New Serrated Tussock research added to website
The VSTWP were recently contacted by the University Student from Argentina, Andrés García, who have been researching Serrated Tussock in its homeland of Argentina. Andres has had his work published in the Austral Ecoology,Volume45, Issue1 February 2020. The research paper covers the topic of competition intensity and its impact on recruitment of seedlings. It is a great read and highlights the importance of competition from desirable grasses on the seedling germination of Serrated Tussock.
Competition is often the key to success!
Andres provides an overview of the research paper below, including a link to download the entire paper. Thank you, Andres!
In this study, we made an attempt to reveal how competition intensity from established plants impacts on palatable and unpalatable grass seedlings recruitment, in a natural mesic grassland of central Argentina. Our objective was to assess the seedling recruitment of a palatable species (Chascolytrum subaristatum ) and an unpalatable species (Nassella trichotoma ) in microsites differing in competition intensity from established plants.
Identity (C. subaristatum and N. trichotoma ) and defoliation severity were used as surrogate for competition intensity. In March 2017, we permanently marked established individuals of N. trichotoma and C. subaristatum and placed two circular plots adjacent to each individual. In one plot we added seeds of N. trichotoma and in the other seeds of C. subaristatum . After seeding, established plants were randomly assigned to one of three level of defoliation: without defoliation, low defoliation severity and high defoliation severity. From April to November 2017 (i.e. over a complete annual growing cycle), we measured seedling density, recruitment and growth. Our results supported the hypothesis that seedlings of palatable grasses are more competitive than seedlings of unpalatable grasses.
Seedling of the palatable grass C. subaristatum recruited successfully regardless the intensity of competition from established plants, whereas seedlings of the unpalatable grass N. trichotoma recruited better under low competitive pressure from established plants. Our results suggest that the availability of microsites with low competitive pressure from the established vegetation, created by selective grazing of palatable grasses, promotes the recruitment of unpalatable grass seedlings. This mechanism may contribute to the species replacement process commonly observed in heavy grazed grasslands.
You can read the full research paper by clicking here