• Characterization of diversity among 3 squirreltail taxa

      Jones, T. A.; Nielson, D. C.; Arredondo, J. T.; Redinbaugh, M. G. (Society for Range Management, 2003-09-01)
      Squirreltail (Elymus elymoides, E. multisetus) is a complex of 5 taxa whose systematic interrelationships are uncertain. Our objectives were to determine whether the 3 taxa studied here, Elymus elymoides ssp. elymoides, E. elymoides ssp. brevifolius, and E. multisetus, can be distinguished by several ecological and physiological traits and whether geographical origin is correlated with these traits across accessions within taxa. A multivariate principal component analysis of materials collected in the 10 contiguous western states successfully distinguished taxa, but no pair of the 3 taxa appeared to be more ecologically similar than any other pair. Elymus elymoides ssp. elymoides, which prevails in the semi-arid cold desert, was shortest and exhibited the lowest total plant dry-matter, earliest phenology, and lowest seed mass. Elymus elymoides ssp. brevifolius, which prevails in the Rocky Mountains, exhibited slowest emergence, highest specific root length, lowest nitrate reductase activity, and lowest root-to-shoot ratio. Elymus multisetus, which is most common in areas with relatively warm springs, exhibited fastest emergence (particularly from deep seeding), greatest root length, and greatest root-to-shoot ratio. Elymus elymoides ssp. brevifolius accessions clustered into 3 groups: late-maturing high-seed mass accessions originating in Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona (Group A), early-maturing low-seed mass accessions originating in Colorado and Utah (Group B), and intermediate-maturing low-seed mass accessions originating in the Snake River Plain of southern Idaho (Group C). The ecologically distinct subspecies and groups within ssp. brevifolius are indicative of the highly ecotypic nature of the squirreltails, suggesting that restoration practitioners should match site with genetically and ecologically appropriate plant material for these species.
    • Economics of sale weight, herd size, supplementation, and seasonal factors

      Tronstad, R.; Teegerstrom, T. (Society for Range Management, 2003-09-01)
      A growth function for range calves is estimated using a polynomial function of calf age that accounts for weather variation, sex, prior calf weights relative to a norm, and a compensatory gain factor. Data on rainfall plus calf weights at birth and when calves were roughly 3, 8, 12, and 20 months of age are used to estimate the growth function. This function is then used to determine the economic trade-off between herd size and calf sale weights, for both spring and fall sale dates. In addition, the profitability of feeding supplement is evaluated by increasing the rate of gain beyond that projected by the the polynomial age growth function for southeast and central Arizona grazing environments when forage and nutrients are limited. Using prices from 1980 to 1998, results indicate that the most profitable herd mix, sale date, and feeding protocol for the southeast Arizona region is 204 kg calves with no supplemental feeding and sales occurring in May. Supplemental feeding and sales occurring at 250 kg head-1 in May is the most profitable herd mix for the central Arizona region. More favorable average daily gain rates for May sales from the central versus southeast is why supplemental feeding is marginally better for the central region than feeding no supplement.