Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



This study was conducted to determine conditions under which natural tree seedlings establish adjacent to a young reservoir in a grassland biorne. Twenty-seven belt transects extending from typical prairie through the terrestrial succession zone to the shoreline were mapped along Big Bend Reservoir (Lake Sharpe) in central South Dakota. Twenty-five of the transects were located to include natural tree seedlings. The transects were grouped according to parent material, as determined from State Geological maps. Results indicated that natural tree seedlings occurring on glacial outwash or loess are farther from the reservoir both horizontally and vertically (elevation) than those occurring on terrace alluvium or shale. The greater permeability of glacial outwash and loess was probably a large factor contributing to an environment favorable to tree growth farther from the reservoir than on the less permeable terrace alluvium or the relatively impermeable Pierre shale. Plant species showing high frequencies of association with tree seedlings were cocklebur (Xanthiurn italicum Moretti.), barnyardgrass (Echinochloa crusgalli (L.) Beauv.) and dock (Rumex sp. L.).

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Afforestation -- Missouri River Valley
Reservoirs -- Missouri River Valley -- Shorelines
Missouri River Valley



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University