2019 Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)

Presentation Type

Open Access Poster Presentation

Keywords

Soil moisture potential--Iowa--Cedar Falls Region; Forbs--Iowa--Cedar Falls Region;

Abstract

The loss of tallgrass prairie habitat has negatively impacted North American pollinator communities. To combat this loss, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) created Conservation Practice (CP) 42 to establish new pollinator habitat on the landscape. A two-year vegetation survey of CP42 sites in Iowa revealed high variability in overall quality (e.g., the ratio of sown forb-to-weed stems ranged from 9:1 to 1:9 across sites ). To examine potential causes of this variability, we assessed whether soil water storage capacity and corn suitability rating influence species-specific forb establishment in 35 surveyed CP42 fields. We estimated forb establishment for the seven most commonly sown species across sites as the number of plants per acre divided by the number of sown pure live seeds per acre. The water storage capacity and corn suitability rating (CSR2) of each site was obtained from the Iowa Soil Survey. We hypothesized that sites with higher soil water storage capacities and corn suitability ratings would have higher forb establishment. Corn suitability rating did not influence establishment in any of the seven sown forb species. Soil water storage capacity only influenced establishment in one species: sites with lower water storage capacity had higher Rudbeckia hirta establishment. Overall, our results suggest that soil moisture and overall soil quality metrics have little predictive power for the outcome of CP42 plantings.

Start Date

2-8-2019 11:30 AM

End Date

2-8-2019 1:30 PM

Event Host

Summer Undergraduate Research Program, University of Northern Iowa

Faculty Advisor

Mark Sherrard

Department

Department of Biology

File Format

application/pdf

Included in

Biology Commons

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Aug 2nd, 11:30 AM Aug 2nd, 1:30 PM

The Impact of Soil Water Storage Capacity on Species-specific Forb Establishment in CP42 Fields

The loss of tallgrass prairie habitat has negatively impacted North American pollinator communities. To combat this loss, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) created Conservation Practice (CP) 42 to establish new pollinator habitat on the landscape. A two-year vegetation survey of CP42 sites in Iowa revealed high variability in overall quality (e.g., the ratio of sown forb-to-weed stems ranged from 9:1 to 1:9 across sites ). To examine potential causes of this variability, we assessed whether soil water storage capacity and corn suitability rating influence species-specific forb establishment in 35 surveyed CP42 fields. We estimated forb establishment for the seven most commonly sown species across sites as the number of plants per acre divided by the number of sown pure live seeds per acre. The water storage capacity and corn suitability rating (CSR2) of each site was obtained from the Iowa Soil Survey. We hypothesized that sites with higher soil water storage capacities and corn suitability ratings would have higher forb establishment. Corn suitability rating did not influence establishment in any of the seven sown forb species. Soil water storage capacity only influenced establishment in one species: sites with lower water storage capacity had higher Rudbeckia hirta establishment. Overall, our results suggest that soil moisture and overall soil quality metrics have little predictive power for the outcome of CP42 plantings.