Essay on Abstract 4

Submitted By Heather-Walters
Words: 335
Pages: 2

Heather Walters
Abstract #4
The effects of fertilization and herbivory on the herbaceous vegetation of the boreal forest in north-western Canada: a 10-year study

Plants that grow underneath the canopy of the boreal forest have to struggle with stressful conditions like low levels of light, long periods of cold temperatures, a cool growing season with cool soils, low fertility, and low moisture. Also about every ten years throughout the boreal forests of North America plants are subjected to high levels of snowshoe hare grazing as the population densities reach their peak. Is vegetation controlled by the herbivores or nutrients or is it controlled by both? They used fertilizer in the presence and absence of herbivore exclusion treatments. The experiment was replicated at two different sites of moderately open forest with a well-developed amount of ground plants. At each area the plots were randomly divided into four treatments: control, fence only, fertilizer only, and fence with fertilizer. Most species except the more rare species of plants showed responses to fertilizer after ten years. Four species increased relative to the control and three of them had declined. The overall changes in the total percentage was limited even though the change in percentage cover for some species was very noticeable. Most species would eventually respond to fertilization, but some didn’t always show until after several years of treatment. During the first five years there was a…