The University of Arizona

Observations on spread and fragmentation of blue grama clones in disturbed rangeland.

M.J. Samuel, R.H. Hart

Abstract


Establishment of blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis [H.B.K.] Lag ex. Steud.) depends on adequate precipitation at critical times and on reduced competition from associated vegetation. These conditions rarely occur on Central Plains rangelands. Therefore, rapid vegetative spread of new seedlings is desirable for colonizing disturbed rangeland. Blue grama genotypes selected for rapid spread would also be desirable for rangeland seeding. For 6 years, we followed the rate of spread of 19 blue grama clones originating from seedlings which emerged in 1980 and grew under natural competition. We observed a 4.5-fold difference in basal area and a 16.3-fold difference in above-ground biomass of these clones, perhaps because of genetic differences among clones and varying levels of competition. Clones must be tested under uniform competition with clonal replication to obtain reliable estimates of their capacity to spread.

Keywords


clones;basal area;vegetative propagation;seedlings;Bouteloua gracilis;Wyoming;biomass;rangelands;chemical constituents of plants

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