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The effects of nutrient availability on Schedonorus pratensis infected with Epichloë uncinata in an old field community

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Title: The effects of nutrient availability on Schedonorus pratensis infected with Epichloë uncinata in an old field community
Author: Roloson, Jenn
Department: Department of Integrative Biology
Program: Integrative Biology
Advisor: Newman, Jonathan
Abstract: Early field studies working with tall fescue have demonstrated that endophyte infected tall fescue can reduce species richness and become dominant in natural communities, however some studies have observed that endophyte infected grasses under nutrient limited conditions are not successful at invading natural communities and endophyte advantages are not always prominent. My research is aimed at answering two questions: (a) how does the plant community alter when exposed to Schedonorus pratensis over time (b) how does nutrient availability affect the symbiosis between S. pratensis and E. uncinata. Plant communities were sampled in unmanaged plots, the plots were either E+ S. pratensis plots, E- S. pratensis plots or unseeded control plots.. My research suggests that S. pratensis abundance is decreasing with time. Species abundances and measures of community richness, Simpson’s diversity and evenness fluctuated with year Fertilizer did not have a significant effect on endophyte concentration. Due to the experimental site being nutrient poor when S. pratensis plots were established it may be that S. pratensis cannot overcome years of exposure to nutrient low conditions or it is possible that meadow fescue and its fungal endophyte are not behaving mutualistically together.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/16157
Date: 2019-05
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International