lecture_notes_9_14_07 - Lecture Notes PRAIRIE an ecosystem...

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Lecture Notes 9-14-07 PRAIRIE: an ecosystem dominated by grasses and having less than 1 mature tree per acre PRAIRIE Dry Sand Prairie Little Bluestem June Grass Dry Limestone Prairie Little Bluestem Prairie Panicum Wet Prairie Prairie Cord Grass Blue Joint Grass Mesic Prairie Big Bluestem Indian Grass
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TALLGRASS PRAIRIE CLIMATE Hot Summers, Cold Winters Low to Moderate Rainfall Frequent Droughts Unpredictable Snow Cover Strong Winds Frequent Fires MAJOR SELECTION PRESSURES FOR PRAIRIE PLANTS During the growing season, plants are exposed to full sun, strong drying winds, heat, low soil moisture Strong herbivore activity (insects and mammals) Fire Drought PRAIRIE STRUCTURE Most plants are herbaceous perennials 2 basic groups of plants: Grasses Forbs: non-grasslike flowering plants Prairies have 3 layers: Roots Ground Layer (including mulch) Above Ground Herbaceous Layer
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Each layer is a complex ecosystem PRAIRIE ROOTS Estimates are that from 1 to 4 times as much biomass below ground as above ground in prairies Two major types of roots Tap Roots Fibrous Roots Mycorrhizal Associations Grass roots often 6 feet deep; forb roots can be deeper
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  • Fall '07
  • HOWELL
  • Prairie, Tallgrass prairie, Bluestem June Grass Dry Limestone Prairie Little Bluestem Prairie Panicum Wet Prairie Prairie Cord Grass Blue Joint Grass Mesic Prairie Big Bluestem Indian Grass, Prairie Prairie Cord, Prairie Little Bluestem

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lecture_notes_9_14_07 - Lecture Notes PRAIRIE an ecosystem...

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