• Morphological development of 2 warm-season grasses in the Nebraska Sandhills

      Hendrickson, J. R.; Moser, L. E.; Moore, K. J.; Waller, S. S. (Society for Range Management, 1998-07-01)
      Morphological development of grasses has numerous implications to rangeland management including the timing and amount of herbivory. The objective of this study was to quantify the developmental morphology of prairie sandreed [Calamovilfa longifolia (Hook.) Scribn.] and sand bluestem [Andropogon gerardii var. paucipilus (Nash) Fern.] tiller populations. Tiller populations of these 2 grasses were studied for 2 years in the Nebraska Sandhills. Plant development was evaluated using a growth staging system which quantifies the development of tiller populations. A morphological growth index for each species was calculated from either the weighted average of tiller numbers reported as mean stage count (MSC) or tiller weight reported as mean stage weight (MSW) and correlated with the independent variables of growing degree days (GDD) and day of year (DOY). Correlation coefficients with the independent variables were greater than 0.97 for MSC and MSW within years and greater than 0.90 between years. Greater rainfall and warmer temperatures in 1991 increased the number of tillers in the more advanced morphological stages in prairie sandreed, but tiller weight rather than tiller number increased in more advanced stages of sand bluestem. A majority of the harvested tillers were vegetative throughout the sampling period but by the end of the growing season, a wide range of morphological stages were present. The use of grazing to prevent the formation of culmed tillers in these grasses may be unnecessary because of the high proportion of vegetative tillers and the wide range of morphological stages available for selection by livestock.
    • Temperature effects on regrowth of 3 rough fescue species

      King, J. R.; Hill, M. J.; Willms, W. D. (Society for Range Management, 1998-07-01)
      Three species of rough fescue, alpine rough fescue (Festuca altaica Trin.), mountain rough fescue (F. campestris Rydb.), and plains rough fescue (F. hallii (Vasey) Piper) were grown for 12 weeks under 5 temperature regimes — 7:3, 12:8, 17:13, 22:18, and 27:23 degrees C — and defoliated 3 times to 3.5 cm at 4-weekly intervals in a growth cabinet study. Final plant dry mass and harvestable biomass production were greatest at 17:13 degrees C for alpine rough fescue and plains rough fescue, and at 12:8 degrees C for mountain rough fescue. Harvestable biomass plateaued or declined at the final harvest in all species for temperatures above 12:8 degrees C. Tiller numbers increased at successive harvests. Biomass per tiller declined markedly at the final harvest of alpine rough fescue at all temperatures. Regrowth in alpine rough fescue was markedly reduced at temperatures either above or below the optimum. The results indicate that mountain rough fescue and plains rough fescue are better able to regrow following defoliation at temperatures below or equal to their optima, than at temperatures above their optima. This provides greater understanding of field responses in both species where frequent defoliations are more deleterious after the April/May period when temperatures are above optimal.