Publication Details

Reference Category Journals
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Title (Primary) Experimental grazing and grass-specific herbicide application benefit rare forb recruitment
Author Vitt, P.; Knight, T.M.; Schutzenhofer, M.; Kleiman, W.; Havens, K.; Bittner, T.;
Journal Natural Areas Journal
Year 2017
Department BZF; iDiv;
Volume 37
Issue 2
Language englisch;
POF III (all) T11;
Keywords grazing; legumes; rare plant demography; recruitment
UFZ wide themes RU1;
Abstract Native ungulate grazers affect plant richness, with many studies examining grazer effects on community composition and structure. However, the effect of grazing on the demography of rare plant species is less well understood. Grazers are expected to benefit many plant species by suppressing the competitive dominant grasses and by scarifying and dispersing rare plant seeds. A goal in conservation biology is to quantify the most important threats to rare plant species and to determine how different types of management can improve their demographic outlook. Here, we provide results from two experimental studies that examine (1) the effect of ungulate grazer presence, and (2) the effect of a grass-specific herbicide treatment on the recruitment of a focal rare plant species. Our study demonstrates that both treatments effectively reduce the percent cover or height of the dominant grass species and increase the recruitment of the rare legume, Lespedeza leptostachya. If our results are generalizable to other grassland ecosystems and rare forb species, it suggests that reintroducing grazers may be critical to the management of rare plants in these ecosystems. However, in small remnant habitats where ungulate reintroductions are not possible, conservation efforts can more directly target the reduction of grass competitors using alternative methods.
ID 18662
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Vitt, P., Knight, T.M., Schutzenhofer, M., Kleiman, W., Havens, K., Bittner, T. (2017):
Experimental grazing and grass-specific herbicide application benefit rare forb recruitment
Nat. Areas J. 37 (2), 161 - 169