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Importance of soil moisture and its interaction with competition and clipping for two montane meadow grasses
 

Summary: Importance of soil moisture and its interaction with competition and
clipping for two montane meadow grasses
Jennifer S. Kluse1
and Barbara H. Allen Diaz2,*
1
Department of Rangeland Management, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA 94720-3110;
2
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
94720-3110;*Author for correspondence
Received 23 April 2003; accepted in revised form 18 February 2004
Key words: Competition, Deschampsia cespitosa, Grazing, Meadow, Poa pratensis, Water
Abstract
Meadow classification studies have demonstrated the importance of water table fluctuation patterns in determin-
ing plant community composition in the western United States. However, a mechanism causing an overall in-
crease in Poa pratensis ssp. pratensis populations and local declines in Deschampsia cespitosa populations in
western montane meadows over the past century has not been defined. In order to better understand plant species
interactions in these often highly grazed systems, we observed aboveground responses of Poa and Deschampsia
to changes in species composition, soil moisture gradients, and clipping in the field. As well, we conducted a
factorial greenhouse experiment, varying plant density, water availability, and clipping. While Poa is adapted to
dry meadows and Deschampsia to wet meadows, their ranges overlap in wet conditions where soil moisture

  

Source: Allen-Diaz, Barbara - Department of Environmental Science Policy and Management, University of California at Berkeley

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology