Experimental and Modeling Studies of Competition for Light in Roadside Grasses
Equiproportional mixtures and monocultures of two roadside grass species (Elymus repens (L.) Gould and Puccinellia distans (L.) Pari.) were grown in experimental field plots under non-limiting water and nutrient conditions. During the course of the season, E. repens increasingly overgrew and shaded plants of P. distans which eventually died. A multispecies canopy photosynthesis model was parameterized using measurements of structural and physiological characteristics from three different stages of canopy development. Results of simulations clearly revealed that canopy photosynthesis of P. distans was highly dependent on the degree of light competition caused by E. repens. Since P. distans has recently invaded stands of roadside vegetation throughout Central Europe where it has replaced the native and highly competitive E. repens, it is hypothesized that this success is due to disturbance factors that keep E. repens from growing tall and shading P. distans.
Beyschlag W, Ryel RJ, Ullmann I (1992) Experimental and modeling studies of competition for light in roadside grasses. Botanica Acta 105:285-291.