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Abstract Detail

Physiology & Ecophysiology

Cowan, Michael [1], Ahedor, Adjoa [2].

Invasive species in the Oklahoma rangelands: A comparative study on transpiration rates of the Eastern redcedar (juniperus virginiana) and adjacent deciduous trees.

The eastern redcedar (juniperus virginiana) has been growing at an estimated rate of 300,000 acres per year in Oklahoma rangelands and prairies. This rapid increase in numbers is causing negative effects in both human and wildlife population. It is estimated that one acre of these trees can absorb up to 55,000 gallons (ca. 208 kl) of water a year effectively starving grassland areas, native forestry, and human water sources that depend on groundwater accumulation. Their impressive ability to adapt to Oklahoma’s extreme summers and winters include the presence of scale-like leaves, thick cuticle and shallow roots. Wind pollination and seed dispersal by birds increases their reproduction rate. These adaptive mechanisms along with fire suppression has contributed to their encroachment and establishment in many rangelands. Deciduous trees in close proximity have a difficult time competing with redcedar due to long periods of dormancy even throughout mild winters and prolong droughts in the summer. These ecological factors sometimes cause some deciduous trees to die thus increasing fire hazards in native forests and grasslands. In this study transpiration rates in Eastern Redcedars and adjacent deciduous trees of central Oklahoma are compared from the winter season into the summer season to determine rates of water uptake in the rangelands. Branch tips of the trees were secured for a 24 hour time frame while temperature, humidity, and wind speed were recorded for said period. The amount of water transpired from each branch tip was trapped, collected and measured. Transpiration rates were used in estimating water absorption rates in the trees. Results show that the overall annual absorption rate of water by the eastern redcedar is greater than that of deciduous trees due to the dormancy period undergone by the deciduous trees. However during the warmest parts of the year the deciduous trees transpiration levels are higher than that of redcedars due to increased growth activity in the former. Redcedars are already costing the state of Oklahoma hundreds of millions of dollars in fire, wildlife, livestock, and water damage. The problems caused by this invasive species will only grow larger over time if not addressed sooner than later.

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1 - Rose State College, 6420 S.E. 15th Street, Mid West City, OK, 73110, USA
2 - Rose State College, Engineering And Science, 6420 S.E. 15th Street, Midwest City, OK, 73110, USA

invasive species

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Physiology & Ecophysiology
Location: Exhibit Hall/Omni Hotel
Date: Monday, June 26th, 2017
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 6:15 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PPE010
Abstract ID:538
Candidate for Awards:Physiological Section Best poster presentation

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