Section 15
Chapter 14,181

Seed dispersal and mineral nutrition in succession in abandoned fields in central Oklahoma

Rice, E.L.; Penfound, W.T.; Rohrbaugh, L.M.

Ecology 41(1): 224-228


ISSN/ISBN: 0012-9658
DOI: 10.2307/1931958
Accession: 014180335

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In an effort to explain why triple awn grass (Aristida oligantha). little bluestem (Andropogon scoparius). and switch grass (Panicum virgatum) invade revegetating old fields at different stages of succession, the N, P, and K requirements of the three species were investigated and a brief study of dispersal was made in the first 2 species. Fruits and even entire plants of triple awn grass, which is the first of the three species to invade abandoned fields, have been observed to be carried long distances by the wind. Fruits of little bluestem with viable seeds were found to be dispersed by the wind apparently only slightly over 6 ft from the parent plant. This probably helps to account for the slow invasion of even small abandoned fields by little bluestem. The apparent order of the species based on increasing requirements for N and P was found to be as follows: (1) triple awn grass, (2) little bluestem, (3) switch grass. This is the relative order in which these species invade abandoned fields. There were no consistent differences in relative requirements of the three species for K. All species grew well in all low-K solutions. Other studies have indicated that soils of abandoned fields in Okla. are usually low in P and N, but are usually not deficient in K. It seems quite pos-sible, therefore,, that the relative requirements for N and P of the three species may be of considerable importance in determining the order of their establishment in abandoned field.

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