• Variability in germination rate among seed lots of Lehmann lovegrass

      Hardegree, S. P.; Emmerich, W. E. (Society for Range Management, 1991-07-01)
      The regeneration success of Lehmann lovegrass (Eragrostis lehmanniana Nees) in southern Arizona may be partially due to rapid germination during sporadic periods of available soil moisture. There is limited information regarding germination rate of Lehmann lovegrass but it is known that total germination response for this species is highly variable. Some of this variability may result from differences in the degree of mechanical scarification during harvest, threshing, and storage. Scarified and nonscarified seed from 7 seed lots were germinated over the water potential range of 0 to -1.16 MPa. Results showed that mechanical scarification increased total germination and germination rate. Mechanical scarification reduced variability among seed lots for germination rate, but increased variability for total germination. The rapid germination hypothesis may be valid for Lehmann lovegrass as long as seed numbers are not limiting. Of the scarified seed that germinated above a water potential of -0.4 MPa, at least 10% did so between days 1 and 2 of the study.
    • Xeric big sagebrush, a new subspecies in the Artemisia tridentata complex

      Rosentreter, R.; Kelsey, R. G. (Society for Range Management, 1991-07-01)
      In 1970 a xeric form of mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana (Rydb.) Beetle) was reported in west central Idaho. Observations of morphology, habitat, and ecology, and analyses of foliage chemical components, clearly indicate these plants represent a new subspecies (xericensis) in the big sagebrush complex. It grows at lower elevations, 762-1,524 m (2,500-5,000 ft) and drier environments, 305-560 mm (12-22 in) precipitation, than most mountain big sagebrush, and is found on basaitic foothill soils often in association with bluebunch wheatgrass (Agropyron spicatum (Pursh) Scribn. & Smith). In addition to soil type, the radiate growth form and a more branched paniculate inflorescence are 2 morphological characteristics useful in separating ssp. xericensis from ssp. vaseyana. It contains higher concentrations of crude protein (10.4%), phosphorus (0.3%), and total volatiles, and lower concentrations of tannins and total phenols than mountain big sagebrush. Distinct chromatograms were obtained for both subspecies when extracts were analyzed by gas and high performance liquid chromatography. Leaf morphology and fluorescence of leaf water extracts are useful characters for separating ssp. xericensis from ssp. tridentata. The chemical data, in combination with morphology and ecology, suggest this new subspecies was initially derived by hybridization of ssp. tridentata and ssp. vaseyana.
    • Range condition analysis: Comparison of 2 methods in southern New Mexico desert grasslands

      Tedonkeng, E.; Pieper, R. D.; Beck, R. F. (Society for Range Management, 1991-07-01)
      Interest in evaluating theoretical considerations in traditional methods of determining range condition have increased recently with application of different analytical techniques. In this study, the traditional quantitative climax approach was compared to a cluster analysis method on range sites in desert grassland in southern New Mexico. Both methods identified 3 classes that corresponded to successional stages or range condition classes. The cluster analysis approach provided a more precise procedure than the quantitative climax approach, as evaluated by multiple discriminate analysis. However, the cluster analysis is a much more complex analytical procedure than the quantitative climax approach, and may be limited for management purposes.
    • Research observations: Standardized terminology for structures resulting in emergence and crown placement of 3 perennial grasses

      Ries, R. E.; Hofmann, L. (Society for Range Management, 1991-07-01)
      A significant problem we encountered in grass establishment research was confusion in the literature over seedling structures and terminology. From review of the historical literature and our observations of growth-chamber grown sideoats grama [Bouteloua curtipendula (Michx.) Torr.] western wheatgrass [Agropyron smithii Rydb.; new cytogenetic = Pascopyron smithii Rydb. (Loeve)l and smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss.) seedlings, we suggest standard structures and terminology for grass seedlings. The nodes of a grass seedling are defined as the scutellar node, coleoptilar node, and leaf nodes named in sequence from first to last. The internode between the scutellar and coleoptilar nodes is termed the mesocotyl. The internode that develops inside the coleoptile between the coleoptilar and first leaf nodes is defined as the first leaf internode. Subsequent internodes are named for the leaf node immediately above; e.g., second leaf internode. Using these structures and terminology we found the "mechanism" of emergence for these grass seedlings from a 25-mm seeding depth was elongation of the mesocotyl (when expressed) and elongation of the coleoptile. Sideoats grama had a long mesocotyl and short coleoptile; western wheatgrass lacked or had a short mesocotyl and a long coleoptile; and smooth bromegrass had intermediate mesocotyl and coleoptile lengths. The "mechanism" of crown placement for seedlings that emerged and survived from a 51-mm seeding depth was non-elongation or elongation of the mesocotyl and leaf internodes. The crowns of sideoats grams seedlings were at the coleoptilar node, which was close to the soil surface. Western wheatgrass seedlings have their crowns near planting depth, usually at the coleoptilar node. Smooth bromegrass crowns were at variable depths because of variable elongation of the mesocotyl and leaf internodes.
    • Response of montane tall-forb communities to 2,4-D and mixtures of 2,4-D and picloram

      Murray, R. B.; Mayland, H. F.; Shewmaker, G. E. (Society for Range Management, 1991-07-01)
      Tall-forb communities occur an deep soils of the upper montane and subalpine zones of the Rocky Mountains and extend from southwestern Montana to southern Utah. In the Centennial Mountains of Montana, forbs comprise >80% of the annual yields, including 30-35% sticky geranium (Geranium viscosissimum) and 20-25% Potentilla spp. Tall-forb communities are rich in species diversity and very productive, but many of the forbs are not palatable to grazing ungulates. Suppression of the less palatable species, like sticky geranium, would increase the forage value for grazing. In 1983 and 1984 adjacent plots were sprayed during weeks 1, 2, 3, and 4 in July, with 2,4-D[(2,4 Dichlorophenoxy)acetic acid, isooctyl ester] applied at 1.1 or 2.2 kg 2,4-D/ha or 2.2 kg 2,4-D/ha plus 0.6 kg/ha of the potassium salt of picloram (4-amino-3,5,6-trichloropicolinic acid). Forage yields were measured in August of 1984, 85, and 86. Total forage yields ranged from 2,700 to 3,000 kg/ha on the untreated areas. Forb yields were significantly reduced, especially by the 2,4-D + picloram treatment. Herbicide treatments applied during flower-stalk development to first flower of sticky geranium were most effective. Grass and sedge production partially compensated for reductions in forb yields. Interseeding of introduced species into herbicide treated plots in 1993 was unsuccessful. Forb and grass production is expected to return to levels similar to those on untreated areas after 5 years.