Response of Andropogon gerardii to simulated acid rain

TitleResponse of Andropogon gerardii to simulated acid rain
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1990
AuthorsFahnestock, JT, Knapp, AK
JournalTransactions of the Kansas Academy of Science
Pagination85 -90
Accession NumberKNZ00274
Keywordstallgrass prairie

In this study the authors examined the effects that moderate exposure to acidic precipation had on growth and physiological responses in Andropogon gerardii, the dominant grass in tallgrass prairie. Naturally occurring monocultures of A. gerardii were treated with simulated acid rain (pH 4.0 or 3.0) or precipitation with a pH similar to natural rainfall (pH 5.0) throughout a growth season. No visual effects of the acid rain treatments were observed and there were no statistically significant effects on net photosynthetic CO2 uptake, stomatal conductance to water vapor, or tiller mass in A. gerardii. However, tiller density was significantly reduced as treatment pH decreased. These data suggest that a moderate increase in the number of rainfall events with low pH will have little discernible short-term impact on tallgrass prairie dominated by A. gerardii, but longer-term effects need to be evaluated