• Impact of Various Range Improvement Practices on Watershed Protection Cover and Annual Production Within the Colorado River Basin

      Hessary, I. K.; Gifford, G. F. (Society for Range Management, 1979-03-01)
      During 1976 a study of annual production and cover (litter + rock + vegetation) on various range improvement practices was conducted in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. The range improvement practices studied included gully plugs, contour furrowing, pitting, pinyon-juniper chaining, and various sagebrush control treatments. Results from studies of annual production on treated vs untreated sites indicated that: (a) about 33% of the contour furrowed sites had significant increases in annual production. Best responses were found on loam and clay loam soils, while soils of sandy loam or clay texture indicated a poor response to treatment. Soils classified as typical ustifluvents and ustollic haplargids were most favorable in terms of increased production; (b) annual production on pinyon-juniper chainings was significantly increased across a variety of soil types (growth of trees excluded). The greatest increases in production were measured on sites with loam soils classified as typic haplustolls; (c) neither of the two pitting treatments on a clay and a sandy clay loam site indicated increased annual production; (d) less than 50% of the various sagebrush treatments indicated increased annual production. There appears to be a general trend for best responses on loam soils, though significant decreases in production were also indicated on this type of soil; (e) plowing was the least successful sagebrush treatment studied. Best cover responses on the various range improvement practices were found on contour furrowing treatments on sandy clay loam and loam textured soils and on typic torriorthent or ustic torriorthent soil types. Though significant cover increases due to chaining of pinyon and juniper were noted on 57% of the treatments, on a variety of soil textures and soil types, the increases were uniformly small (tree cover included) and no clear pattern emerged with either soil texture or soil type. Only about 20% of the various sagebrush treatments showed significant increases in cover; 10% indicated decreased cover, and there was no impact on cover on the remaining 70% of the treatments. Pitting treatments in this study had no impact on cover. Age of contour furrow treatments made little difference as to whether there was a significant increase or decrease in either production or cover. Cover data from pinyon-juniper chainings indicate either that significant increases in cover (if they occur) are slightly more dramatic on more recent teatments, or that treatments approximately 11 years old represent conditions most ideal for enhanced cover. The former interpretation is probably more nearly correct. Production data suggests that pinyon-juniper sites chained since 1964 are not as favorable in terms of increased production as those chained prior to 1964. Age of sagebrush treatment had no impact on significant changes in cover; however, a general trend indicated that production increases are slightly higher for more recent sagebrush ripping and sagebrush chaining treatments than for older ones.
    • Influence of Brush Control on White-tailed Deer Diets in North-Central Texas

      Quinton, D. A.; Horejsi, R. G.; Flinders, J. T. (Society for Range Management, 1979-03-01)
      Botanical composition of white-tailed deer fecal pellets from untreated and brush-controlled areas of the Texas Rolling Plains was studied by microscopic analysis. Deer showed a marked preference for 11 of 54 plant species selected as food from a total of 250 identified on the study area. The bulk of the diet was comprised of mistletoe on non-brush control areas and of prickly-pear on brush-controlled areas. Similarity indices relating habitat across diets as well as diets across a habitat indicated that several habitats had preferred foods removed. These habitats also had low populations of deer. Brush control involving limited removal of noxious species affected dietary selection of deer but did not appear to affect overall deer usage of the habitats studied.
    • Sequential Development of Shoot System Components in Eastern Gamagrass

      Dewald, C. L.; Louthan, V. H. (Society for Range Management, 1979-03-01)
      The sequence of development of shoot system components was studied from early November 1976 through October 1977 in eastern gamagrass. Tiller production and compound shoot development began in late spring and continued until the first killing frost in mid-October. On shoots initiated in 1977, root development began in early August and peaked in September. Single shoots developed one to six mature phytomers during their first growing season. Reproductive shoot development was first noted in early May, peaked in late May, and continued into October. The proaxes of tillers, single shoots, and compound shoots perennated through the 1976-77 winter dormant period. Shoots that over-wintered as tillers had advanced to the single shoot stage by late August 1977 and had produced from 8 to 20 mature phytomers by the end of the growing season. Compound shoots initiated before 1977 developed into reproductive shoots or died by late May 1977. From May through July high percentages of the shoot system components were in the tiller and reproductive shoot stages. During this period vegetative propagation would probably not be feasible and the use of proper management practices might be more critical than during other periods.
    • Stem Cutting Propagation of Big Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.)

      Alvarez-Cordero, E.; McKell, C. M. (Society for Range Management, 1979-03-01)
      Vegetative propagation of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) is often desirable to preserve valuable characteristics of ecotypes for use in disturbed site rehabilitation and range research. Previous research is not clear with regard to procedures for sagebrush propagation. Three experiments were designed to define the influence of synthetic auxin rates, plant dormancy and individual source plants on rooting performance of big sagebrush stem cuttings. Cuttings obtained in the winter during plant dormancy showed greater rooting activity than those collected from actively growing plants. Synthetic auxin, Indolebutyric acid (IBA) treatment, increased root formation as a function of increased auxin concentration but was unable to overcome factors causing seasonal dormancy in cuttings. Source plants varied in the rootability of cuttings. Care should be exercised in selecting only plants that have a high capability for rooting of cuttings.
    • The Effect of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium Fertilization on Chemical Content of Sheep Diets

      Doyle, J. J. (Society for Range Management, 1979-03-01)
      Sixteen mixed breed sheep, 1-2 years old and fitted with esophageal fistulas, were allotted at random to four range pastures in southeastern South Dakota. Two of the pastures (4.9 and 5.3 ha) were treated with 67.2 kg of N, 33.6 kg of P, and 89.7 of K/ha, whereas the other two pastures (6.9 and 7.3 ha) received no fertilizer treatment. Esophageal extruded samples were collected at two time periods (June-July and August) from all animals in the four pastures. Ash, N, cellulose and energy content were determined on all extruded samples. Fertilizer treatment had no significant effect on the nutritive content of the diet selected by the sheep. However, time of collection had significant effects on the protein and energy content of the diet selected. A significant fertilizer-collection period interaction was observed for percentage of ash.
    • The effects of grazing intensity on annual vegetation

      Pitt, M. D.; Heady, H. F. (Society for Range Management, 1979-03-01)
      Pastures grazed by sheep at moderate and 1 1/2-, 2-, and 2 1/2- times the moderate stocking rate from 1969-1973 were analyzed for relative changes in cover, herbage productivity, and botanical composition. All four pastures were less productive in 1973 than in 1969, but exhibited similar trends in cover and botanical composition regardless of grazing intensity. Only grazing at 2 1/2 times the moderate stocking rate produced a residual decline in productivity following 1 year of rest from the grazing treatment. However, this decline in productivity was managerially negligible compared to other stocking rates, and would probably disappear within 2-3 years in response to the overriding influence of annual weather, especially precipitation, patterns.
    • The Effects of Nitrogen Fertilization on Water Use by Crested Wheatgrass

      Williams, R. J.; Broersma, K.; Van Ryswyk, A. L. (Society for Range Management, 1979-03-01)
      The application of N fertilizer to crested wheatgrass on a dry rangeland site increased yields substantially. In the early part of the growing season when moisture was not limiting, soil moisture was withdrawn from the fertilized site at a higher rate than from the unfertilized plots. At later periods in the growing season the soil water potential curves paralleled each other with the fertilized crop growing under conditions of lower soil water potential. The decreased soil water potential was confirmed when the actual evapotranspiration, as measured by the energy balance method, was examined. The data indicate that for a period following rapid growth in the spring, the evapotranspiration of the fertilized block was less than that of the unfertilized. The soil water potential data indicate that seasonal evapotranspiration was slightly higher on the fertilized plot than on the unfertilized. The water use efficiency, in terms of biomass produced per unit of water used, was much greater for fertilized crested wheatgrass and resulted in increased yields.
    • Variability in Predicting Edible Browse from Crown Volume

      Bryant, F. C.; Kothmann, M. M. (Society for Range Management, 1979-03-01)
      Biomass estimates were made with regression techniques using crown volume and weight relationships. The log-log function yielded the highest coefficient of determination for Vasey shin oak, plateau oak, Texas persimmon, and honey mesquite. A quadratic function was best for wollybucket bumelia, littleleaf sumac, agarito, and pricklyash. Sugar hackberry showed equally high coefficients with either the linear or quadratic. Coefficients of determination for catclaw acacia, elbowbush, and skunkbush sumac generally were low regardless of the type of regression equation used. When sampled at various periods over the year, predictive accuracy declined for Vasey shin oak and plateau oak through fall and winter but rose again in spring and early summer. For both species, the log-log function was best from late summer to winter but during spring and early summer the quadratic function was best.
    • Vegetation of the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie

      Nicholson, R. A.; Marcotte, M. G. (Society for Range Management, 1979-03-01)
      The purpose of this study was to analyze the interrelationships of the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie in terms of the characterizing species and types of vegetation. At each of 100 sample stand locations data were obtained on the 244-ha prairie in Webster County, Nebraska, to estimate percent basal cover and percent species composition. Estimates were analyzed quantitatively with the aid of vegetation ordination techniques, from which 15 vegetation types were discerned. Of the 15 types, two accounted for over 40% of the stands: a Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis)-buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides)-blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis)-type and a Kentucky bluegrass-sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula)-big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi) type. Two secondary types accounted for another 16% of the stands, while the remaining 44% of the stands were fairly evenly dispersed within nine other types. Uplands were predominately Kentucky bluegrass, buffalograss, blue grama, and Japanese brome. Sideoats grama, little bluestem (Andropogon scoparius), and Kentucky bluegrass dominated hillside stands. Most abundant in lowlands were Kentucky bluegrass, sideoats grama, Japanese brome, and big bluestem. Due to the abundance of Kentucky bluegrass, late spring burning was prescribed to improve the condition and productivity of the prairie.