Watrud, Lidia , Bollman, Michael , Lee, E. Henry , King, George .
Sudangrass reproductive biomass responses under climate change scenarios in oak savannah and mesic prairie mesocosm communities.
Potential climate change effects include shifts in the distribution of plant species and changes in reproductive output. We tested the hypothesis that environmental stressors such as elevated temperature and drought that are associated with climate change would increase the reproductive output of feral biofuel crop species that became established within native plant communities. Sunlit mesocosms were planted with five herbaceous native plant species found in either oak savannah or wet prairie communities in the Willamette Valley in western Oregon. A subset of the mesocosms had sudangrass (Sorghum bicolor [Piper]) which has been proposed as a biofuel species, planted at the same density as the native species. Three climate change scenarios were imposed on the two types of plant communities, drought (20% lower soil moisture levels), elevated temperature (+ 2o C) in the summer months, and a combination of elevated temperature and drought and tested relative to the control scenario for temperature and water. Soil moisture levels in the control mesocosms for each plant community followed seasonal patterns as measured in nearby local native oak savannah and mesic prairie communities respectively. In the oak savannah mesocosms each of the three climate change conditions resulted, as hypothesized, in an increased proportion of sudangrass reproductive biomass relative to total aboveground biomass (P = 0.06). Interestingly, a corresponding shift of sudangrass reproductive:total biomass was not observed in the wet prairie mesocosms.
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1 - US Environmental Protection Agency, 200 SW 35th Street, Corvallis, OR, 97333
2 - Dynamac Corporation, 200 SW 35th Street, Corvallis, OR, 97333
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Location: Khorassan Ballroom/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 5:30 PM