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Effect of Topographic Position and Fire on Species Composition in Tallgrass Prairie in Northeast Kansas
Marc D. Abrams and Lloyd C. Hulbert
The American Midland Naturalist
Vol. 117, No. 2 (Apr., 1987), pp. 442-445
Published by: The University of Notre Dame
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2425988
Page Count: 4
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Plant species composition was evaluated on shallow upland and deep lowland soils in annually burned and unburned watersheds in an eastern Kansas Flint Hills tallgrass prairie. Species richness was higher in upland than lowland communities. Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem) was dominant on all sites (cover = 7096 %) and was not significantly affected by topographic position or burn treatment, whereas, A. scoparius (little bluestem) and Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass) increased with burning. Cover of Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) was higher on lowland soils, but burning differences were not significant. Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass), the dominant cool-season grass, was not affected by topography but was greatly reduced by annual burning. Cover of most forb and woody species was reduced on burned areas but species were differentially affected by topography. One exception was the woody species Amorpha canescens (leadplant), which had its highest cover on burned lowland soils.
The American Midland Naturalist © 1987 The University of Notre Dame