Effects of fertiliser addition and subsequent gopher disturbance on a serpentine annual grassland community
- Cite this article as:
- Hobbs, R.J., Gulmon, S.L., Hobbs, V.J. et al. Oecologia (1988) 75: 291. doi:10.1007/BF00378612
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Application of slow release fertiliser to small (0.5x1 m) plots within a serpentine annual grassland community led to significant increases in above-ground biomass and a shift in species relative abundances. In fertilised plots the native forb species which usually dominate the grassland were almost totally replaced by grasses. In the years following initial fertiliser application, a heavy mulch formed from the previous year's grass growth allowed establishment of grass species such as Bromus mollis but significantly reduced forb establishment. Gopher disturbance of fertilised plots in the second and third years of the experiment effectively removed the grass mulch and allowed re-establishment of forb species.