Influence of seedbed microsite characteristics on grass seedling emergence
soil morphological features
soil water content
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CitationWinkel, V. K., Roundy, B. A., & Cox, J. R. (1991). Influence of seedbed microsite characteristics on grass seedling emergence. Journal of Range Management, 44(3), 210-214.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractSuccessful germination and establishment of grass seedlings from surface-sown seeds requires a microsite which provides adequate soil water and temperature conditions, among other species-specific requirements. The microsite where these requirements are met has been termed a "safesite". Safesites may occur naturally as cracks and depressions in the soil surface, gravel, and plant litter, or be prepared by seedbed equipment and livestock trampling. A greenhouse study was conducted to determine the influence of seedbed microsite characteristics and soil water treatments on seedling emergence of 'Vaughn' sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula (Michx.) Torr.), 'A-130' blue panic (Panicum antidotale Retz.), and 'Cochise' Atherstone lovegrass (Eragrostis lehmanniana Nees X E. tricophera Coss and Dur.). Although there were several interactions, in general, emergence of all 3 species was highest from gravel, followed by litter, cracks, and finally the bare soil surface. Bare surface sites decreased in water content more quickly than the other sites. Cochise lovegrass had high emergence in gravel under all water treatments. Small-seeded species such as Cochise lovegrass broadcast on coarse-textured surface soils may establish with minimal seedbed preparation, provided summer precipitation is adequate.