Foster, B. L. 1992. The role of land use history in structuring an old-field plant community. M.Sc. Thesis, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA..
I examined the role of land use history and soil drainage characteristics in influencing the development of a 27 year old-field plant community in southwest Michigan. A divergence in species composition that occurred within the field between 1964 (year of abandonment from agriculture) and 1991 is reflected in the current plant community as a distinct west to east zonation in the abundance of woody vegetation. A similar zonation among the early successional species dominating the field in 1970 indicates that the divergence may be related to the initial colonizing patterns of the dominant perennial grasses (Agropyron repens, Poa compressa, and Poa pratensis), and their differential impact on patterns of woody plant establishment. It appears that an early successional spatial segregation of Agropyron repens and Poa species was not strongly related to variation in soil texture but rather to the effects of pre-abandonment weed control practices.back to index