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Abstract Detail



Ecological Section

Pyle, Lysandra Ann [1], Bork, Edward [2], Hall, Linda [3].

Linking seed bank composition and plant community change to pipeline disturbance in mixed-grass prairie.

Disturbances such as pipelines, roads, and well sites can function as corridors for seed dispersal and provide an opportunity for invasive species to establish. Over-time introduced or ruderal species may saturate the seed bank near the disturbance and eventually begin to establish, creeping outward into adjacent native grassland. We hypothesize, establishment of invasive plants and saturation of the seed bank will be a function of distance from disturbance and time since establishment; where distance from disturbance increases over time for both plant establishment and seed bank saturation. Invasive species of potential concern in the mixedgrass prairie include cool-season grasses (Agropyron cristatum, Poa pratensis), noxious weeds (e.g. Sonchus arvensis) and escaped agronomics (Melilotus spp.). All these species can be highly competitive and alter their microenvironment, thereby facilitating further invasion and displacement of native plant species. The University of Alberta Mattheis Research Ranch in SE Alberta has numerous energy developments, including more than 150 well sites connected by pipelines which were used in our seed bank survey. 18 Pipelines were visually identified and sampled along transects oriented perpendicular to the pipeline at 15 distances. Sampling resolution was high adjacent to the pipeline and decreased over distance out to 55m. At each distance, 16 Soil cores (3.25 cm wide x 6 cm deep) were removed and bulked, then placed in a greenhouse where seedlings were identified and counted. In addition, cover of above-ground vegetation was assessed at every third transect. By comparing seed bank and vegetation composition we will identify the extent of disturbance in the seed bank relative to the currently expressed plant community. Records of pipeline installation and reclamation may also identify practices that promote the presence of invasive species.


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1 - University of Alberta, Agricultural Food and Nutritional Science, 136 Agriculture Forestry Centre, Edmonton, AB, Canada
2 - University of Alberta, Agricultural Food and Nutritional Science, 4-10E Agriculture Forestry Centre, Edmonton, AB, Canada
3 - University of Alberta, Agricultural Food and Nutritional Science, 4-16C Agriculture Forestry Centre, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Keywords:
ecology
Seedbank
disturbance
Prairie
Grassland
Pipeline
invasive species.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 52
Location: Salon 6/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Time: 4:45 PM
Number: 52012
Abstract ID:853
Candidate for Awards:None


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