Master's Theses

Date of Award

Summer 1967

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

Advisor

G. K. Hulett

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to inventory and analyze the compositional structure of the vegetation and also to attempt to discern causal environmental factors influencing species distributions. The present research was conducted in the Loessial region of northwestern Kansas and southwestern Nebraska. This study was limited to areas of native vegetation that had not been disturbed by burning, grazing of domestic livestock, periodical mowing or by other activities of man for a period of not less than 15 or 20 years. Percentage basal cover and composition of grasses were determined by use of inclined paint frames taken systematically across each stand. The absolute and relative frequency of grasses and forbs were determined by the use of 40 systematically placed 0.25m [squared] quadrats. The family composition of the vascular plants in the Loessial region indicated that 23.5% of the vegetation was in the family Gramineae, while Compositae, Fabaceae, and Euphorbiaceae were represented by 21%, 10.3%, and 5.6% respectively. The dominant grasses and forbs in the Loessial area varied with the relict stands exposure, slope, and position on slope. Phosphorus in all the moisture classes of the Loessial region showed a definite increase from the very dry to mesic sites while potassium increased from the very dry to mesic habitats. Sand and silt percentage were quite variable in the Loessial region with the highest sand percentage occurring in the very dry sites, whereas the highest silt content occurred in the mesic habitats. Rock content was low throughout the area with most of the rock occurring primarily on the very dry sites. Water retaining capacity and wilting point in the Loessial region increased from the very dry to the mesic habitats.

Rights

Copyright 1967 Clair D. Sloan

Comments

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code).

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