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Effects of sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata (Dumont) G. Don) invasion on oak savannas in Kansas

Effects of sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata (Dumont) G. Don) invasion on oak savannas in Kansas

Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences Arts and Letters 86: 57-62

Invasion of sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata (Dumont) G. Don) into oak savannas in southeast Kansas altered the composition, structure, and density of the native prairie component of the ecosystem and reduced the number of invertebrate species. Vegetation characteristics in clearings infested with sericea lespedeza were compared with uninfested clearings during the summer of 1996. Eighty 1 m2 quadrats were randomly placed in each of the 2 site conditions. The number of grass species decreased from 12 in uninfested sites to 4 in infested sites. Native forb species declined from 27 in the uninfested sites to 8 in the infested sites. Canopy coverage of sericea lespedeza in the infested sites was 84%. Mean stem counts of sericea lespedeza were 352/m2. Weight of clipped native grasses and forbs from uninfested sites was 92% greater than in infested sites. Numbers of invertebrate species declined from 65 at the uninfested sites to 24 at the infested sites. Implications of vegetation changes on wildlife populations and forage for livestock are considered.

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Accession: 010563222

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