• Nitrogen Fertilization of Northern Great Plains Rangelands

      Rogler, G. A.; Lorenz, R. J. (Society for Range Management, 1957-07-01)
    • Seasonal dynamics of prairie sandreed rhizome development

      Reece, P. E.; Nixon, J. S.; Moser, L. E.; Waller, S. S. (Society for Range Management, 2002-03-01)
      Multiple generations of rhizome-connected tillers stabilize soils and produce measurable amounts of herbage on sandy rangeland throughout the world. However, little is known about the dynamics of rhizome development in these clonal plant species. Seasonal relationships between foliar characteristics and rhizomes of prairie sandreed [Calamovilfa longifolia (Hook) Scribn.] were examined on sands range sites at 30-day intervals from May through September 1989 and 1990 at the University of Nebraska, Panhandle Experimental Range near Scottsbluff. Quadrats were excavated each year from two, 5 x 5 Latin Square macroplots in each of 2 grazing histories, long-term rest or current-year deferment. Under dry conditions in 1989, a 65% reduction in the length of new rhizomes during July preceded a 64% reduction in live tillers in August. After which, rhizome length and live tiller density were unchanged and mean tiller weight increased during September. When average precipitation occurred in 1990, a 25% reduction in live tillers and concurrent increases in new rhizome length and mean tiller weight occurred during July. Rhizome bud densities increased throughout the growing season at different but predictable rates (R2 greater than or equal to 0.95) for grazing histories, regardless of precipitation. Length of new rhizomes was highly correlated (R2 = 0.91) with live herbage throughout the growing season. Measurable increases in total rhizome length did not occur until live herbage of prairie sandreed exceeded a threshold of about 50 g m(-2). Maximum increase in length of new rhizomes per unit of live herbage was about 10 cm g(-1) near 100 g m(-2). Given its dependence on vegetative reproduction and relatively high palatability to beef cattle, periodic or repeated years of full growing season deferment may be the only reliable method of obtaining measurable increases in prairie sandreed populations.
    • Tiller recruitment patterns and biennial tiller production in prairie sandreed

      Hendrickson, J. R.; Moser, L. E.; Reece, P. E. (Society for Range Management, 2000-09-01)
      Tiller recruitment is an essential process for ensuring the perenniality of grasses. The timing and extent of tiller recruitment and the role of biennial tillers must be documented for key range species. Prairie sandreed [Calamovilfa longifolia (Hook) Scribn.] is an important grass in the Nebraska Sandhills for both ecological functioning and as a forage. The objective of this study was to document tiller recruitment patterns and the occurrence and contribution of current year and biennial tillers to biomass production in prairie sandreed at 2 locations in Nebraska. Tiller recruitment was monitored at 2-week periods throughout the growing season during a 2-year period. Newly emerged tillers were classified as intravaginal, extravaginal, or rhizomatous tillers and marked with colored wire. Prairie sandreed has an unimodal pattern of tiller recruitment and over 50% of the current year tillers emerged by mid-May and 80% by mid-June. Rate of tiller emergence and absolute number of emerged tillers were poorly correlated with short- and long-term precipitation totals (r < 0.3 P > 0.20). The year after new tillers were marked, biennial tillers and tillers initiated during the current-year were counted and clipped in September for biomass determination Biennial tillers made up only 6 and 20% of the total tiller emergence at these locations and were generally only 30% as large as the new tillers. Extravaginal tillers composed over 78% of the biennial tiller population as a result of both their dominance in emerging populations and the higher percentage of tillers that survived the winter. Current year tillers contributed the most to prairie sandreed forage production and their emergence was largely completed by mid-June. The lack of a relationship between tiller recruitment and precipitation patterns, combined with previous studies of prairie sandreed, indicates that tiller recruitment involves a process that begins the previous growing season.