Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Relationship of nitrogen level to medusahead, Taeniatherum asperum (Sim.), competition with wheatgrass and silica content Public Deposited

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  • Studies were conducted to determine the competitive ability of medusahead, Taeniatherum asperum (Sim.), for nitrogen when grown in association with perennial range grass species. The method used to determine this competitive ability was to compare the dry weight, percent nitrogen, and total nitrogen of medusahead and perennial wheatgrass species growing in association to that of each species growing in a pure stand. Under range conditions, where grazing was not a factor, the pubescent wheatgrass appeared to be a better competitor than medusahead when the two species were grown in association. Although inconclusive, there was evidence that uptake of nitrogen by medusahead and perennial wheatgrass species involved was concurrent. The relationship of soil application of nitrogen to the silica concentration in medusahead was investigated by conducting silica analysis on medusahead forage collected from plots receiving various levels of nitrogen. Nitrogen application produced a decrease in the percent silica in the foliage of medusahead. The difference in silica concentration between fertilized and non-fertilized forage was greatest during early stages of growth and narrowed as the plants approached maturity. Decreased silica concentration may account for the apparent animal preference for fertilized forage of medusahead as compared to unfertilized forage of medusahead. To increase the efficiency of greenhouse experiments, the requirements for floral induction of medusahead were studied. It appeared that medusahead must be exposed to periods of cold temperatures if it is to complete its life cycle. This requirement can be met when the plant is in a very early stage of growth. Light did not appear to be involved in the floral induction of medusahead.
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