Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The purpose of this study was to develop a satisfactory method of mapping plant communities, and to provide data on the vegetation of the communities. The study area was located near Hays, Kansas. Data were collected by using the point transect method of analysis. A total of 85,000 point samples was taken along 60 line transects. The data were color coded and plotted on a map of the study area. Six distinct communities were mapped, using dominant species as indicators. The communities were blue grama-buffalo grass, side-oats grams-blue grama, hairy grama-side-oats grama, little bluestem-side-oats grama, tall dropseed, and big bluestem-western wheatgrass. The blue grama-buffalo grass community was found on upland habitats where soils were heavy. The two dominant species comprised 95 per cent of the vegetation. The side-oats grama blue grama community was the most complex of those studied. Seven different grass species were common in this community. The two dominant species comprised 66 per cent of the total vegetation. The soil in this community was somewhat open. The hairy grama- side- oats grama occupied the upper hillsides. The two dominants made up 72.2 per cent of the total vegetation. The soils on these upper slopes were very thin. The little bluestem- side -oats grama community occupied the lower hillside habitats. Soils were thin. The dominant species accounted for 86 per cent of the total vegetation in this community. The tall dropseed community occurred on alluvial soils of the lowland. Tall drop seed comprised 53 per cent of the vegetation. The big bluestem-western wheatgrass community was found in a small portion of the lowland where silt deposition was high. The dominant species made 50 per cent of the vegetation. Side-oats grama which made up 39 per cent of the total vegetation was the dominant species of the study area. Blue grama and buffalo grass were also very abundant, together comprising 46 per cent of the total vegetation. Big bluestem, little bluestem, hairy grama, tall drop seed, and western wheatgrass were common in parts of the study area.


Committee Chair

Date of Award

Summer 1960

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1960 Robert M. Hyde


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