Effects of germination timing on competition between Brassica tournefortii and native Mojave Desert species.
Gayvert, Stephanie*,1, Walker, Lawrence1, 1 University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV
ABSTRACT- Differences in germination time, which generally correlate to differences in relative sizes of two competing species, are a highly significant factor in determining which species is going to outcompete the other. The goal of this study is to determine if early germination is partially responsible for the success of the invasive species Brassica tournefortii. It is highly possible that B. tournefortii is not a better competitor for nutrients than native species in the Mojave Desert where it has become quite invasive. There is the likelihood that B. tournefortii merely grows before the other species do so when it is time for the native species to begin to grow, B. tournefortii has already consumed most of the space and available nutrients, leaving nothing for the establishing native plants. Due to the fact that B. tournefortii begins its growing period in early February, which may be earlier than many native annuals, I expect to find that this will be one of the strongest indicators of the success of B. tournefortii. This study examines the effects of germination timing on competition between B. tournefortii and five Mojave Desert species: Baileya multiradiata, Sphaeralcea ambigua, Geraea canescens, Camissonia claviformis, and Lupinus arizonicus.
Key words: Brassica tournefortii, Mojave Desert, Germination timing
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