Rangeland Ecology & Management

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Multiple disturbances accelerate invasion of reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) in a mesocosm study
Kercher, S. M., J. B. Zedler
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The effect of different disturbances on the invasibility of Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass) was investigated in two trials in Wisconsin. One hundred-fifty mesocosms (1m² stock tanks) of established native wet prairie vegetation (planted two years prior to the treatment) were planted with three month old Phalaris seedlings and subjected to different combinations of flooding, nutrient additions, sedimentation and grazing. The flooding treatments consisted of intermittent, early season, or constant water. The nutrient additions were none, low, or high. The sedimentation treatments were none, sand, or topsoil. The grazing treatment was conducted during Phalaris transplanting on ten of the 150 mesocosms (2 from each treatment combination) by clipping the established prairie plants to the soil surface and leaving the Phalaris. Light availability, soil redox potential, species composition, and biomass were measured at the end of the summer following Phalaris establishment to determine how different disturbances affect the invasibility of Phalaris.

invasive species
fluctuating resource hypothesis
simulated herbivory
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