The University of Arizona

Plant-plant interactions affecting plant establishment and persistence on revegetated rangeland.

D.A. Pyke, S. Archer

Abstract


Restoration and revegetation of rangeland ecosystems is based on knowledge of abiotic and biotic interactions that affect plant establishment. Once plants become autotrophic, interactions within and between plant species may occur and then interactions may range from antagonistic to mutualistic. This full range of potential interactions needs to be considered to ensure successful revegetation. At the intraspecific level, we propose the development and use of density-yield diagrams for rangeland species. These diagrams would be based on the self-thinning principle, that aboveground biomass is related to plant density and to the dynamic process of density-dependent mortality. The proposed approach would be used to determine optimum seeding rates, and to predict future biomass of revegetated rangeland. At the interspecific level, competitive relationships of species used to reseed rangelands need to be identified to enhance the probability that species will coexist and thereby facilitate greater species diversity on the site. A diversity of species and growth forms may provide a more stable cover and productivity than a monoculture on sites characterized by environmental variability while potentially enhancing nutrient status for the site.

Keywords


ecological competition;plant interaction;land restoration

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