Title

Impact of Competition on the Growth of Pseudoregneria spicata (Bluebunch Wheatgrass) in a Grassland Ecosystem

Abstract

Competition plays a significant role in dictating the yearly growth of plants in semi-arid grasslands. Bluebunch wheatgrass (BBWG) is a common perennial bunchgrass native to the grasslands of eastern Washington, where the invasive Eurasian annual cheatgrass is pervasive. To assess the impact of neighboring grasses on BBWG growth, I established 13 experimental plots on both north- and south-facing slopes, which differ in water availability, at the Wallula Gap Biological Station in Walla Walla County. Each plot contained one plant with no competition (all neighboring plants removed), one plant with limited competition (only neighboring annual grasses removed) and one control plant. In June 2014 and 2015, I collected data on the growth of each plant, including number and height of stems and seed production. Comparison of the BBWG plants across treatments and between slopes will help determine how competition under different environmental conditions affects the growth of this important native grass.

Faculty Sponsor

Heidi Dobson

Tracks

Plant Wars

Terms of Use

ARMINDA Terms of Use

Location

Science 100

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Research Funding Source or OCS Program

Perry Summer Research Grant

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Impact of Competition on the Growth of Pseudoregneria spicata (Bluebunch Wheatgrass) in a Grassland Ecosystem

Science 100

Competition plays a significant role in dictating the yearly growth of plants in semi-arid grasslands. Bluebunch wheatgrass (BBWG) is a common perennial bunchgrass native to the grasslands of eastern Washington, where the invasive Eurasian annual cheatgrass is pervasive. To assess the impact of neighboring grasses on BBWG growth, I established 13 experimental plots on both north- and south-facing slopes, which differ in water availability, at the Wallula Gap Biological Station in Walla Walla County. Each plot contained one plant with no competition (all neighboring plants removed), one plant with limited competition (only neighboring annual grasses removed) and one control plant. In June 2014 and 2015, I collected data on the growth of each plant, including number and height of stems and seed production. Comparison of the BBWG plants across treatments and between slopes will help determine how competition under different environmental conditions affects the growth of this important native grass.

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