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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Soil Seedbank Dynamics in Grazed Pasture Communities of Differing Diversity

Authors
item Tracy, B - UNIV. OF ILLINOIS
item Renne, I - UNIV. OF ILLINOIS
item Gerrish, J - UNIV. OF MISSOURI
item Sanderson, Matt

Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2004
Publication Date: July 1, 2004
Citation: Tracy, B.F., Renne, I.J., Gerrish, J.R., Sanderson, M.A. 2004. Soil seedbank dynamics in grazed pasture communities of differing diversity [abstract]. Agronomy Abstracts. Paper No. C06-tracy827858-poster. 2003 CDROM.

Technical Abstract: Recruitment of forage species from soil seed banks can help maintain the species composition of sown pasture mixtures over time. The main objective of this study was to determine whether soil seed banks could still contribute forage species to pasture mixtures 5 years after establishment. Soil seed banks were evaluated from a grazing experiment established in 1994 at the University of Missouri, Forage Systems Research Center in Linneus, MO. Soils were collected from 16 sown pasture mixtures of varying species composition. The species composition of viable seed was evaluated by identifying seedlings as they germinated over an 8 week period in the greenhouse. We identified 37 and 42 seed bank species from soil sample collections in 1999 and 2002, respectively. Smooth crabgrass was the most abundant seedbank species averaging 318 ± 37 and 395 ± 61 seed m-2. Of the original sown species, only red clover was found in significant quantity (3.7 and 5.9 seed m-2). We concluded that the soil seed bank probably could not serve as a major forage species pool to restore or maintain the composition of sown pasture mixtures. Soil seed banks, however, might be exploited to encourage establishment of unconventional forage plants like crabgrass, which could provide important forage for livestock during the hot summer months in temperate grazing lands.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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