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Wind Induced Leaf Binding By Prairie Cordgrass Onto Common Milkweed In Northeastern Kansas



Wind Induced Leaf Binding By Prairie Cordgrass Onto Common Milkweed In Northeastern Kansas



Prairie Naturalist 26(4): 301-305



In this study, I investigated an interaction between prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata) and common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) where leaves of cordgrass became tightly bound to milkweed stems, primarily at upper nodes. Milkweed plants involved in this interaction typically had damaged leaves and increased fruit production compared to unbound milkweed plants. Cordgrass leaves apparently, by the action of wind, become wrapped around structures that are stiff and rough surfaced. No binding interactions took place between cordgrass and wooden dowels set in wetlands and designed to imitate the growth form of common milkweed. Likewise, no interactions occurred between cordgrass and hemp dogbane, a plant of similar growth form to milkweed but with smooth stems.

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