Event Title

The Importance of Water Availability for Plant Community Structure in Restored Prairies

Presenter Information

Laura Messman, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center, A154

Start Date

4-24-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

4-24-2015 5:30 PM

Abstract

Current climate change models predict a decrease in water availability in the central U.S. To understand the effect of water availability on plant species richness, I measured the moisture content and the total water holding capacity of the soil in six Minnesota restored prairies. I found that older fields can hold less water, but found no relationship between species richness and soil moisture or soil water holding capacity. Therefore, water availability may not be a major factor influencing species richness of prairies, suggesting positive outcomes for prairies in future drought scenarios.

Notes

Session 3, Panel 15 - Biology Honors
Moderator: Marta Laskowski, Professor of Biology

Major

Biology; Environmental Studies

Advisor(s)

John Petersen, Environmental Studies
Keith Tarvin, Biology

Project Mentor(s)

Keith Tarvin, Biology

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Apr 24th, 4:00 PM Apr 24th, 5:30 PM

The Importance of Water Availability for Plant Community Structure in Restored Prairies

Science Center, A154

Current climate change models predict a decrease in water availability in the central U.S. To understand the effect of water availability on plant species richness, I measured the moisture content and the total water holding capacity of the soil in six Minnesota restored prairies. I found that older fields can hold less water, but found no relationship between species richness and soil moisture or soil water holding capacity. Therefore, water availability may not be a major factor influencing species richness of prairies, suggesting positive outcomes for prairies in future drought scenarios.