Soil Property Effects on Willamette Daisy (Erigeron decumbens) within William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge Public

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/honors_college_theses/vd66w214c

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  • Plant species diversity plays an important role in maintaining ecosystem function and the services that ecosystems provide. Diversity is threatened by habitat loss, invasive species, and global climate change. Willamette Daisy (Erigeron decumbens), an endangered species, has been reintroduced at two different sites (Field 29 and 8N) within William L. Finely Wildlife refuge, but it grows better at one site (Field 29) than the other (Field 8N). The purpose of the study was to determine if the differences in growth at the two sites could be caused by differences in soil properties, and determine soil conditions conducive for growth. We grew E. decumbens in soil collected from each field in a greenhouse with sterile and unsterilized treatments and performed a soil analysis on samples from each field. Soil sterilization had a significantly negative effect on plant survivorship, suggesting soil biota improves establishment of E. decumbens. Field 29 had significantly higher TN, TC, and pH than Field 8N, which may be contributing to the observed differences. Results from this study suggest that these soil properties could benefit E. decumbens growth in the wild, and information on soil conditions could improve reintroduction site selection and recovery of this endangered species.
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