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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Seed Bank Dynamics in a Northern Great Plains Rangeland

Authors
item Heitschmidt, Rodney
item Karl, M - USFS
item Haferkamp, Marshall

Submitted to: Research Update for Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 1997
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Study was conducted to determine the plant species composition, inputs, storage capacity, and depletion rates in a northern mixed grass prairie seed bank. Results showed there was an abundance of annual plant seeds available for germination and subsequent plant establishment when proper conditions were encountered. However, the seedbank contained few perennial plant seeds. Still, the abundance of perennial grasses in these grasslands provides evidence of their ability to maintain viable populations through asexual reproduction processes. Results indicate that although there is potential for a gradual shift in plant species composition towards a greater abundance of annual plants, no measurable shift is presently occurring.

Technical Abstract: Study was conducted to determine the plant species composition, inputs, storage capacity, and depletion rates in a northern mixed grass prairie seed bank. Results showed there was an abundance of annual plant seeds available for germination and subsequent plant establishment when proper conditions were encountered. However, the seedbank contained few perennial plant seeds. Still, the abundance of perennial grasses in these grasslands provides evidence of their ability to maintain viable populations through asexual reproduction processes. Results indicate that although there is potential for a gradual shift in plant species composition towards a greater abundance of annual plants, no measurable shift is presently occurring.

Last Modified: 4/17/2014
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