The University of Arizona

Effects of seedbed preparation and cattle trampling on burial of grass seeds.

V.K. Winkel, B.A. Roundy, D.K. Blough

Abstract


Location of seeds in the seedbed may affect germination and seedling establishment of range grasses. Our objective was to determine the effects of trampling by livestock and mechanical seedbed preparation on burial of grass seed on a sandy loam seedbed. Plots were root plowed or ripped then broadcast seeded, or broadcast seeded then lightly or heavily trampled by cattle or land imprinted before summer rains. Seedbeds were sampled by extracting soil plugs with plastic vials, splitting the plugs, and determining seed location with a dissecting scope. Sampling occurred after treatment, after summer thunderstorms, and after seedling emergence. An average of 75, 42, 17, and 7% of seeds found were buried immediately after heavy trampling, land imprinting, light trampling, and no disturbance, respectively. After summer thunderstorms an average of 78, 72, 63, 40, and 29% of seeds found were buried on plots root plowed or ripped, heavily trampled, imprinted, lightly trampled, and undisturbed, respectively. Although high percentages of seeds were buried on plots heavily trampled, imprinted, and root plowed or ripped, many of these seeds were too deep for seedling emergence. Smaller-seeded blue panic (Panicum antidotale) and the lovegrasses (Eragrostis lehmanniana Nees and Eragrostis lehmanniana Nees XE. trichophera) were buried by treatment and rain better than sideoats grama [Bouteloua curtipendula (Michx) Torr.].

Keywords


eragrostis trichophera;land imprinting;plowing;buried seeds;seedbed preparation;Bouteloua curtipendula;hybrids;Eragrostis;Panicum antidotale;seedling emergence;rain;seeds;environmental factors;cattle;Eragrostis lehmanniana;trampling;Arizona

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