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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Jernegan, Marissa [1], Hustad, Vincent [1], Tonsor, Michael [1], Jadhav, Rashmi [1], Ahrens, Garrett [1], Coons, Janice [1].

Soil Characteristics and Microbes Influencing Establishment of Prairie Species.

Illinois is known as the Prairie State, however prairie that once covered 22 million acres of the state now occupies a mere 0.01% of the original. Restoration of tallgrass prairies often is impeded by failure to establish diverse native prairie species because of soil characteristics including both physical and microbial factors. In Coles County (IL) attempts to establish prairie species in one area between a bike trail and a road have failed, yet prairie remnants and restored prairie exist at other nearby sites. Hence the objective of this study was to determine if soil characteristics or microbes affect emergence of prairie species from soils collected at these three sites (remnant prairie, restored prairie, and attempted restoration site). Soil was collected from each site, and analyzed to determine texture, pH, moisture, organic matter and nutrients. Half of the soil was autoclaved and the other half was not. Three common prairie species (Chamaechrista fasciculata, Dalea purpurea, and Monarda fistulosa) were planted in each type of soil in trays. Weekly observations were made for emergence, leaf number and height of planted species. Plants from seed bank also were counted weekly. After four weeks, mass and leaf area were measured. Soil had more clay, lower organic matter and higher pH at the restoration site than at remnant or restored prairies. The remnant prairie had higher moisture, phosphates and sulfates than the other sites. Plants in autoclaved soil tended to have greater emergence and faster plant development than those in non-autoclaved soil. Grass and forb emergence in autoclaved soil was reduced relative to not autoclaved soil. Plants grown in soil from the remnant prairie developed more rapidly than those in soil from the other two sites. Hence, problems with establishment at the restoration site may relate to soil characteristics.

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1 - Eastern Illinois University, Department of Biological Sciences, 600 Lincoln Ave, Charleston, Illinois, 61920-3099, USA

prairie establishment
Chamaechrista fasciculata
Dalea purpurea
Monarda fistulosa.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Exhibit Hall (Northeast, Southwest & Southeast)/Hilton
Date: Sunday, July 8th, 2007
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: P49010
Abstract ID:2063

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