• Previous grazing or clipping affects seed of Indian ricegrass

      Orodho, A. B.; Cuany, R. L.; Trlica, M. J. (Society for Range Management, 1998-01-01)
      Previous heavy grazing for more than 50 years, compared with protection from livestock grazing, in the semi-arid area of Chaco Canyon in the southwestern United States did not result in any significant decrease in seed production potential of Indian ricegrass [Oryzopsis hymenoides (Roem. and Schult.) Ricker]. There also were no significant differences in seed production between grazed and ungrazed collections of Indian ricegrass from the Chaco Canyon study site when transplanted and grown in a common garden. This indicated that long-term protection from livestock grazing probably had not genetically (ecotypically) altered seed production potential. Both grazed and ungrazed transplants of Indian ricegrass differed in seed production from the cultivars 'Paloma' and 'Nezpar'. Nezpar produced the greatest seed yield (312 kg/ha), while Paloma had the lowest yield (78 kg/ha). Defoliation about 1 June over a 2-year period reduced seed production and nitrogen fertilization did not increase seed yield. Previous grazing history had little effect on seed germination, but there were significant differences in germination among some collections and cultivars of Indian ricegrass. Germination was less than 5% for all entries. A tetrazolium viability test showed that seed of native strains were more viable than those of Paloma. Dormancy is a troublesome, but desirable, trait of Indian ricegrass seed for use in droughty areas.