Differential invasion of a wetland grass explained by tests of nutrients and light availability on establishment and clonal growth

  • Maurer D
  • Zedler J
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Abstract

Phalaris arundinacea (Poaceae) is aggressively invading wetlands across North America. We tested the hypotheses that open canopies and increased nutrients facilitate vegetative establishment in the field, using a phytometer (6 rhizome fragments/plot. 24 plots/wetland). In each of three wetlands, phytometers received three levels of an NPK fertilizer or served as controls. Emergence and survival differed among sites (P=0.0005), but not due to NPK addition. P. arundinacea survival was highest in a wet prairie with a late-developing canopy, but limited by prolonged flooding in one sedge meadow and by an early-growing, dense plant canopy in a second. These patterns were explained in greenhouse experiments, where both flooding (P

Author-supplied keywords

  • Greenhouse experiments
  • Invasibility
  • Phalaris arundinacea
  • Plant canopies
  • Plant traits

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Authors

  • Deborah A. Maurer

  • Joy B. Zedler

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