Individual study: Woody encroachment removal from Midwestern oak savannas alters understory diversity across space and time
Brudvig L.A. (2010) Woody encroachment removal from Midwestern oak savannas alters understory diversity across space and time. Restoration Ecology, 18, 74-84
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Thin trees within forests: effects on understory plants
A replicated, controlled study in 2002-2005 in an oak Quercus spp. savanna in Iowa, USA (Brudvig 2010) found that cutting all non-oak trees increased species richness. Species richness/1 m2 (non-oaks cut: 18; uncut: 10) as well as species richness of grasses (non-oaks cut: 3; uncut: 1) and woody plants (non-oaks cut: 8; uncut: 4) were higher in non-oaks cuts than in uncut plots. Diversity (Simpson's index non-oaks cut: 8; uncut: 5) and forb species richness (non-oaks cut: 7; uncut: 4) were similar between treatments. The percentage of native species was higher in uncut plots (non-oaks cut: 94%; uncut: 99%). Data were collected in 2004-2005 in 11-21 plots (1 × 1 m) at each of four non-oaks cut (all non-oak trees >1.5 m tall removed in 2002-2003) and four uncut sites (1.5-3.3 ha).