Root and/or shoot competition: Critical mechanisms for survival in a grazed environment.
University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA 1
Six grass species were grown in competition arenas in the field in either Yellowstone Park or in the tallgrass prairie of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma. Following harvest and chemical analyses, three competition indices were calculated based upon a) aboveground space captured, b) belowground resource captured or c) total biomass. Those species which were most tolerant of herbivory as shown by their ability to compensate (total biomass of grazed vs. ungrazed individuals) were shown to be superior root competitors. Those species that were less tolerant tended to utilize shoot competition more. Those arenas which were dominated by root competitors showed a typical herbivory response curve whereas those which were dominated by shoot competitors did not show any herbivore maximization of production.
Keywords: competition, grazing, herbivory
This abstract is being presented at: 2:00 PM in session:
Oral Session #17: Mammalian Herbivory.