Master's Theses

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Date of Award

Summer 1972

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

Advisor

G. K. Hulett

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare selected aspects of structure and function of two grassland communities. The climax plant community had not been grazed for fifteen year. The successional community was farmed for twenty-four years previous to this study. Data was collected from May 20 to October 14. Structural aspects were determined form absolute frequency, basal cover and per cent frequency data. These data indicate Sporobolus cryptandrus, Kochia scoparia, Setaria viridis and Ambrosia psilostyachya were the most abundant species in the successional area. In the climax area the most abundant plant species were Bouteloua curtipendula, Buchloe dactyloides, Bouteloua gracilis and Ambrosia psilostachya. The functional aspects of the communities were characterized using production data, chlorophyll and supporting tissue contents and chlorophyll A/supporting tissue ratios. A significant difference is indicated between chlorophyll content and supporting tissue of the sample areas. No difference in species diversity was detected between the sample areas using Odum’s definition of a dominant. However, the species composition of the sample areas is quite different. The ratio of Chlorophyll A/supporting tissue was very similar for both sample areas.

Rights

Copyright 1972 Joseph W. Cullen

Comments

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

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