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Phenology and Growth of Rocky Mountain Populations of Deschampsia Caespitosa at Three Elevations in Colorado

Pearcy, Robert W., Ward, Richard T.
Ecology 1972 v.53 no.6 pp. 1171-1178
Deschampsia cespitosa, gardens, growing season, phenology, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming
Populations of Deschampsia caepitosa (L.) Beauv., collected from 20 sites in Colorado, northwestern Wyoming and western Montana, were studied for patterns of ecotypic differentiation. Three uniform gardens in northcentral Colorado, at elevations of 1,580, 2,740 and 3,570 meters, were utilized to represent the range of environments for the populations. The populations were consistently different from each other in stature and rates of phenological development at all gardens. The patterns of response could be closely related to elevational gradients and differences in the length of the growing season of the native sites. Populations from high elevation sites with short growing seasons were earliest in development, had shorter periods of growth, and were shorter in height than those from low elevations. Survival of all populations was high in all three gardens after the effects of disease in the lowest garden were accounted for.