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Summer Fun

Forage and Soil Response to Kentucky Bluegrass Invasion

Allison Haider

on 10 January 2014

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Transcript of Summer Fun

Kentucky Bluegrass: From Lawns to Range Lands
Kentucky bluegrass tends to lower plant diversity and shift the timing of forage production compared to non-invaded sites. However, in some bluegrass invaded pastures there are small patches where bluegrass is less abundant
Exclosures and Subplots - 16 ' X 16 '
Soil ~ PRS Probes ~ Vegetation
Soil Dynamics
Series of tests run to quantify chemical and physical soil attributes in order to better compare bluegrass and control plots; significant differences found between soils from different plots
3 colaborative components
~ Plant diversity
By Allison Haider, under the Direction of Dr.'s John Hendrickson, Mark Liebig, and Scott Kronberg
~ Soils and Nutrient Dynamics
~ Forage Quality
This project focuses on these patches and compares their species composition, soil characteristics, and forage production with more invaded areas
Sample Cores taken at 0-5cm, 5-10cm, and 10-20cm
Soil Bulk Density
Field - moist H2O content
pH and EC
Available P (NaHCO3)
Temp. and water content (%) measured weekly
Plant Root Simulator (PRS) Probes
Vegetation & Forage Quality
Background Information
* Junior at NDSU

* Major in Biology, Minor in Chemistry

* USDA-ARS Northern Great Plains Research
Laboratory Intern

* Project focused on Kentucky Bluegrass
why are we concerned?
* Found in most backyards

* Is invading range lands &
replacing native grasses while
lowering forage diversity

* 75% of range lands surveyed in
ND have Kentucky bluegrass

Extractable NO3/NH4
Total Carbon & Nitrogen
What is Kentucky Bluegrass?
* Scientific name: Poa pratensis
* Identifiable Traits: narrow, dark green
leaves, prow-shaped at the tip, and flat
or folded
* Description: cool-season, perennial
sod forming grass, numerous basal
* Assess nutrient supply rates by continuously
absorbing charged ionic species in the bluegrass
and control plots over the burial period (2 weeks)
* Mineralization, dissolution, and ion diffusion
affect nutrient availability
* Orange = Anion (absorbs nitrate, phosphate,
sulphate, and borate)
* Purple = Cation (absorbs ammonium, potassium,
calcium, and magnesium)
Clipped 2 randomized 1/8m squared
frames by species from each subplot

Dried, weighed, and ground for analysis
Vegetation Results to Date
* Data reveals that control plots are more diverse than bluegrass plots
The total # of species found in control vs bluegrass plots was not significantly different
* However, the dominance of Kentucky bluegrass in the bluegrass plots overwhelmed the contribution of the native species to biomass

Final clippings will take place in mid-August
Common species collected
Kentucky bluegrass
- Brome
- Carex
- Blue lettuce
- June grass
- Green needle grass
- Cudleaf sagewart
- Scurfpea
- Blue grama
- Deer Vetch
- Solidago
- Western wheatgrass
Total Carbon:Nitrogen
Vegetation Samples
Thatch Layer Samples
chart above not actual data
example chart/place holder
Concluding Remarks
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Avg. C:N Ratio : 33.75
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Full transcript