?

  • What possible mechanisms can explain the 2 to 3 times biomass accumulation in the native species Festuca and Microseris in LB soils?


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