• Using Leaf Fluorescence for Evaluating Atrazine Tolerance of Three Perennial Warm-Season Grasses

      Bahler, C. C.; Moser, L. E.; Vogel, K. P. (Society for Range Management, 1987-03-01)
      Atrazine [6-chloro-N-ethyl-N′-(1-methylethyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine] blocks photosynthetic electron transport in susceptible plants. The energy from the interrupted electron transport is fluoresced from the leaves of atrazine-treated plants. The purpose of this study was to evaluate leaf fluorescence as a nondestructive bioassay of the relative atrazine tolerance of 3 perennial, warm-season grasses. Leaf section of switchgrass [Panicum virgatum L.] (high tolerance), indiangrass [Sorghastrum nutans (L.) Nash] (intermediate tolerance), and sideoats grama [Bouteloua curtipendula (Michx.) Torr.] (lower tolerance) were placed in distilled water for 20 min and then in atrazine solutions. Fluorescence readings were taken prior to and after the atrazine treatment with a portable fluorometer. The difference between the 2 readings provided a reliable measure with low variability of the relative atrazine tolerance of the grasses studied and was effective on greenhouse-and field-grown plants. Optimum atrazine concentrations and incubation periods were 10^-3 M (atrazine in distilled H2O and 30 min, respectively.
    • Procedure for Fecal Cuticle Analysis of Herbivore Diets

      Stevens, E. J.; Stevens, S. J.; Gates, R. N.; Eskridge, K. M.; Waller, S. S. (Society for Range Management, 1987-03-01)
      Cuticular imprints of underlying plant tissue which survive ruminant digestion in herbivore feces provide a reliable taxonomic basis for species identification provided they can be adequately prepared for microhistological analysis. Objectives of this research were to investigate the discernibility of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) cuticle in sheep feces and document a procedure for fecal cuticle analysis. A completely random design with 4 replications was used with a split-plot arrangement of treatments. Diet treatments were applied to whole-plots and fecal preparation techniques were applied to subplots. Mature wethers were fed diets containing 25, 50, or 75% prebloom alfalfa hay with vegetative indiangrass [Sorghastrum nutans (L.) Nash] hay. A fecal cuticle procedure was described which established a linear relationship between dietary and fecal alfalfa contents. Under conditions where species characterized by fragile cuticle (such as alfalfa) are part of the dietary intake and diet is low in woody species, cuticle procedures may represent an alternative method for dietary composition analysis. An epidermal preparatory technique used in conjunction with fecal cuticle procedures did not establish a linear relationship between dietary and fecal alfalfa contents.
    • Passage Rates, Rumen Fermentation, and Weight Change in Protein Supplemented Grazing Cattle

      Judkins, M. B.; Wallace, J. D.; Galyean, M. L.; Krysl, L. J.; Parker, E. E. (Society for Range Management, 1987-03-01)
      Protein supplementation is widely used to enhance the nutritional status of cattle on rangeland. The effects of protein supplementation on particulate and fluid passage rates, rumen fermentation, and weight gain were evaluated on cattle grazing dormant blue grama rangeland. Twelve rumen-cannulated steers were randomly allotted to 3 equal supplement groups (4/treatment): cottonseed cake (CSC), pelleted alfalfa (ALF), or no supplement (CON). Supplements were individually fed every other day at isonitrogenous levels (1.7 kg/hd CSC vs 3.6 kg/hd ALF). Particulate passage rate was measured during 2 collection periods. Concurrently, 102 yearling heifers were allotted to the same treatment groups for measurement of average daily gain. Cattle were fed these treatments from January through April 1983. In a second trial, 9 rumen-cannulated steers were randomly allotted to the same treatment groups as trial 1. An intraruminal dose of Co-EDTA was used to estimate fluid passage rates. Rumen ammonia, volatile fatty acids, and pH were also measured. In trial 1, average daily gain did not differ between ALF and CSC supplemented heifers; however, both ALF and CSC gained more than CON heifers. Passage rate estimates were not different among treatment groups. In trial 2, rumen fluid dilution rate, volume, and outflow rate were not different among treatments. Rumen ammonia-N was different at 11 h postsupplementation when the CSC steers had higher levels than steers in other treatment groups. Rumen pH was not influenced by supplementation. Molar proportions of acetate and propionate at 8 and 11 h after supplementation differed among treatment groups. Acetate was lowest in ALF, intermediate in CSC, and highest in CON supplemented steers. Propionate followed the reverse trend. Overall, protein supplementation improved livestock performance but the mechanism involved was not elicited. The current data suggest shifts in fermentation patterns and meeting dietary demands for gain are the factors involved in improving performance.
    • Light Requirement for Seed Germination of Payson Sedge

      Haggas, L.; Brown, R. W.; Johnston, R. S. (Society for Range Management, 1987-03-01)
      Payson sedge (Carex paysonis Clokey) is a dominant component of many alpine floras in the western United States. This species appears to be a highly adapted colonizer (early invader) on disturbances such as acidic mine spoils at high elevations, and its rhizomatous growth habit offers promise for revegetation of these sites. The few natural seedlings observed in the field suggest that seed germination of Payson sedge is low compared with that of other alpine colonizers, and seeding trials with this species have met with poor success. Therefore, studies were designed to determine the germination requirements of this species. The effects of 2 levels each of light (visible vs. complete darkness), temperature (constant 25 degrees C vs. variable 25/3 degrees C day/night), and seed position in soil (surface vs. buried) on germination were investigated under controlled conditions in the laboratory. The highest germination percentage (mean = 28.8%) was attained under conditions of complete darkness followed by exposure to light at variable temperatures. There were no significant differences (p<0.05) in germination levels under conditions of light coupled with variable temperature (mean = 21.3%), and complete darkness followed by light at constant temperature (mean = 22.8%). Germination levels were low (mean = 10.0%) under light at constant temperature and seeds subjected to complete darkness alone germinated poorly (mean is lesser than or equal to 1.2%). We recorded low levels of germination (mean is lesser than or equal to 2.8%) from treatments of buried seeds exposed to both light conditions and both temperature levels. A requirement for light coupled with low germination levels of buried seeds suggests that standard revegetation techniques, where seeds are buried beneath the soil surface, may be inappropriate for Payson sedge. We recommend surface seeding in the fall so that extended periods of natural snow cover will promote germination the following spring.