Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Belowground Competition in Forest and Prairie

Scott D. Wilson
Oikos
Vol. 68, No. 1 (Oct., 1993), pp. 146-150
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3545320
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3545320
Page Count: 5
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Belowground Competition in Forest and Prairie
Preview not available

Abstract

The hypothesis that the intensity of belowground competition varies with community standing crop was tested in forest and prairie in central Canada. Three plots were studied in each habitat. Forest had significantly higher soil nitrate, ammonium, water, and root biomass than prairie, but significantly lower root:shoot ratios. Transplants of a grass (Bouteloua gracilis) and a tree (Populus deltoides) were grown singly for one summer in both habitats with live neighbor roots either absent or present. Live neighbor roots were removed by cutting roots along the perimeter of a 10 cm diameter circle to a depth of 15 cm and then inserting a plastic tube (10 cm diameter, 15 cm long) vertically into the soil. Transplants grown with live neighbor roots also had neighbor roots cut along the perimeter of a 10 cm diameter circle, but no tube was installed. There were ten replicates of each combination of species and root treatment in each plot. The aboveground biomass of transplants showed a significant interactive effect between habitat and competition treatment. Biomass was significantly lower in the presence of neighbor roots in prairie, but not in forest. Neighbor roots significantly decreased the survivorship of the tree but not the grass. Below-ground competition was most intense in prairie, where the supply of soil resources was lowest.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
146
    146
  • Thumbnail: Page 
147
    147
  • Thumbnail: Page 
148
    148
  • Thumbnail: Page 
149
    149
  • Thumbnail: Page 
150
    150