The University of Arizona

Seasonal Availability of Cool and Warm-Season Herbage in the Northern Mixed Prairie

Edward W. Bork, Barry D. Irving

Abstract


On the Ground
• Variability in spatial and temporal patterns of
herbage production is common in grasslands and
can affect land uses, such as grazing.
• Total herbage biomass in northern mixed grass
prairie was similar on loamy and sand dune
ecologic sites but varied in composition.
• Cool-season grasses were uniformly produced
throughout the grazing season, whereas warm-season
grasses grew rapidly during August.
• Litter conservation was important for increasing
cool-season grass biomass, whereas warm-season
grasses remained independent of litter.
• Biomass and composition of herbage in the
northern mixed grass varies spatially and intraannually,
affecting seasonal grazing opportunities
for livestock.

Keywords: ecologic site, forage production, inverse
texture effect, litter, seasonal grazing opportunities.


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