Rangeland Ecology & Management

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Effects of simulated feeding by snow geese on Scirpus americanus rhizomes
Giroux, J. F. , J. Bedard
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The intensity of removal of underground biomass, number of "bites" taken, and the number of adventitious buds removed were tested on Scirpus americanus, by clipping the marsh plants to simulate grubbing by Greater Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens atlantica). The intensity of biomass removed had no significant effect while the intensity was less than 15%. However, 35% removal intensity resulted in a significantly lower number of total shoots remaining. The removal of underground biomass also had a negative effect on the total number of shoots, final length of the rhizomes, total above- and below- ground biomass production, and final number of buds and plant growth rates. Results indicated that 1 "bite" had very little effect (except decreasing rhizome growth rate slightly), while at the 2-bite rate rhizomes decrease, and there is little difference between 2 and 3 bites. The removal of buds also played a significant impact on total production; removing 1 bud did not effect production, while the removal of 2 and 3 buds significantly reduced below ground- production by 60% and 67%, respectively. This tells us that as intensity increases, biomass production decreases, and the grazing of the Greater Snow Geese may have a negative effect on the growth characteristics of three-square bulrush (Scirpus americanus Pers.).

primary production
Chen caerulescens atlantica
coastal marsh
Scirpus americanus
simulated feeding
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