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Measuring Plant DiversityLessons from the Field$
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Thomas J. Stohlgren

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172331

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172331.001.0001

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Case Study

Case Study

Evaluating the Effects of Grazing and Soil Characteristics on Plant Diversity

(p.191) 11 Case Study
Measuring Plant Diversity

Thomas J. Stohlgren

Oxford University Press

Paired-plot designs are commonly used to compare the effects of fire, grazing, or other disturbances. Plots are placed in treated (or disturbed) and untreated (or control) sites, and measured differences are meant to infer the direct effects of the treatments. As this next case study shows, such simple approaches are never as simple and straightforward as planned, but they do provide insightful information. This chapter is a case study designed to: (1) examine several aspects of plant assemblages at multiple spatial scales in long-term grazed and ungrazed sites in several management areas; (2) determine the relative roles of grazing, soil characteristics, and climate in determining patterns of species richness; and (3) develop broad generalizations about the effects of grazing and cessation of grazing on plant diversity in typical grasslands in the Rocky Mountains.

Keywords:   spatial autocorrelation, exotic species, alien species invasions, paired-plot designs, plant assemblages

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