The University of Arizona

Investigation of herbaceous species adapted to snowfence areas.

B.L. Perryman, W.A. Laycock, D.W. Koch


Decreases in biomass and cover, as well as changes in species composition have occurred on rangelands affected by snowdrifts behind 3.8 meter tall "Wyoming" type snowfences along Interstate 80 in southeast Wyoming. Within the state of Wyoming, government agencies are responsible for the mitigation of any adverse effects associated with snowfences. These agencies need information which may aid mitigation efforts. In this study, 13 grass species and 2 tillage treatments (till and no-till) were evaluated in the field on both drift and non-drift areas, to determine the potential of each for the revegetation of snowfence sites. Evaluation was based on foliar cover at the end of the first growing season and aboveground biomass production after the second growing season. The project included plantings on 2 different soil depth sites (<50 cm and >50 cm) that were treated as 2 separate experiments. Results indicate that pubescent wheatgrass 'Luna' (Elytrigia intermedia [Host] Nevski), thick-spike wheatgrass 'Critana' (Elymus lanceolatus [Scribn. &J.G. Smith] Gould), and 2 varieties of slender wheatgrass 'Pryor' and 'San Luis' (Elymus trachycaulus [Link] Gould ex Shinners), were superior in cover and aboveground biomass production when planted in combination with tilled plots. Tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia caespitosa [L.] Beauv.) exhibited the least potential for cover and aboveground biomass production.



bromus marginatus;no-tillage;rotary cultivation;fences;Elymus lanceolatus;snow cover;Leymus angustus;Elymus trachycaulus;foliage area;revegetation plants;Elytrigia intermedia subsp. intermedia;Festuca arundinacea;Deschampsia cespitosa;Poa secunda;soil depth;Psathyrostachys juncea;Agropyron cristatum;species differences;Pascopyrum smithii;Wyoming;biomass;canopy;Leymus chinensis

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