Competitive Effects of Various Grasses and Forbs on Ponderosa Pine Seedlings
Competition between ponderosa pine seedlings and various grasses and forbs was studied on :I site in northern Arizona burned in 1982 by a wildfire. Two-year-old pine seedlings were planted in 3.05 x 3.05 m plots in April 1983, followed by the sowing of grass and forb seeds on the same plots in July 1983 after summer rains had begun. Predawn xylem water potential of the pine seedlings was measured biweekly throughout the 1983 and 1984 growing seasons. Extractable soil nitrogen was measured at the beginning and end of both growing seasons. After the wildfire, nitrate and ammonium levels were significantly higher in the burned area than in an adjacent unburned area. Nitrate and ammonium concentrations in various grass treatment plots were significantly (P<0.05) different at both the beginning and end of the growing season. Pine seedling xylem water potential differed among treatments, with potentials being lowest on plots sown with Agropyron desertorum. The differences in seedling xylem water potential and available soil nitrogen were reflected in differences in pine seedling growth. The most effective competitors were Agropyron desertorum and Dactylis glomerata. Results indicated that competition occurred for both moisture and available nitrogen.