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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Maruszak, Jason [1], Coons, Janice [1].

Effects of Buffelgrass Smoke Solutions on Germination of Buffelgrass and Native Species of the Sonoran Desert.

Although wildfires play a critical role for developing and sustaining biodiversity in many types of plant communities, not all are adapted to such extreme events. Buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare) is an invasive species introduced for grazing purposes across arid regions of the United States. Besides the direct competition for space and nutrients with native species, established buffelgrass increases the risk of wildfire and the overall load of a fire. We examined how buffelgrass smoke solutions affected germination of three species native to the Sonoran Desert (Baileya multiradiata, Ferocactus wislizeni, and Eschscholzia californica ssp. mexicana) compared to buffelgrass. A smoke solution was created from 100 g of dried buffelgrass that was burned in a bee smoker and then passed through a hose where the smoke was captured in 300 ml of water. This concentrate then was diluted to concentrations of 1:100, 1:10, and 1:5 (ml concentrate / ml water). Absorption data were recorded in the visible light spectrum with a spectrophotometer on each smoke solution. Seeds were placed in petri dishes containing 5 ml of the appropriate solution. Petri dishes were kept in a germination chamber at a constant 25° C with 16 hours of light (24 µmol m-2 s-1). Evidence of germination in seeds was recorded every other day for twenty days. Germination means were compared using a one-way analysis of variance followed by a Duncan's Multiple Range test, using arcsine transformed germination percentages. Buffelgrass smoke solutions significantly decreased seed germination in Baileya multiradiata at the concentration of 1:5, and in Eschscholzia californica ssp. mexicana at all concentrations. Neither buffelgrass nor Ferocactus wislizeni germination were affected by the smoke solutions. In conclusion, some plant species from the Sonoran Desert may be hindered not only from buffelgrass competition and direct fire damage, but also from effects of smoke on their seed germination. Re-establishment of communities may suffer because of the chemical compounds present in the soil from buffelgrass smoke.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Eastern Illinois University, Biological Sciences, 600 Lincoln Ave, Charleston, IL, 61920, USA

seed germination
Sonoran Desert

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Grand Salon A - D/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 5:45 PM
Number: PEC012
Abstract ID:341
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Undergraduate Presentation Award

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