Overstory-understory grass seedings on sagebrush-bunchgrass range Public Deposited


Published December 1964. Facts and recommendations in this publication may no longer be valid. Please look for up-to-date information in the OSU Extension Catalog:  http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog


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Abstract or Summary
  • "Crested wheatgrass, beardless wheatgrass, and big bluegrass were seeded as overstory grasses. Streambank wheatgrass, canby bluegrass, bulbous bluegrass, and Ladak alfalfa were seeded as companion species. Pure and mixed stands were seeded on sagebrush-bunchgrass range in eastern Oregon to compare yield and competitiveness. The grasses were planted in 1956, 1957, and 1958, and half of each plot was fertilized with ammonium nitrate at 20 or 30 pounds of N per acre. The plots were evaluated for seeding success, herbage production, weed production, and brush establishment in four consecutive years after planting. Yields of overstory grasses in pure stands exceeded those in mixed stands. Nitrogen fertilization increased yields about 45% but did not increase seeding success on f allowed or burned seedbeds or alter greatly either competitive status or plant composition. Relative yields of individuals in mixed stands (yields expressed in percent of that in a pure stand) were computed to indicate competitive status and compatibility. Crested wheatgrass was highly competitive, producing 90% with canby bluegrass and 82% with streambank wheatgrass. Beardless wheatgrass and big bluegrass were about equally, but weakly to moderately, competitive, and were suppressed considerably more by streanibank wheatgrass than by canby bluegrass. The sums of relative yields in mixed stands were near 100, indicating essentially direct competition, except for the mixture of beardless wheatgrass and canby bluegrass. In this case, the sum of relative yields averaged 120%, indicating reasonable compatibility that improved with age of the stands. Crested wheatgrass in either pure or mixed stands practically eliminated all herbaceous weeds in the second growing season. All grasses except bulbous and canby bluegrass provided effective weed control by the fourth growing season. Crested and streambank wheatgrasses, and mixtures including them, permitted the establishment of fewer brush than other species. Beardless wheatgrass was least effective in resfricting brush establishment. Brush became established in the seeding years in greater numbers than in any single year thereafter, but the counts in the fourth year were about twice that in the first year. Except on plots seeded to crested wheatgrass, there was no appreciable mortality of established brush seedlings. All seedings restricted brush establishment when compared to unseeded plots. Big bluegrass was continually and severely suppressed by companion understory grasses and should be planted in pure stands. Un-i derstory grasses with crested wheatgrass offered little advantage or disadvantage, and would likely incur a small economic loss. Beardless wheatgrass and canby bluegrass were reasonably compatible and provided a mixed stand that could be recommended as preferable to beardless wheatgrass in a pure stand. In areas of coarse-textured soils where gray rabbitbrush is a problem, a closer row spacing of crested wheatgrass would likely provide maximum resistance to brush establishment."--Summary
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Table of Contents
  • Introduction 3 Location of Study Areas 4 Squaw Butte Experiment Station 4 Fort Rock 6 Diamond 6 Redmond 7 Procedures Squaw Butte Experiment Station 7 Fort Rock 9 Diamond 10 Redmond 11 Results 12 Squaw Butte Experiment Station 12 Fort Rock 22 Diamond 24 Redmond 25 Conclusions 27 Summary 29 Literature Cited 30
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