Invasion of Brachypodium sylvaticum in prairie and forest habitats : differences in community structure between uninvaded and invaded systems in Bald Hill Park, Corvallis, Oregon Public

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/honors_college_theses/v692t801j

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  • Brachypodium sylvaticum (Huds.) Beauv. is an invasive grass that can be found in forest and prairie communities throughout the Willamette Valley, Oregon. It can out-compete native species of grasses and forbs and become dominant in a broad range of habitats. This study investigated if there were differences in vegetation structure between communities that were not invaded by B. sylvaticum and communities that were invaded. The study took place in Bald Hill Park, Corvallis, Oregon, and prairie and forest habitats were analyzed separately. Percent cover of B. sylvaticum and eight other vegetation or substrate types were used to assess community structure. Prairie habitats showed considerable differences in vegetation structure, particularly in cover of grasses (other than B. sylvaticum), forbs, and bare ground. Brachypodium sylvaticum can decrease quality of forage for wildlife, or displace endemic species of plants, some of which are endangered. Control of the invasive grass is important for the survival of endangered plant or insect species. At the levels of invasion in this study, forest habitats did not show much change in community structure, which was surprising. The lack of detectable differences may be due to small sample size or insufficient levels of invasion of B. sylvaticum.
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