Plant distributions on a Saskatchewan prairie in relation to edaphic and physiographic factors
Baines, Graham B. K.
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Kernen's prairie, a 320 acre tract of grassland named for its owner is considered to be representative of' the vegetation which developed on the fine-textured lacustrine deposits of glacial Lake Saskatoon. The soils which developed under this grassland are of great agricultural potential, being fertile, with little stoniness and of only slightly undulating topography. Kernen's prairie is unique among lake-bottom prairies of central Saskatchewan in that it has been spared cultivation or heavy grazing by domestic animals. It is desirable that this vegetation be studied while still in a relatively undisturbed condition. The objective of the present study is to characterize and interpret the species behaviour patterns, in relation to selected environmental gradients, of the more important elements of the vascular flora of Kernen's prairie. A useful approach to such a study implies the use of quantitative techniques for the measurement of vegetation and environment. Correlations between species or interactions of the species and their environment may then be sought to establish, if not the causal, at least the functional relations which operate within the vegetation community (Major 1961). It is hoped that this study, by fulfilling the above objective, will provide a basis for subsequent synecological or antecological investigations of this vegetation. A reconaissance survey of the grasslands of east-central Saskatchewant was conducted during the summer of 1962. The present investigation developed from this survey and the field work was carried out during the period May to September, 1963.