Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
G. K. Hulett
The purpose of this investigation was to analyze the distribution and vegetative composition of remnant grasslands on shale-limestone parent materials of the Central Kansas Rolling Plains Region in Kansas. The floristic composition of each stand was ascertained by a species list. Percent composition and basal cover were determined by inclined point frames. Quadrats were used to obtain frequency indices for species within each stand. Various topographic features were also recorded and included: (1) slope, (2) exposure, (3) catena position, (4) moisture class, and (5) range site. Disturbance factors, dusting and small mammals were subjectively rated on a one to five scale. Mulch, another subjective measure, was also rated using the same scale. Soil analyses included: ( 1) depth to lime, (2) texture, (3 ) rock content , (4) water- retaining capacity, (5) permanent wilting point , (6 ) percentage organic matter, (7) pH, (8) available potassium, and (9 ) available phosphorous. Five moisture regimes, ranging from very dry to wet mesic, were arbitrary established to compare species distribution and interaction with changes in moisture relations. Most species exhibited continuous distributional patterns across a moisture gradient. Mesic habitats were typically low in species numbers and dry sites were characteristically diverse in species. The dominant grasses were big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi), little bluestem (Andropogon scoparius) and side-oats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula). Four communities, based on indicator species, were established within the study area. These communities were very dry (Lesquerella-Tetraneuris), dry mesic (Salvia-Sporobolus), mesic (Amorpha-Euphorbia), and wet mesic (Rosa-Euphorbia).
Copyright 1967 Kenneth L. Hladek
Hladek, Kenneth L., "The Vegetation of Remnant Shale-Limestone Prairies in Western Kansas" (1967). Master's Theses. 1060.