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Title:Restoration implications of land management on aboveground vegetation and seed bank composition of grassland communities in Illinois
Author(s):Zylka, Jason
Advisor(s):Molano-Flores, Brenda
Department / Program:Natural Res & Env Sci
Discipline:Natural Res & Env Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Seed bank
floristic quality index (FQI)
land management
Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
Abstract:A variety of non-prairie landscapes are restored to prairie on a yearly basis including pastures, croplands, and old fields. Most of these restoration efforts do not take into account the seed bank associated with these non-prairie lands as a potential source of plant diversity or weedy interference. In this study, I investigated the similarities or dissimilarities of standing vegetation and seed bank composition for six different land management histories at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie (IL, USA): restored prairie, remnant prairie, recently planted pasture, historic pasture, abandoned (seral) pasture, and crop field. The goals of this study were to: 1) determine similarities between the standing vegetation and the seed bank composition; 2) determine the role that different land management histories will play on standing vegetation and seed bank composition; 3) determine if restorations are building a prairie seed bank; 4) determine if the seed banks will reflect aboveground species composition; and 5) determine if seed banks can impact restoration success. In 2009, vegetation surveys and soil cores were collected in July and October, respectively, for a total of 30 sites (five sites per land history) and 300 soil cores (10 cores per site). In 2010, soil cores then were grown in a greenhouse and the seedlings identified to species. Results indicate that the seed banks vary per land history and that some of the differences that can be observed from aboveground vegetation are indiscernible in the seed bank composition. In addition, the amount of species similarity between the seed bank and the aboveground vegetation was minimal. Although seed banks may not provide material for prairie restoration, they can provide an idea of the present conditions and the factors that may influence a restoration, such as invasive species.
Issue Date:2013-05-24
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Jason Zylka
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-05-24
Date Deposited:2013-05

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