Plant Species Diversity and Seed Bank Diversity in Pastures of the Northeast United States

Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Metadata:


Identification_Information:
Citation:
Citation_Information:
Originator: Unknown
Publication_Date: Unknown
Title: Plant Species Diversity and Seed Bank Diversity in Pastures of the Northeast United States
Description:
Abstract:
Pasture lands are an important facet of land use in the northeast United States, yet little is known about their diversity. Because little information exists about the ecology of northeast pastures, we designed a vegetation survey to answer some fundamental questions about their species diversity. Our objectives were to document plant richness across a broad spectrum of northeast pastures using an intensive, multi scale sampling method and compare the richness of northeast pasture lands with: 1) grazed grasslands in the western United States and 2) abandoned agricultural lands in the eastern US that had not been grazed. We also wanted to learn whether environmental (soils or climate) or land management variables could help explain patterns of richness. A total of 17 farms, encompassing 37 pastures, were sampled in New York , Pennsylvania, Vermont, Maryland, Massachusetts and Connecticut during July and August 1998. We positively identified a total of 161 different plant species across the study region.Species richness averaged 31.7 ý 1.1 on pastures and was similar to grazed grasslands in the western United States at both 1 m2 and 1000 m2 scales. Infrequent, transient species that were mostly perennial and annual forbs accounted for ~ 90% of the species richness. Most studies from the eastern US report a gradual increase in species diversity through time after crop land is abandoned from agriculture. Our data suggests that if crop land is converted to pasture instead species richness remains similar to that of abandoned agricultural land during the first several years of succession. Environmental variables (soils and climate) and land management histories were generally poor predictors of plant richness at large spatial scales. At the 1000 m2 scale, patterns of species richness are best explained by the species diversity of soil seed banks, or seed rain, and stochastic recruitment of these species into existing vegetation. We also evaluated the species composition of soil seed banks from nine farms (36 pastures total) located in the northeast United States. Our objective was to quantify the soil seed bank composition of pastures managed for intensive grazing and hay production. Seeds from pasture soils were allowed to germinate in a greenhouse under natural light conditions. Seedlings were identified as they germinated, and the experiment was concluded after four months. Germinable seed was dominated by annual and perennial forbs most of which contributed little useful forage for cattle. Perennial grasses, except for bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.), were largely absent from the germinable seed bank, while legumes were more abundant. Seed bank species composition showed little similarity to the existing vegetation. Exceptions were bluegrass, white clover (Trifolium repens L.), and common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale Weber ex Wiggers). These species were abundant in both the germinable seed bank and existing vegetation on most pastures. Overall, our study suggests that seed banks in these northeast pastures support abundant white clover and bluegrass seed, both of which are important forages for cattle. Soil seed banks, however, will not supply a diverse assemblage of useful forages. If a manager seeks to establish diverse, mixed-species pasture, then re-seeding pastures with desired mixes may be the best option.
Purpose:
Not Available
Supplemental_Information:
Not Available
Time_Period_of_Content:
Time_Period_Information:
Range_of_Dates/Times:
Beginning_Date: 19970601
Ending_Date: 19981001
Currentness_Reference:Unknown
Status:
Progress: Complete
Maintenance_and_Update_Frequency: As needed
Spatial_Domain:
Description_of_Geographic_Extent:
Bounding_Coordinates:
West_Bounding_Coordinate: -78.0
East_Bounding_Coordinate: -72.0
North_Bounding_Coordinate: 44.0
South_Bounding_Coordinate: 39.0
Keywords:
Theme:
Theme_Keyword_Thesaurus: GCMD SCIENCE PARAMETERS
Theme_Keyword_Thesaurus: ANCILLARY KEYWORDS
Theme_Keyword_Thesaurus: ISO TOPIC CATEGORY
Theme_Keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > AGRICULTURE > AGRICULTURAL PLANT SCIENCE > CROPPING SYSTEMS
Theme_Keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > AGRICULTURE > ANIMAL SCIENCE > ANIMAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
Theme_Keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > AGRICULTURE > ANIMAL SCIENCE > ANIMAL NUTRITION
Theme_Keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > BIOSPHERE > TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS > AGRICULTURAL LANDS
Theme_Keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > BIOSPHERE > TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS > GRASSLANDS
Theme_Keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > BIOSPHERE > VEGETATION > BIOMASS
Theme_Keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > BIOSPHERE > VEGETATION > DOMINANT SPECIES
Theme_Keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > BIOSPHERE > ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS > COMMUNITY DYNAMICS > GRAZING DYNAMICS / PLANT ECOLOGY
Theme_Keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > BIOSPHERE > ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS > ECOSYSTEM FUNCTIONS > BIOMASS DYNAMICS
Theme_Keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > BIOSPHERE > ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS > ECOSYSTEM FUNCTIONS > PRIMARY PRODUCTION
Theme_Keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > BIOSPHERE > ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS > COMMUNITY DYNAMICS > COMMUNITY STRUCTURE
Theme_Keyword: Bluegrass
Theme_Keyword: Cattle
Theme_Keyword: Common Dandelion
Theme_Keyword: Forage
Theme_Keyword: Forbs
Theme_Keyword: Grazing
Theme_Keyword: Hay
Theme_Keyword: Legumes
Theme_Keyword: Pasture
Theme_Keyword: Plant Species Composition
Theme_Keyword: Poa Pratensis L.
Theme_Keyword: Seed Bank Species Composition
Theme_Keyword: Species Richness
Theme_Keyword: Taraxacum Officinale Weber Ex Wiggers
Theme_Keyword: Trifolium Repens L.
Theme_Keyword: White Clover
Theme_Keyword: FARMING
Theme_Keyword: BIOTA
Theme_Keyword: ECONOMY
Place:
Place_Keyword_Thesaurus: GCMD
Place_Keyword: CONTINENT > NORTH AMERICA > UNITED STATES OF AMERICA > CONNECTICUT
Place_Keyword: CONTINENT > NORTH AMERICA > UNITED STATES OF AMERICA > MARYLAND
Place_Keyword: CONTINENT > NORTH AMERICA > UNITED STATES OF AMERICA > MASSACHUSETTS
Place_Keyword: CONTINENT > NORTH AMERICA > UNITED STATES OF AMERICA > NEW YORK
Place_Keyword: CONTINENT > NORTH AMERICA > UNITED STATES OF AMERICA > PENNSYLVANIA
Place_Keyword: CONTINENT > NORTH AMERICA > UNITED STATES OF AMERICA > VERMONT
Access_Constraints: Not Available
Use_Constraints:
Not Available
Point_of_Contact:
Contact_Information:
Contact_Person_Primary:
Contact_Person: MATT A. SANDERSON
Contact_Person_Primary:
Contact_Person: BENJAMIN F. TRACY
Contact_Position: INVESTIGATOR
Contact_Position: DIF AUTHOR
Contact_Position: INVESTIGATOR
Contact_Address:
Address_Type: Mailing and Physical Address
Address: Pasture Systems and Watershed Research Lab.
Address: USDA-ARS
Address: Building 3702, Curtin Rd.
City: University Park
State_or_Province: PA
Postal_Code: 16802
Country: USA
Contact_Address:
Address_Type: Mailing and Physical Address
Address: Pasture Systems and Watershed Research Lab.
Address: USDA-ARS
Address: Building 3702, Curtin Rd.
City: University Park
State_or_Province: PA
Postal_Code: 16802
Country: USA
Contact_Voice_Telephone: 814.865.1067
Contact_Voice_Telephone: 814.863.5991
Contact_Facsimile_Telephone: 814.863.0935
Contact_Facsimile_Telephone: 814.863.0935
Contact_Electronic_Mail_Address: mas44@psu.edu
Contact_Electronic_Mail_Address: bft2@psu.edu
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Data_Quality_Information:
Attribute_Accuracy:
Attribute_Accuracy_Report:
Not Available
Logical_Consistency_Report:
Not Available
Completeness_Report:
Not Available
Lineage:
Process_Step:
Process_Description:
Not Available
Process_Date: Unknown
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Spatial_Reference_Information:
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Distribution_Information:
Distributor:
Contact_Information:
Contact_Organization_Primary:
Contact_Organization: USDA/ARS/PSWMRL > Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture
Contact_Person: BENJAMIN MATT F. A. TRACY SANDERSON
Contact_Position: DATA CENTER CONTACT
Contact_Address:
Address_Type: Mailing and Physical Address
Address: Pasture Systems and Watershed Research Lab.
Address: USDA-ARS
Address: Building 3702, Curtin Rd.
City: University Park
State_or_Province: PA
Postal_Code: 16802
Country: USA
Contact_Address:
Address_Type: Mailing and Physical Address
Address: Pasture Systems and Watershed Research Lab.
Address: USDA-ARS
Address: Building 3702, Curtin Rd.
City: University Park
State_or_Province: PA
Postal_Code: 16802
Country: USA
Contact_Voice_Telephone: 814.863.5991
Contact_Voice_Telephone: 814.865.1067
Contact_Facsimile_Telephone: 814.863.0935
Contact_Facsimile_Telephone: 814.863.0935
Contact_Electronic_Mail_Address: bft2@psu.edu
Contact_Electronic_Mail_Address: mas44@psu.edu
Resource_Description: USDA.ARS.PSWMRL.NEPlant
Distribution_Liability:
Not Available
Standard_Order_Process:
Digital_Form:
Digital_Transfer_Information:
Format_Name: Not Available
Digital_Transfer_Option:
Online_Option:
Computer_Contact_Information:
Network_Address:
Network_Resource_Name:
http://pswmru.arsup.psu.edu/
Access_Instructions:
DATA CENTER URL
Digital_Transfer_Option:
Fees: Not Available
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Metadata_Reference_Information:
Metadata_Date: 19991213
Metadata_Review_Date: 20060213
Metadata_Contact:
Contact_Information:
Contact_Person_Primary:
Contact_Person: BENJAMIN F. TRACY
Contact_Position: DIF AUTHOR
Contact_Position: INVESTIGATOR
Contact_Address:
Address_Type: Mailing and Physical Address
Address: Pasture Systems and Watershed Research Lab.
Address: USDA-ARS
Address: Building 3702, Curtin Rd.
City: University Park
State_or_Province: PA
Postal_Code: 16802
Country: USA
Contact_Voice_Telephone: 814.863.5991
Contact_Facsimile_Telephone: 814.863.0935
Contact_Electronic_Mail_Address: bft2@psu.edu
Metadata_Standard_Name: FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata
Metadata_Standard_Version: FGDC-STD-001-1998
Metadata_Time_Convention: local time
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