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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Ecophysiology of native and invasive taprooted forbs in northern mixed-grass prairie

item Schomp, Jennifer
item Koenig, Peter
item Pendall, Elise
item Lecain, Daniel
item Blumenthal, Dana
item Morgan, Jack
item Williams, David

Submitted to: Ecological Society of America Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/16/2007
Publication Date: 3/1/2007
Citation: Schomp, J., Koenig, P., Pendall, E., Lecain, D.R., Blumenthal, D.M., Morgan, J.A., Williams, D. 2007. Ecophysiology of native and invasive taprooted forbs in northern mixed-grass prairie. In: Ecology-based restoration in a changing world. Ecological Society of America annual meeting. Abstract. PS130-33.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Taprooted forbs maintain an advantage over shallow-rooted graminoids and forbs in semiarid grasslands by accessing deep water sources and sustaining growth late into the growing season.Although the northern mixed-grass prairie contains a diverse group of native forb species, it remains susceptible to invasion by non-native taprooted perennial forbs, indicating presence of available resources deep in the soil profile. We compared leaf-level gas exchange, plant and soil water balance and rooting distribution in the native deep-rooted forb Artemesia frigida to that of the invasive taprooted forb Linaria dalmatica under natural field conditions at the High Plains Grassland Research Station in southeastern Wyoming. Net photosynthetic rates were as much as 6.5 times higher in the non-native Linaria than the native Artemesia during the 2006 growing season. Linaria maintained deeper maximal rooting depth, greater root mass density in deep soil layers, and more positive pre-dawn leaf water potentials, by up to 3.2 MPa, compared to Artemesia. Global changes affecting the availability of soil moisture in deep soil layers are likely to further promote susceptibility to invasion by Linaria and other taprooted invasive forbs in the semiarid grassland ecosystem.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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