Papers in the Biological Sciences


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Prairie Naturalist (March 1982) 14(1): 1-5.


Copyright 1982, North Dakota Natural Science Society. Used by permission.


Vegetational sampling of the legumes of Arapaho Prairie, located in the southwest portion of the Sand Hills of Nebraska, was conducted in June 1980. Lathyrus polymorphus, Petalostemon purpureum, Psoralea digitata and Amorpha canescens were the leading dominants. The overall density of legumes was 0.309 plants m-2.

Of eight examined, only Petalostemon villosum and Glycyrrhiza lepidota supported large numbers of nodules. The others including the dominant legumes were unnodulated or had only a few, usually degenerate nodules.

It appears that the legumes are of minor importance in the overall N economy of Arapaho Prairie. Nevertheless since many of the legumes tend to occupy disturbed areas (blowouts and gullies) dinilfogen fixation may be important during early stages of establishment.