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Jessica Bryant

2009 Research

Abstract: Exotic and Native Plant Distribution on the Mima Mounds of Eastern Washington

Jessica Bryant and Brandy Reynecke

Mentor: Rebecca Brown, Ph.D., EWU Biology

Few natural Mima mound prairies, characterized by mounds of deep topsoil contrasting with shallow surrounding soil, remain globally. Most prairies have been transformed by agriculture or prevalent invasive species. The goal of this study is to preserve and restore native plant communities on Mima mounds in Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge. Thus far, I have analyzed relationships between native and exotic plant species distribution and geologic substrate, grazing history, and aspect. I found that the effect of grazing on exotic species distribution varied depending on geologic substrate. Surprisingly, recent grazing reduced exotic species richness and cover on mounds underlain by basalt substrate, but did not affect exotics on mounds underlain by alluvial gravels. Native species richness was not related to grazing history, but was found to be greater on mounds underlain by alluvium. Additionally, exotic species richness and cover was greatest at the top of Mima mounds compared to the sides; the opposite was true for native species. These findings will help establish techniques for reducing exotic species on Mima mounds.

Presentations

13th Annual EWU Student Research and Creative Works Symposium, May 19, 2010

2010 JOINT REGIONAL CONFERENCE : Society for Ecological Restoration February 16-18, 2010

Washington Native Plant Socitey NE Chapter, November 24, 2010

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