Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. Thomas Bragg
Plant species composition was evaluated along a slope gradient in two native tallgrass prairies of eastern Nebraska. Forb cover differed significantly (P<0.05) along the topographic gradient at both sites, however, grass covered differed only at one site (P<0.05). A site-by-site comparison by topographic location indicates significant differences between lower slopes for grass and between upper slopes for forbs. Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii Vitman) dominated all topographic locations at both sites (average cover = 64%) with no significant differences in the topographic distribution. Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.), little bluestem (Andropogon scoparius Michx.), false boneset Kuhnia eupatorioides L.) prairie wild rose (Rosa arkansana Porter), prairie violet (Viola pedatifida G. Don), and sedge (Carex L. spp.) also show the no significant topographic preference at either site. Mid-slope locations contained the greatest number of species that differed significantly along the topographic gradient. Leadplant (Amorpha canescens Pursh) and indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans (L.) Nash) were the two most common species showing high canopy cover values in mid-slope locations at both sites. Significant topographic distributions were also noted for scoring rush (Equisetum lawvigatum A. Br.) at both sites and for finger coreopsis (Coreopsis palmata Nutt.) found only at one site. Flowering spurge (Euphobia corollate L.) and sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula (Michx.) Torr.) were significantly higher on the hilltop locations of one site.
Abbadi, Ghanim A. S., "Plant Species Distribution Along Topographic Gradients in Tallgrass Prairies of Eastern Nebraska." (1993). Student Work. 3322.