My proposed research assesses the effects of global changes, such as a chronic disturbance (gradient of precipitation) jointly with acute disturbance (clipping) on a temperate prairie plant community. Our experiment, is a collaborative effort amongst three laboratories at OU: (1) Dr. Lara Souza (focusing on plant traits and community composition), Dr. Yiqi Luo (focusing on ecosystem processes) and Dr. Jizhong Zhou (focusing on microbial composition), but also part of a global drought network (DroughNet: http://www.drought-net.org/) investigating the sensitivity of grasslands worldwide to drought.
Pairwise species comparison
Considering plant communities are often structured by interactions among species, such as competition or facilitation, we aim to test pairwise comparisons to predict species abundances by using the most common species in the temperate prairie plant community of DroughtNet experimental plots. The species being tested are: Ambrosia psilostachya, Sporobolus compositus, Sorghastrum nutans, Erigeron strigosus, Bothriochloa ischaemum, Symphyotrichum ericoides, Calylophus serrulatus, Dichanthelium oligosanthes, Lespedeza cuneata and Schizachyrium scoparium.