• The Role of Microorganisms in the Revegetation of Strip Mined Land in the Western United States

      Cundell, A. M. (Society for Range Management, 1977-07-01)
      This paper discusses the role of microorganisms in the reclamation of spent shale wastes in western Colorado and the overburden from lignite strip-mining areas in North Dakota. Adverse conditions for plant growth such as low organic matter content, salinity, fine texture and a lack of nitrogen and phosphorus, and a slow rate of soil formation limit the revegetation of the mining wastes. Microbial processes are responsible for the accretion of soil organic matter, the fixation of nitrogen, and the modification of adverse soil properties with the spoil. Possible strategies to take advantage of microbial activities to encourage plant growth in strip-mined land are discussed. Fertilization, seeding, mulching, the inoculation of the rhizosphere of perennial grasses with free-living heterotrophic nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and the production of sulphuric acid by sulphur-oxidizing bacteria to lower the pH of the spoil are reviewed.
    • Temperature Effects Oo Adventitious Root Development in Blue Grama Seedlings

      Briske, D. D.; Wilson, A. M. (Society for Range Management, 1977-07-01)
      Adventitious root initiation and development of six blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis (H.B.K.) Lag. ex Steud.) accessions were evaluated at seven temperatures in controlled environment conditions. During a 4-day growth performance test, individual growth responses of 21-day-old seedlings exhibited different temperature optima within the 5 to 35 degrees C temperature range. The largest number of adventitious roots, 3.8 per seedling, were initiated at 20 degrees C. Temperatures less than 15 degrees C probably would not be adequate for adventitious root establishment in the field. Precipitation probabilities and rates of adventitious root growth at constant temperatures suggest two possible alternatives for establishment of blue grama in the Central Plains: (1) plant in early May when temperatures for root growth are marginal, but probabilities of 2 or more consecutive wet days are relatively high; and (2) plant in mid-summer when temperatures are favorable for emergence and root growth, but probabilities of 2 or more consecutive wet days are very low. Modification of the micro-environment and development of improved seedlings will be needed before either of these alternatives provides a reliable method for blue grama establishment.
    • Soil Ingestion by Cattle Grazing Crested Wheatgrass

      Mayland, H. F.; Shewmaker, G. E.; Bull, R. C. (Society for Range Management, 1977-07-01)
      Soil ingestion rates were determined using four 350-kg esophageal fistulated heifers. Soil concentrations in feces, as determined indirectly by titanium analysis, averaged 14 and 20% in June and August, respectively. Calculated soil ingestion rates were 0.73 and 0.99 kg/animal-day for the two respective periods.
    • Simple Tool for Collecting Indian Ricegrass Seed

      McDonald, W. R.; Hafner, M. P.; Richards, D. L. (Society for Range Management, 1977-07-01)
      A tool for collecting seeds of Indian ricegrass and other native species has been made by the Federal Bureau of Mines. With this hand-held seed collector, one person can collect enough material to produce 3 to 5 pounds of clean Indian ricegrass seed per day. Cleaning the seed takes only 1/3 of the time traditionally required because 90% of the stalks are left on the plants.
    • Sheep Losses on Selected Ranches in Southern Wyoming

      Tigner, J. R.; Larson, G. E. (Society for Range Management, 1977-07-01)
      To help resolve conflicting claims about the severity of predator losses to the sheep industry, sheep losses from all causes were assessed during 1973-75 in five southern Wyoming ranches. Although herd sizes varied seasonally and yearly, about 6,000 ewes and their lambs were monitored each year during spring lambing and the summer and winter grazing seasons. Most of the sheep were tended by herders. Lamb loss was greater than ewe, and spring losses were always greater than summer and winter losses combined. Of 4,440 dead sheep examined, predators killed 1,030 or 23%. Although predation was the largest single cause of death for lambs (24%), weather-related losses such as deaths from exposure, starvation, accidents or disease, if combined, would probably have been higher. Disease killed the most ewes (26%), with predation the second most important cause of death (18%). Of the deaths from predation, coyotes caused 77%, black bears 11%, and golden eagles 9%. During the 3 years, known predator kills were 0.2% of the ewes each year and 1.5%, 2.1%, and 3.2%, respectively, of the lambs from the study herds. There were 1,235 ewes and lambs missing, mostly after the summer season, mainly due to miscounting and loose management from one ranch.
    • Sampling Big Sagebrush for Phytomass

      Uresk, D. W.; Gilbert, R. O.; Rickard, W. H. (Society for Range Management, 1977-07-01)
      A double sampling procedure was employed for obtaining more reliable weight estimates for leaves, flowering stalks, live wood, dead wood, various combinations of the preceding, and total phytomass of sagebrush shrubs. Easily obtained dimension measurements were related to harvest categories using regression analyses. Volume (length × width × height) and length measurements were the most highly correlated to phytomass. Double sampling reduced the variance of the mean phytomass estimates ranging from 33% to 80% for the various categories assuming optimum allocation. The precision achieved by combining dimension measurements with harvesting is significantly higher than by harvests without supporting dimensional measurements.
    • Pine Needle Water Extracts as Potential Abortive Agents in Gestating Cow Diets

      Majak, W.; Waldern, D. E.; McLean, A. (Society for Range Management, 1977-07-01)
      A number of bovine abortions were reported during warm spells of the winter of 1974 in the southern interior of British Columbia. Observers speculated that the frequent thawing periods produced a run-off which extracted and accumulated abortive agents from the pine needle litter. In a test of this hypothesis, five pregnant cows each consumed extract from 200 to 300 kg ponderosa pine needles during their last trimester. No pre-partum effects were observed and five normal calves were delivered.
    • Occurrence of Four Major Perennial Grasses in Relation to Edaphic Factors in a Pristine Community

      Kleiner, E. F.; Harper, K. T. (Society for Range Management, 1977-07-01)
      The ecology and phytosociology of a virgin grassland community (Virginia Park, Canyonlands National Park, Utah) have been investigated. Based on the use of C × F index, Hilaria jamesii and Stipa comata are the most abundant of the four major perennial grasses. Oryzopsis hymenoides and Sporobolus cryptandrus are less abundant in decreasing order. The sites dominated by Hilaria are characterized by soils with finer texture, slightly warmer average temperature and higher surface K+ and organic matter compared to sites dominated by Stipa comata. In addition, frequency of both vascular and cryptogamic species is greater on sites dominated by Hilaria.
    • Mortality Associated with Sheep Operations in Idaho

      Nass, R. D. (Society for Range Management, 1977-07-01)
      Nine sheep bands from Idaho were monitored for mortality causes and circumstances during 1973 and 1974; two bands were monitored during 1975. Total ewe and lamb losses for the respective years were 9.5%, 11.5%, and 11.1%. Premature births, starvation, and disease were major causes of lamb deaths during the 3-month home ranch lambing period. During the same period, disease, shearing stress, infection, and birth complications were the main causes of ewe mortality. The yearly mean total loss for lambs on the range was 5.2%, the minimum (confirmed) loss to predators was 1.4%, and other known causes of death represented 1.1% loss. The mean minimum predation was adjusted to 2.9% on the basis of unaccounted for loss. The minimum predation rate on ewes was 1.1% (adjusted 1.6%) even though they were on the range twice as long as lambs. Coyotes accounted for 93% of all predator-killed lambs and ewes. Predation was most severe on lambs during the first 6 weeks on the range, but more ewes were killed during the fall and winter.
    • Monitoring Animal Travel with Digital Pedometers

      Anderson, D. M.; Kothmann, M. M. (Society for Range Management, 1977-07-01)
    • Leave Your Soil Tins at Home

      Reece, P. E.; Helm, D. J.; Davis, J. H. (Society for Range Management, 1977-07-01)
      Inexpensive plastic Ziploc bags were used to transport gravimetric soil moisture samples from the field to the oven. The bags retained moisture as well as soil tins and provided a reduction in container bulk and weight.
    • Growth of Selected Plants on Wyoming Surface Mined Soils and Flyash

      Howard, G. S.; Schuman, G. E.; Rauzi, F. (Society for Range Management, 1977-07-01)
      This greenhouse study was initiated to determine potential plant growth on three surface-mined soils and their overburden, and on coal flyash mixtures from sites in Wyoming prior to field studies and plant establishment trials. There was no indication that either topsoil or overburden from the active mine sites in Gillette, Hanna, or Shirley Basin, was detrimental to plant growth when water and temperature were not limiting. Forage plants and range shrubs on each soil benefited from the addition of N and/or P fertilizer. The addition of sewage sludge or manure also greatly increased growth. The study indicated that certain mixtures of flyash in soil and sludge can be successfully revegetated. The application of this data may be extensive in the reclamation and revegetation of surface-mined soils in those areas tested.
    • Germination Characteristics of Broadscale: A Possible Saline Alkaline Site Stabilizer

      Edgar, R. L.; Springfield, H. W. (Society for Range Management, 1977-07-01)
      Germination of broadscale (Atriplex obovata Moq.), aperennial saltbush, was optimum when the seeds were exposed to light at 10 to 20 degrees C. Germination was suppressed in the absence of light, although very brief exposure to light will overcome this inhibition. Seeds of intermediate size germinate best; gray seeds germinate better than tan seeds. Because of its growth on excessively alkaline, saline sand, and shale soils of the Southwest, as well as its nutritive value and palatability to livestock, broadscale has potential for stabilization of a variety of disturbed sites.
    • Forage Quality of Colorado Pastures

      Thompson, L. G.; Dotzenko, A. D. (Society for Range Management, 1977-07-01)
      Irrigated pastures located throughout Colorado were evaluated for quality during the 1974 and 1975 growing seasons. The locations represent the diverse climatic and soil conditions found throughout the state. Twelve chemical components were evaluated from each pasture sample obtained over a 5-month period for both years. The relationships of the various chemical components to each other, to time of sampling, and in particular to in vitro digestible dry matter (IVDDM) were determined. Crude protein, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, hemicellulose, cellulose, lignin, silica, IVDDM, calcium, and magnesium showed significant changes during the growing seasons of both years while phosphorus and potassium did not. Acid detergent fiber and silica were shown to have significant positive correlation with time of sampling while crude protein and IVDDM had significant negative correlations during both growing seasons. The best predicators of IVDDM in regression analyses were acid detergent fiber, time of sampling, and hemicellulose. The acid detergent fiber concentration accounted for 60% of the variation in digestibility. The time of sampling and the percentages of acid detergent fiber and hemicellulose provided a reliable estimate of digestibility of irrigated pastures in Colorado.
    • Food Habits of Cattle on Shortgrass Range in Northeastern Colorado

      Vavra, M.; Rice, R. W.; Hansen, R. M.; Sims, P. L. (Society for Range Management, 1977-07-01)
      Cattle food habits and plant composition in the diets were similar on the light and heavily grazed pastures on shortgrass prairie near Nunn, Colorado. Blue grama (36% and 40%), scarlet globemallow (15% and 11%), and sun sedge (9% and 9%) collectively averaged about 60% of the monthly diets at both grazing intensities. The proportions between diets and available forage in each pasture were significantly related for the 12 major foods. Diversity indices of diets and available pasture vegetation were positively correlated. Preference indices averaged the same for the major forages. Significant differences in diet were observed between months and years at both intensities. Fireweed summer-cypress, western wheatgrass, evening-primrose, slimflower scurfpea, and scarlet globemallow ranked highest in preference; and although blue grama was the principal component in the cattle diets, only fringed sagewort ranked lower in preference.
    • Effects of Gully Plugs and Contour Furrows on Erosion and Sedimentation in Cisco Basin, Utah

      Gifford, G. F.; Thomas, D. B.; Coltharp, G. B. (Society for Range Management, 1977-07-01)
      The effects of contour furrows and gully plugs on erosion and sedimentation within the Cisco Basin, Utah, were evaluated over a 3- to 4-year period. Soils on the study area were generally less than 10 cm deep and were developed from Mancos shale and sandstone. Contour furrows and gully plugs together held all runoff and sediment, while contour furrows alone held only a portion of the runoff and sediment. Difficulties in constructing furrows on the contour resulted in a shortened useful life of the structures. Projected life expectancy of the contour furrows ranged from 6 to 12 years; for the gully plugs the projected life expectancy was from 14 to 33 years.
    • Effects Of Fire, Ash, and Litter on Soil Nitrate, Temperature, Moisture and Tobosagrass Production in the Rolling Plains

      Sharrow, S. H.; Wright, H. A. (Society for Range Management, 1977-07-01)
      Removal of litter by burning or clipping in tobosagrass communities increased soil temperature and the rate of nitrogen mineralization. Ash had no effect on either of these soil properties in 1972, but did appear to stimulate production in 1974. With adequate soil moisture, the higher soil temperatures on burned or clipped plots stimulated plant growth and concomitantly reduced soil moisture and nitrates. By contrast, suboptimal soil temperatures on control plots limited plant growth, even though soil nitrate and moisture were ample. During dry years, soil moisture is the limiting plant growth factor and burning has no beneficial effects.
    • Effect of Fire on Lark Sparrow Nesting Densities

      Renwald, J. D. (Society for Range Management, 1977-07-01)
      Nests of ground-nesting lark sparrows were censused on seven different ages of burns in a honey mesquite- tobosagrass community in central Texas. Number of nests were negatively correlated with percent cover of tobosagrass. Nests were found in tobosagrass that averaged at least 32%, but no more than 55% cover. Breeding densities were highest in the most recent burns and declined with increasing litter build-up due to large areas being covered by decadent stands of matted tobosagrass. Clutch sizes for this study averaged 3.7 eggs per nest.
    • Correlations of Precipitation and Temperature with Spring, Regrowth, and Mature Crested Wheatgrass Yields

      Sneva, F. A. (Society for Range Management, 1977-07-01)
      Yields of crested wheatgrass on August 1 and May 15 and its August 1st regrowth, with or without N fertilizer, were correlated with 45 temperature and precipitation variates. Correlation coefficients for mature yields with monthly precipitation were highest for combinations of eight or more consecutive months, beginning the previous July, August, or September. The inclusion of growing season temperature increased the coefficient of determination by a maximum of 8 percentage units. The best combination for predicting unfertilized mature yield was July- May precipitation plus mean March, April, and May temperatures and accounted for 64% of the total yield variation. Mean February temperature with March precipitation accounted for 83% of the variation in spring yield.