Date

1-4-2017 12:00 AM

Major

Biology

Department

Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology

College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Project Advisor

Haldre Rogers

Project Advisor's Department

Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology

Description

Prairie areas free of established trees create an ideal habitat for seedlings of nearby adult trees, making it easy for woody species to invade Iowa’s natural prairies and slowly convert them to forested areas. This study aims to determine possible patterns of establishment of woody species in a restored prairie area within Ames, Iowa, focusing on the effects of herbivory and surrounding herbaceous biodiversity. Oakridge Prairie is sectioned into eight plots (four allowing herbivory, four preventing herbivory) and each block has areas of low and high grass/forb diversity. Heights, species, and locations within diversity and herbivory treatments were recorded for all seedlings above 0.5 m within this prairie. There is a significant relationship between herbivory treatments on seedling abundance and height, but not for herbaceous plant diversity treatments. Herbivores strongly limit woody encroachment. Dispersal mode affects dispersal distance, with animal dispersed seeds traveling farther from their nearest conspecific. Animals, likely birds, are dispersing seeds into prairies. Prairie managers should consider the effectiveness of herbivory on reducing woody encroachment into natural prairie areas.

Colton-Poster.pdf (1924 kB)
Poster

Share

COinS
 
Apr 1st, 12:00 AM

Patterns of Woody Encroachment Establishment in a Restored Praire

Prairie areas free of established trees create an ideal habitat for seedlings of nearby adult trees, making it easy for woody species to invade Iowa’s natural prairies and slowly convert them to forested areas. This study aims to determine possible patterns of establishment of woody species in a restored prairie area within Ames, Iowa, focusing on the effects of herbivory and surrounding herbaceous biodiversity. Oakridge Prairie is sectioned into eight plots (four allowing herbivory, four preventing herbivory) and each block has areas of low and high grass/forb diversity. Heights, species, and locations within diversity and herbivory treatments were recorded for all seedlings above 0.5 m within this prairie. There is a significant relationship between herbivory treatments on seedling abundance and height, but not for herbaceous plant diversity treatments. Herbivores strongly limit woody encroachment. Dispersal mode affects dispersal distance, with animal dispersed seeds traveling farther from their nearest conspecific. Animals, likely birds, are dispersing seeds into prairies. Prairie managers should consider the effectiveness of herbivory on reducing woody encroachment into natural prairie areas.