Spatial relationships between plant litter, gopher disturbance and vegetation at different stages of old-field succession

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fine-scale spatial patterns of small mammal disturbances and local accumulation of plant litter were studied together with the spatial pattern of vegetation in different stages of old-field succession at Cedar Creek Natural History Area, Minnesota, USA. Seven stands from one to 66 years old were sampled. Presence of living plant species, local soil disturbances by pocket gophers (Geomys busarius) and plant litter accumulation were recorded in 10cm × 10 cm contiguous microquadrats along elliptical transects. Spatial patterns and associations were analyzed using information theory models. Dominant grasses were spatially independent, while subordinate functional groups were strongly dependent on the existing patchwork of dominant species, plant litter and gopher disturbances. Litter had consistent negative associations with subordinate functional groups in all but the initial years. Gopher disturbances were abundant but had weak and variable associations with vegetation. These results suggest that gopher disturbance does not facilitate the colonization of native prairie species and that diversity can be improved by controlling litter accumulation in Minnesota old-fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-62
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Vegetation Science
Volume4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Fingerprint

old field
plant litter
litter
disturbance
vegetation
Geomys
functional group
small mammals
natural history
prairies
small mammal
prairie
grasses
colonization
transect
grass
soil
history

Keywords

  • Functional group
  • Information theory
  • Minnesota old-field
  • Pairwise association
  • Patch dynamics
  • Randomization test
  • Spatial scaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Plant Science
  • Ecology

Cite this

@article{e262c54089d046a6bfa79773d29ecbe4,
title = "Spatial relationships between plant litter, gopher disturbance and vegetation at different stages of old-field succession",
abstract = "Fine-scale spatial patterns of small mammal disturbances and local accumulation of plant litter were studied together with the spatial pattern of vegetation in different stages of old-field succession at Cedar Creek Natural History Area, Minnesota, USA. Seven stands from one to 66 years old were sampled. Presence of living plant species, local soil disturbances by pocket gophers (Geomys busarius) and plant litter accumulation were recorded in 10cm × 10 cm contiguous microquadrats along elliptical transects. Spatial patterns and associations were analyzed using information theory models. Dominant grasses were spatially independent, while subordinate functional groups were strongly dependent on the existing patchwork of dominant species, plant litter and gopher disturbances. Litter had consistent negative associations with subordinate functional groups in all but the initial years. Gopher disturbances were abundant but had weak and variable associations with vegetation. These results suggest that gopher disturbance does not facilitate the colonization of native prairie species and that diversity can be improved by controlling litter accumulation in Minnesota old-fields.",
keywords = "Functional group, Information theory, Minnesota old-field, Pairwise association, Patch dynamics, Randomization test, Spatial scaling",
author = "S. Bartha",
year = "2001",
language = "English",
volume = "4",
pages = "53--62",
journal = "Applied Vegetation Science",
issn = "1402-2001",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Spatial relationships between plant litter, gopher disturbance and vegetation at different stages of old-field succession

AU - Bartha, S.

PY - 2001

Y1 - 2001

N2 - Fine-scale spatial patterns of small mammal disturbances and local accumulation of plant litter were studied together with the spatial pattern of vegetation in different stages of old-field succession at Cedar Creek Natural History Area, Minnesota, USA. Seven stands from one to 66 years old were sampled. Presence of living plant species, local soil disturbances by pocket gophers (Geomys busarius) and plant litter accumulation were recorded in 10cm × 10 cm contiguous microquadrats along elliptical transects. Spatial patterns and associations were analyzed using information theory models. Dominant grasses were spatially independent, while subordinate functional groups were strongly dependent on the existing patchwork of dominant species, plant litter and gopher disturbances. Litter had consistent negative associations with subordinate functional groups in all but the initial years. Gopher disturbances were abundant but had weak and variable associations with vegetation. These results suggest that gopher disturbance does not facilitate the colonization of native prairie species and that diversity can be improved by controlling litter accumulation in Minnesota old-fields.

AB - Fine-scale spatial patterns of small mammal disturbances and local accumulation of plant litter were studied together with the spatial pattern of vegetation in different stages of old-field succession at Cedar Creek Natural History Area, Minnesota, USA. Seven stands from one to 66 years old were sampled. Presence of living plant species, local soil disturbances by pocket gophers (Geomys busarius) and plant litter accumulation were recorded in 10cm × 10 cm contiguous microquadrats along elliptical transects. Spatial patterns and associations were analyzed using information theory models. Dominant grasses were spatially independent, while subordinate functional groups were strongly dependent on the existing patchwork of dominant species, plant litter and gopher disturbances. Litter had consistent negative associations with subordinate functional groups in all but the initial years. Gopher disturbances were abundant but had weak and variable associations with vegetation. These results suggest that gopher disturbance does not facilitate the colonization of native prairie species and that diversity can be improved by controlling litter accumulation in Minnesota old-fields.

KW - Functional group

KW - Information theory

KW - Minnesota old-field

KW - Pairwise association

KW - Patch dynamics

KW - Randomization test

KW - Spatial scaling

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0034945939&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0034945939&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 4

SP - 53

EP - 62

JO - Applied Vegetation Science

JF - Applied Vegetation Science

SN - 1402-2001

IS - 1

ER -