Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 25, 2012
Publication Date: February 25, 2013
Citation: Madsen, M.D., Munday, K.L. 2013. Use of Biosol Forte as a seed coating to improve stand establishment of native bunchgrass species [abstract]. 66th Annual Meeting of the Society for Range Management, February 3-7, 2013, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Paper No. 322. Technical Abstract: Applying fertilizers at the time of planting may improve native plant establishment by increasing the ability of the seedlings to cope with environmental stresses. However, traditional fertilizer applications are often economically infeasible and may be detrimental by encouraging weed invasion. Seed coating technology allows for the efficient application of fertilizers within the microsite of the seeded species. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the slow-release fertilizer Biosol Forte® for use as a seed coating treatment to improve seedling emergence and plant establishment. Biosol coated seeds and non-treated seed were compared, using Pseudoroegneria spicata and Leymus cinereus as the model species. Seeds were coated with Biosol in a rotary coater at 60% weight of product per weight of seed. The study design consisted of factorially arranging the two species and two treatments in a randomized complete-block design, within a droughty-loam ecological site, in eastern Oregon, USA. Plant density was counted in the spring of the first year (May 2012). At the end of the growing season (August 2012) plant density was recounted and above-ground biomass was harvested. Biosol coated seed increased the number of established L. cinereus plants by 130% and improved biomass production by 156%. Established plant density and biomass production of P. spicata was 49% and 53% higher in the Biosol coating treatment. These preliminary results indicate that a Biosol seed coating can be effective in improving stand establishment of native bunchgrass species. Additional research is needed to determine long-term response of the treatment.