The University of Arizona

Above-Ground Net Primary Production for Elymus lanceolatus and Hesperostipa curtiseta After a Single Defoliation Event

A. Pantel, J. T. Romo, Y. Bai

Abstract


Above-ground net primary production (ANPP) of northern wheatgrass (Elymus lanceolatus [Scribn. & J. G. Sm.] Gould) and western porcupine grass (Hesperostipa curtiseta [Hitchc.] Barkworth) was determined after defoliation to a 7.5 cm stubble height on five landform elements in the Northern Mixed Prairie that had been ungrazed for .25 yr. Landform elements included north aspect–concave slopes, north aspect–convex slopes, south aspect–concave slopes, south aspect–convex slopes, and level uplands. ANPP was determined for 2 yr after defoliating plots once in May, June, July, August, September, October, November, or April. Northern wheatgrass and western porcupine grass ANPP varied among landform elements (P , 0.01), but not with the month of defoliation 3 landform element interaction (P $ 0.22). Month of defoliation did not influence ANPP of northern wheatgrass (P$0.69), but that of western porcupine grass was reduced by August and September defoliations (P , 0.01). ANPP of both grasses was insensitive to landform element in terms of defoliation responses. Northern wheatgrass ANPP was not responsive to temporal aspects of a single defoliation. With the exception of August and September defoliations, western porcupine grass also was insensitive to a single defoliation in different months. Land managers should consider rest (1 yr nongrazing) following grazing of western porcupine grass in August or September, whereas responses to defoliation in different months suggest northern wheatgrass can be grazed annually.


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