Intra-clonal stem density, natality, mortality, flowering and relative growth rate within discrete Cornus drummondii shrubs in response to fire frequency (4- vs 20-yr burn intervals) and simulated browsing. Tagged stems within individual shrubs were tracked and measured at the beginning and end of each growing season in 2018 and 2019 to assess the interactions of fire and browsing on stem demography.
Data were collected in the lowlands of watersheds 4B and 20C in 2018 and 2019 at Konza Prairie Biological Station. In 2015, 40 discrete Cornus drummondii shrub clones were chosen in the lowlands of watersheds with a 4-yr and 20-yr burn frequency. Half of the shrubs in each burn frequency were randomly selected for a simulated browsing treatment. From 2015-2019, browsing was simulated by stripping 50% of current year shoot growth by hand from each stem once a month from May-September. See O’Connor et al. 2020 and dataset FWE01 for more detail. We used this browsing experiment to assess the effects of fire and simulated browsing on stem density, growth, reproduction, and demography within individual shrubs.
We established 0.25 m wide transects through the longest axis of each shrub. In May 2018, we tagged each stem, including all stems originating from basal buds at the soil surface and rhizomatous buds, within each transect using insulated copper wire around the shoot base. Stems were counted again in August and the number of dead (with tag) and new stems (no tag) were recorded. Tagging and counting were repeated in April and September of 2019.
References:1. O’Connor RC, Taylor JH, Nippert JB (2020) Browsing and fire decreases dominance of a resprouting shrub in woody encroached grassland. Ecology 0:1-11 doi: 10.1002/ecy.29352. Nippert, J., O'connor, R. 2019. FWE01 Effects of browsing and fire on woody encroachment at Konza Prairie. Environmental Data Initiative. http://dx.doi.org/10.6073/pasta/7ec1d77684c30eb707468f72db101bb0.
For additional metadata information see: http://lter.konza.ksu.edu/sites/default/files/DC.pdfFor additional methods information see: http://lter.konza.ksu.edu/sites/default/files/MM.pdf