Effect of standing dead plants on stem density in bluestem prairie

TitleEffect of standing dead plants on stem density in bluestem prairie
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication1978
AuthorsDokken, DA, Hulbert, LC
EditorGlenn-Lewin, DC, Landers, RQ
Pagination78 -81
PublisherIowa State University
Conference LocationAmes, IA
Accession NumberKNZ0021
Keywordsdensity, plant, prairie, stem

Dokken, D.A., and L.C. Hulbert (1978) Effect of standing dead plants on stem density in bluestem prairie. In D.C. Glenn-Lewin and R.Q. Landers Jr. (eds): Proceedings of the Fifth Midwest Prairie Conference, Extension Courses and Conferences. Ames,IA: Iowa State University, pp. 78-81. Stem density in bluestem or tallgrass prairie was measured on the Konza Prairie Research Natural Area near Manhattan, Kansas. Density of steam, both flowering and nonflowering, and depth and oven-dry weight of standing dead plants were measured on two soils, deep and shallow, on areas 0, 1, and 3 years after late-spring burning. On deep soil stem density of Andropogon scoparius was significantly reduced in one year without burning, and for Sorghastrum nutans and Boutelous curtipendula in 3 years. Andropogon gerardii , the dominant grass, decreased in stem density less rapidly, and so became relatively more dominant as standing dead accumulated. Poa pratensis , in contrast, increased in stem density with time after burning. That was the expected result because it is injured by late- spring burning. For ten species correlation coefficients between stem density and oven-dry weight or depth of standing dead were statistically significant. For most species the correlations were negative, including the dominant species and all species combined. Depth Of standing dead correlated with stem density about as well as did weight of standing dead, which could be of importance decause depth can be obtained must more easily than weight