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USDA Forest Service RMRS-P-53CD. 2008. 119 Plant Recruitment in a Northern
 

Summary: USDA Forest Service RMRS-P-53CD. 2008. 119
Plant Recruitment in a Northern
Arizona Ponderosa Pine Forest:
Testing Seed- and Leaf Litter-
Limitation Hypotheses
Scott R. Abella, Public Lands Institute and School of Life Sciences, University
of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV
Abstract--Seed availability and leaf litter limit plant establishment in some ecosys-
tems. To evaluate the hypothesis that these factors limit understory plant recruitment
in Pinus ponderosa forests, I conducted a seeding and litter removal experiment at six
thinned sites in the Fort Valley Experimental Forest, northern Arizona. Experimental
seeding of four native species (Penstemon virgatus, Erigeron formosissimus, Elymus
elymoides, and Festuca arizonica) and raking of litter occurred in 2005. Seeding re-
sulted in a substantial recruitment of 14 to 103 seedlings/m2
(1 to 10/ft2
) one month
after seeding for two species (P. virgatus and E. elymoides), but these densities sub-
sequently declined by 13 and 27 months after treatment to near control densities. No
P. virgatus adults established, and seeding also did not significantly increase densities
of E. elymoides adults. Litter removal and seeding did not interact, as seedling density

  

Source: Abella, Scott R. - School of Life Sciences, University of Nevada at Las Vegas

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology