Introduction False brome is grass species that has been known to have a high invasive potential in the Corvallis-Albany area of Benton County in Oregon(Miller 2015). However, infestations have occurred in many other locations in Oregon, making the plant naturalized. In this experiment, we are taking appropriate measurements to determine what habitat, the Edge habitat or the Riparian habitat, obtains the most false brome and what environmental factors leads to the conclusion. It is important to understand what causes a higher abundance of the false brome invasive species, so that accurate steps can be taken to reduce the infestation.
It must be known what makes the false brome thrive so scientists can develop a method to take that away. The ultimate question of this experiment is how does water and the abundance of other shrubs and herbs correlate to the growth/abundance of false brome, and based on that information, which habitat contains a higher abundance of the species? False brome will grow more in the Riparian habitat than the Edge habitat because the species has more access to water and other herb and shrub species.
Methods The methods we conducted in this experiment was taking measurements at certain distances in each habitat of percentages and numbers of species of shrubs and false brome.
All of our measurements were obtained from the non-pull segments in varying transect numbers from 0 to 25. Results Our results indicated that there is a significant difference between the Riparian habitat and Edge habitat in regards to the abundance of false brome.
The average amount of false brome was higher as well as the amount of shrubs and herbs in the environment. Fig. 1. Shows the comparison of the Riparian Zone to the Edge Zone in terms of False Brome abundance. Due to the error bars overlapping, it is shown that there is a significant difference in the data between the two zones, thus supporting the hypothesis. Discussion The results we produced indicated a significant difference of the abundance of false brome between the two habitats. This could be due to the characteristics of the zones, such as the body of moving water that could contribute to the nourishment of the invasive species. Water use by plants are generally energy-dependent process, it provides nourishment to them and causes most species to thrive(Russell 1959). Our results could also suggest that the higher amount of shrub and herb coverage in the Riparian zone could contribute nutrients to the species and therefore increase the amount.
The error bars overlapping indicates a significant difference between the two zones and therefore supports our hypothesis that due to the higher percentage of shrub and herb coverage and amount of water surrounding the Riparian zone, it would produce a higher abundance in the invasive species of false brome. Some ways we could have improved our results is by including more data of the Edge zone, a large majority of our results contained more data from the Riparian zone. Perhaps if we obtained more data from the Edge zone, the results may have evened out. We could have also used measurements of light in correlation to the abundance of False Brome because by doing so, we could have gone more in depth to what previous studies have come up with. There is already known correlation of abundance of the species with the environmental factor of light(Fuzy et al. 2013). Management Implications There are various amounts of invasive plant species that are currently on the McDonald-Dunn Forest. A cost-effective way to help eliminate a sufficient amount of false brome in the area or any area containing the invasive species is by using an herbicide once every 2-3 years. This method is much cheaper than most removal methods, and is effective if completed effectively. To apply this method, it would cost 90 dollars per acre. References Fuzy, A., Bothe, H., Molnar, E., and Biro, B. 2013. Mycorrhizal symbiosis effects on growth of chalk false-brome(Brachypodium pinnatum) are dependent on the environmental light regime. Journal of Plant Physiology 5: 1-6. Miller, G. 2015. Noxious Weed Pest Risk Assessment for False Brome. Oregon Department of Agriculture.