Browsing Journal of Range Management, Volume 48, Number 3 (May 1995) by Subjects
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Growth of winterfat following defoliation in Northern Mixed Prairie of SaskatchewanAn observed increase in winterfat (Ceratoides lanata (Pursh) J.T. Howell) on ungrazed rangeland suggests that this shrub may potentially be an important forage resource in the Northern Mixed Prairie under improved grazing management. The objectives of this study were to: 1) compare density, frequency, and cover of winterfat in a grazed pasture and site that had been protected from grazing for about 30 years; and 2) evaluate regrowth of winterfat following defoliation during the growing season on a clayey range site in Saskatchewan. Density, frequency, canopy cover, and basal cover were significantly greater in the protected range than the grazed pasture. Density (1.1 SE +/- 0.01 plants m-2) and frequency (70% SE +/- 3.6) were about 2-fold greater, while canopy cover (7.0% SE +/- 1.4) and basal cover (1.7% SE +/- 1.5) were 7- to 8-fold greater, in the protected versus grazed range. When defoliated to a 5-cm stubble in May, June, or July plants produced significant amounts of regrowth but not when herbage was removed in August. When defoliated in late July or August current year production the following year was significantly lower than control and earlier defoliations. Current year production peaked in late July and August. Total standing crop was 2- to 4-fold greater in the control than the defoliation treatments because the biomass produced in previous years was removed from clipped plants. Because winterfat produces substantial amounts of new growth following defoliation in May, June, or July it is recommended that this shrub be grazed only once during the growing season to prevent grazing of this regrowth. Plants defoliated in May can potentially produce biomass equal to control the following year whereas plants defoliated in June, July, or August will likely require more than 1 year of rest to recover their annual productivity.
Influence of an environmental gradient on physiology of singleleaf pinyonThe acquisition of water and regulation of its loss are important to plant 'success' in arid environments. Species existing over a range of environmental conditions should respond physiologically to varying conditions to maximize water use efficiency and avoid low tissue water potentials. Seasonal and diurnal ecophysiological responses of singleleaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla Torr. and Frem.) were investigated along an environmental gradient involving elevation, moisture and temperature in Nevada. The gradient was represented by study sites in black sagebrush (Artemisia nova A. Nels), mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana Nutt.), and mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius Nutt.) communities. Xylem pressure potential, conductance, and transpiration were measured over 2 growing seasons. Xylem pressure potential and leaf conductance ranged from -3.0 to -0.7 MPa and 0.01 to 0.43 cm s-l, respectively, during the study. Carbon isotope discrimination (delta) of needles was determined in August 1990. Differences in delta values were not significant between sites at the lowest and highest elevations but were significant between the driest site (black sage) and the relatively wetter site (mountain mahogany). Leaf conductance was influenced by but not strongly correlated with predawn xylem pressure potentials, relative humidity, and temperature. Generally, there was little difference in water use characteristics of singleleaf pinyon along the environmental gradient in this study. Thus, it appears that singleleaf pinyon's ability to exist over a range of environmental conditions is not a function of variable ecophysiological responses but an opportunistic response to the availability of resources and conditions suitabie for erowth to occur.