Title

Competition Limits the Annual Growth of Pseudoroegneria spicata (Bluebunch Wheatgrass) in a Semi-arid Environment

Presenter

Chris Dailey

Abstract

Competition for water plays a significant role in dictating the yearly growth of individual plants in semi-arid grasslands. Using data collected from Spring Gulch in Walla Walla County, WA, we examined the annual growth of bluebunch wheatgrass in areas with high soil water content compared to areas with low soil water content. We hypothesized that competition for water was the limiting factor in determining the annual growth of individual plants. We suppressed the growth of all plants surrounding a target individual and compared it to a control plant with no manipulation, as well as the growth of a plant with limited suppression of competitors. We predicted that, without competitors, plants would exhibit greatest annual growth in areas with higher moisture content. However, our data indicated that, contrary to our prediction, plants in low-moisture areas exhibited more annual growth than plants with no competition in areas with higher soil moisture content.

Faculty Sponsor

Tim Parker

Sponsor Department/Programs

Biology

Tracks

Poster Session

Terms of Use

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Location

Cordiner Hall

Presentation Type

Poster

Research Funding Source or OCS Program

Perry Summer Research Award

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Apr 19th, 1:00 PM Apr 19th, 2:00 PM

Competition Limits the Annual Growth of Pseudoroegneria spicata (Bluebunch Wheatgrass) in a Semi-arid Environment

Cordiner Hall

Competition for water plays a significant role in dictating the yearly growth of individual plants in semi-arid grasslands. Using data collected from Spring Gulch in Walla Walla County, WA, we examined the annual growth of bluebunch wheatgrass in areas with high soil water content compared to areas with low soil water content. We hypothesized that competition for water was the limiting factor in determining the annual growth of individual plants. We suppressed the growth of all plants surrounding a target individual and compared it to a control plant with no manipulation, as well as the growth of a plant with limited suppression of competitors. We predicted that, without competitors, plants would exhibit greatest annual growth in areas with higher moisture content. However, our data indicated that, contrary to our prediction, plants in low-moisture areas exhibited more annual growth than plants with no competition in areas with higher soil moisture content.

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