• Establishment of Blue Grama and Fourwing Saltbush on Coal Mine Spoils Using Saline Ground Water

      Weiler, G.; Gould, W. L. (Society for Range Management, 1983-11-01)
      This study was conducted in the greenhouse to determine the effect of limited irrigation of topsoiled sodic shaley spoil with water of various salinities on the emergence and growth of 2 native plant species and on the infiltration rate and salinity buildup of the topsoil. Columns containing 20 cm of sandy loam soil over sodic shaley spoil were seeded to blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) or fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens). The columns were irrigated with water having 4 levels of salinity ranging from 750 to 12,890 micro-mhos/cm and sodium adsorption ratios ranging from 2 to 68. The emergence and growth of blue grama was reduced as the salinity of the water increased; no plants survived the most saline treatment. The most saline water reduced the emergence of fourwing saltbush, but the saltbush grew well after the seedling stage. The infiltration rate was lowered as the sodicity of the irrigation water increased, and the electrical conductivity of the soil increased as the amount and salinity of the water increased. The study indicates that moderately saline water (EC is lesser than or equal to 4230 micro-mhos) will probably be suitable for revegetating mine spoils using blue grama and fourwing saltbush.
    • Host Plant Utilization by Grasshoppers (Orthoptera: acrididae) from a Sandhills Prairie

      Joern, A. (Society for Range Management, 1983-11-01)
      Host plant use by 31 species of grasshoppers from a sandhills prairie was determined; gut analysis was used to determine diet. In the composite diet for all species, forbs constituted 37.2% of the total, grasses and sedges contributed 58%, and insects made up 4.8% of the diet. Compared to the plants available at this site, 43% of the plant species and 36% of the plant families were included in the composite diet. Although some grasshopper species did not include many host plants in their diet, most included representatives of more than one plant family. Grasshopper species were typically polyphagous with no true specialist feeders. Relatively few plant taxa constituted a large fraction of the composite diet for all grasshopper species and the relative abundance of food plants in the environment appeared to affect the overall use of food plants. Subfamily affinities are obvious. Gomphocerines have the lowest average diet breadth and are primarily grass-feeders while melanoplines feed primarily on forbs and have large average diet breadths; oedipodines are intermediate for these categories. Vegetation-dwelling species have significantly lower diet breadths than do ground-dwelling species. Results do not generally support recent theories concerning the evolution of insect herbivore feeding patterns.
    • Relationships of Site Characteristics to Vegetation in Canyon Grasslands of West Central Idaho and Adjacent Areas

      Tisdale, E. W.; Bramble-Brodahl, M. (Society for Range Management, 1983-11-01)
      The relation of vegetation types to soil and other site characteristics was examined for 57 sample plots representing the Pacific Northwest Bunchgrass Region. Three series characterized by Carex spp., Festuca idahoensis, and Agropyron spicatum respectively, and 5 habitat types comprised the vegetation units. These were compared to their associated soil taxa (soil families) and to a group of individual soil and other site characteristics. Relationship to soil taxa was relatively weak, with several soil families associated with each of 4 of the habitat types. Strong relationship of vegetation types to 13 individual soil and site factors was shown by means of stepwise discriminant analysis. Reclassification by these site factors resulted in 92% concurrence with habitat types and even higher agreement with vegetation series. Site factors showing the highest degree of relationship with vegetation units were: elevation, radiation index, color (value), and organic matter of the "A" horizon, and lime depth. This method of relating individual site factors to vegetation provides a powerful tool for testing the validity of ecosystems recognized by vegetation, and should be useful also in categorizing sites where plant cover has been disturbed.
    • Effects of Plant Shredding on Nutrient Content of Four South Texas Deer Browse Species

      Everitt, J. H. (Society for Range Management, 1983-11-01)
      The nutrient content [crude protein (CP), P, Ca, K, and Mg] of the regrowth of shredded and current growth of nonshredded (control) plants was measured for 4 important deer browse species in south Texas. Plants were shredded in February, April, and July of 1980. Plants shredded in February and their controls were sampled for nutrient analyses at 2, 6, and 9 months after shredding. Plants sinredded in April and July and their controls were sampled for analyses 2 months after shredding. Two months after shredding, regrowth from plants shredded in February, April, and July generally had higher CP and P than current growth from nonshredded plants. Few differences were detected in CP and P at 6 and 9 months after shredding. These results indicate that CP and P levels could be increased in initial regrowth from plants shredded at various dates during the growing season. Levels of Ca, K, and Mg did not differ between shredded and current growth, or they were slightly lower in the regrowth.
    • Baseline Elemental Concentrations for Big Sagebrush from Western U.S.A.

      Gough, L. P.; Erdman, J. A. (Society for Range Management, 1983-11-01)
      The analysis of samples of big sagebrush from 190 sites in 8 western physiographic provinces resulted in measurable concentrations of 30 elements. Except for Sb, U, and V, whose concentrations were generally below the analytical detection limits, the expected (baseline) concentration range of each element was defined. The variability in the concentration of Ba, Ca, Li, Pb, Se, Sr, and Zn among the 8 provinces was found to be nonsignificant and therefore a mean and deviation (for all provinces combined) for these elements was used to define their baseline. For concentrations of 20 of the elements (including the environmentally important metals As, Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Hg, and Mo), significant variability was found among province populations so that baseline values are reported for each province or group of provinces. Physiographic provinces were incorporated in the study design as a convenient natural unit in presenting the element baselines and we anticipate that these data may be useful in assessing biogeochemical changes brought about by the activities of energy development, mineral processing, and other anthropogenic disturbances.
    • Big Sagebrush Control with Tebuthiuron

      Britton, C. M.; Sneva, F. A. (Society for Range Management, 1983-11-01)
      Tebuthiuron (20% a.i. pellets) was applied in 2 years at rates of 0.25, 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 kg a.i./ha on sagebrush-grass range. Mortality of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) and herbaceous yield was measured at the end of the second growing season, post-treatment. Mean mortality increased with increasing herbicide rate to 93.9% at 2 kg a.i./ha. Herbaceous yield decreased with increasing herbicide rate to a mean of 177.3 kg/ha at the 2 kg a.i./ha rate contrasted to a mean of 423.9 kg/ha for the control.
    • Correcting for Differential Digestibility in Microhistological Analyses Involving Common Coastal Forages of the Pacific Northwest

      Leslie, D. M.; Vavra, M.; Starkey, E. E.; Slater, R. C. (Society for Range Management, 1983-11-01)
      The accuracy of microhistological techniques to describe herbivore diets can be affected by differential digestibility of ingested forages. Correction factors were developed to adjust for those effects in 17 common forages of coastal, forested ranges of the Pacific Northwest. Two ferns, a moss and a sedge were overestimated by microhistological analysis in all seasons, while most shrubs, forbs and a grass were underestimated. Trees were not consistently over- or underestimated. Phenology significantly affected the degree of over- or underestimation of most forages. Failure to correct for differential digestibility will significantly bias results of microhistological techniques such as fecal analyses.
    • Total Urine Collection from Free-grazing Heifers

      Stillwell, M. A.; Senft, R.; Rittenhouse, L. R. (Society for Range Management, 1983-11-01)
      A urine collection device for female bovines is described. This device allows simulataneous collections of urine and feces, is reusable, and is designed for use on free grazing animals. Tests of the device were successful and showed no major problems under field conditions.
    • Using Precipitation to Predict Range Herbage Production in Southwestern Idaho

      Hanson, C. L.; Morris, R. P.; Wight, J. R. (Society for Range Management, 1983-11-01)
      Analyses of 9 years of herbage yield and precipitation data from the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed in southwest Idaho show that annual herbage yield can be estimated by the Sneva and Hyder procedure (Sneva and Hyder 1962a, 1962b) at locations other than where their procedure was developed. These analyses did indicate that for sites below 1,680 m, their procedure was more useful when the crop-year precipitation index was based on a variable number of winter and spring months, rather than September through June. For sites above 1680 m, using winter and spring separately in a modified form of their basic equation may improve yield predictions.
    • Water Properties of Caliche

      Hennessy, J. T.; Gibbens, R. P.; Tromble, J. M.; Cardenas, M. (Society for Range Management, 1983-11-01)
      Water absorption and retention by hard caliche nodules (rocks) collected from soils in southern New Mexico were determined. The rate of water uptake by the caliche rocks was rapid and water content at saturation was 13.0% by weight (24.7% by volume). At a matrix potential of -0.7 MPa, the rocks retained 10.6% water by weight, an 18% loss from saturation. Water loss from saturated rocks to a dry atmosphere was slow, but most of the absorbed water was released. The rocks contained only 0.6% water by weight (1.1% by volume) after 34 days in a desiccator. Both laboratory and field trials indicated that, although indurated caliche layers will absorb large amounts of water, the water does not pass through the layers to the soil below.
    • The Behaviour of Free-ranging Cattle on an Alpine Range in Australia

      Rees, H. Van.; Hutson, G. D. (Society for Range Management, 1983-11-01)
      The behaviour of free-ranging cattle on the Bogong High Plains, Victoria, was investigated during 2 summer grazing seasons. The main influence on cattle distribution was found to be their preferences for particular vegetation communities. Cattle preferred to graze in grassland and closed heathland and avoided mossbeds. Cattle preferred to rest on grassland, wet grassland, and at cattle camps. The interaction of cattle with mossbeds, the vegetation community most susceptible to disturbance, was investigated in detail. Cattle visited mossbeds primarily to drink, although a small number of animals entered them to graze.
    • Sod-Seeding Alfalfa into Cool-season Grasses and Grass-Alfalfa Mixtures Using Glyphosate or Paraquat

      Vogel, K. P.; Kehr, W. R.; Anderson, B. E. (Society for Range Management, 1983-11-01)
      Sod-seeding alfalfa into swards of smooth and meadow bromegrass, tall and intermediate wheatgrass, and orchardgrass and mixtures of these grasses with alfalfa using glyphosate or paraquat to suppress the existing vegetation was evaluated. Glyphosate (1.7 kg/ha) or paraquat (0.6 kg/ha) was applied 12 days prior to sod-seeding alfalfa (645 PLS/m2). Glyphosate completely suppressed or killed all the grasses and as a result, excellent stands of alfalfa were obtained producing 5.8 to 6.4 Mg/ha the establishment year at Mead, Neb., without irrigation. The grass-alfalfa mixtures were also converted into pure stands of alfalfa by using glyphosate. Glyphosate suppressed but did not kill the existing alfalfa. Sod-seeding in pure stands of grasses following paraquat application produced stands that were approximately 50% grass and 50% alfalfa. Paraquat had a limited suppressive effect on alfalfa and sod-seeded alfalfa did not become established in plots containing old alfalfa.
    • The Initial Growth of Two Range Grasses on Nonfertilized and Fertilized Soils Collected from Creosotebush Communities in the Southwestern United States

      Cox, J. R.; Schreiber, H. A.; Morton, H. L. (Society for Range Management, 1983-11-01)
      A glasshouse study was conducted to determine how nonfertilized and fertilized soils collected in creosotebush [Larrea tridentata (DC.) Cov.] communities would influence seedling leaf growth and shoot production of Lehmann lovegrass (Eragrostis lehmanniana Nees) and blue panicgrass (Panicum antidotale Ritz.). Soils were collected at 3 locations around creosotebush plants: (1) at the crown base (Basal), (2) along the outer canopy edge (Drip), and (3) in areas between plants (Open). Leaf lengths and shoot production were greatest on nonfertilized soils collected at the plant base, intermediate at the canopy edge, and least in open areas. Leaf lengths and shoot production significantly increased on fertilized soils collected in open areas.
    • Diethylstilbestrol as a Temporary Chemosterilant to Control Black-tailed Prairie Dog Populations

      Garret, M. G.; Franklin, W. L. (Society for Range Management, 1983-11-01)
      Controlling reproduction in pest rodent populations may be preferable to using lethal rodenticides. The effectivenss of diethylstilbestrol (DES), a synthetic estrogen, as a reproductive inhibitor in female black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) was examined in a 4-year study at Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota. In 1979 and 1980, a study colony was monitored to determine age structure, reproductive success of individual animals, and rate of colony expansion. In 1981, the colony was divided into control and experimental areas. Application of DES-treated oats (.11% active ingredient) during the breeding season resulted in complete curtailment of reproduction in the experimental group while reproduction in the control group was normal. Results were identical in 1982 when treatment was reversed. There were no obvious effects of DES treatment on subsequent reproductive capability of study animals. In 1981, surface expansion of the study colony was 4X less on the DES-treated side compared with control.
    • Annual Broomweed (Gutierrezia dracunculoides (DC.) Blake) Response to Burning and Mulch Addition

      Towne, G.; Owensby, C. (Society for Range Management, 1983-11-01)
      The influence of artificial mulch additions and mulch removal with fall, winter, and spring burning on annual broomweed [Gutierrezia dracunculoides (DC.) Blake] density in the Kansas Flint Hills was studied. Removing mulch, either by fall and winter burning or by fall mowing, significantly increased (P<.03) annual broomweed density compared to untreated plots. As mulch thickness increased, the number of emerging broomweed plants decreased. Cyclic infestations of annual broomweed appear to be favored by the lack of an overwintering mulch in closely grazed or denuded areas.
    • An Indirect Method to Estimate the Aerial Biomass of Small Single-Stemmed Woody Plants

      Fitzgerald, R. D. (Society for Range Management, 1983-11-01)
      The above-ground biomass of unbrowsed, and subsequently, browsed plants was estimated from measurements of plant height. Unbrowsed weight was estimated from the quadratic regression of plant weight on plant height. Browsed weight was estimated by inserting coefficients which were appropriate for a given proportion of the original height into the above quadratic equation for unbrowsed weight. Estimation of these coefficients involved 3 steps. (1) Sample plants were cut into sections, dried and weighed. From these data, quadratic relationships between weight and height or portion (%) of height were established. (2) Coefficients from these relationships were then plotted against percent height, and a polynomial regression fitted. (3) The polynomial regression was used to predict coefficients for any given percent height. These predicted coefficients could then be inserted into the original quadratic equation for full height for determination of the weight of any given proportion of the full height. The technique depends on a good relationship between plant height and weight, such as might be expected to occur with the unbranched shoots of suckering aspen (Populus tremuloides). It is useful where nondestructive estimation of the aerial biomass of browsed plants is required, and it avoids the tedious measurement of the diameter of browsed stems.
    • A Simple Sack-holding Frame

      Hansmire, J. A.; Britton, C. M.; Waller, S. S. (Society for Range Management, 1983-11-01)
      A lightweight frame was designed to hold sacks when sampling vegetation by species. Sacks are attached with clips to a pegboard in an organized arrangement with labels that are easily read. The frame is especially useful on windy days.
    • Effect of Time of Seeding on Emergence and Long-Term Survival of Crested Wheatgrass in British Columbia

      McLean, A.; Wikeem, S. J. (Society for Range Management, 1983-11-01)
      The study showed that fall was the best time to seed crested wheatgrass (Agropyron desertorum) in the dry belt of British Columbia. With fall seedings, if emergence did not take place in the fall, it did so the following spring; there was very little plant kill over winter. Among the spring seedings, germination took place if the soil moisture content was adequate, usually above 10%. Soil moisture content was the most important single factor in determining establishment of seedlings. Late May and June seedings often germinated and died before seedlings became established. Rains in June, July, and August were ineffective in promoting emergence but may have been a factor in assuring establishment of the early-spring seedlings. By 1981, fall seedings no longer retained their advantage but the poor performance of the June seedings was still evident.
    • Effect of Water and Nitrogen, and Grazing on Nematodes in a Shortgrass Prairie

      Smolik, J. D.; Dodd, J. L. (Society for Range Management, 1983-11-01)
      Densities of plant feeding nematodes were highest in range receiving additional water and nitrogen (H2O + N), however, biomass of plant feeders was not significantly increased. Populations of stunt nematodes were highest in the grazed treatment. Maximum numbers of 3 other plant feeding groups, ring, Tylenchidae and Dorylaimida, occurred in the H2O + N treatment. Predaceous and microbial feeding nematode populations were also highest in the H2O + N treatment. Populations of plant feeding and predaceous nematodes peaked in early June and remained high throughout the growing season. Populations of microbial feeders also peaked in early June, but fluctuated through the sampling period. It appears the benefits of additional water and nitrogen on plant growth are not offset by large increases in biomass of plant feeding nematodes.