Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The purpose of this investigation was to collect information concerning the species and community distributional patterns on an undisturbed hillside in West-Central Kansas. Percentage composition and percentage frequency of grasses and forbs were determined by the use of the meter-rod. This method is a modification of the line-interception method (Canfield, 1941) of sampling range vegetation. Following the collection of data the study area was divided into fifty plots. The total for each of the species encountered within each of the individual plots was summed and added to a grand total of all the vegetation recorded within the plot. The initial approach to the analysis of vegetation in this study was the use of an ordination technique. This technique involves several steps: the reduction of the volume of data, comparison of vegetational relationships between the plots, calculation of similarity index values, and the placing of the plots along a linear ordination. The dominant grasses on the study area were blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis), side-oats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), hairy grama (Bouteloua hirsute), little bluestem (Andropogon scoparius), and big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi). Blue grama furnished 34 percent of the total vegetative composition on the research site. Side-oats grama was the second principal grass with nearly 29 percent of the total composition. Varying amounts of hairy grama, little bluestem and big bluestem were found. The value of using ordination index in interpreting and understanding species and community interrelationships can be assessed only in terms of interpretable patterns produced on the ordination itself. Thus species patterns are a criterion in determining the nature of the plant community. The significance of the separate species ordinations must be determined on the basis of patterns obtained, along with a general knowledge of the ecology of each species.


G. W. Tomanek

Date of Award

Spring 1964

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1964 Paul E. Bergman


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