Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/2010
Publication Date: 2/5/2011
Citation: Jensen, K.B., Robins, J.G., Waldron, B.L., Larson, S.R. 2011. Breeding Strategies for the Development of Native Grasses. Abstract #31. Society for Range Management 64th Annual Meetings, Billings, Montana. February 6-10, 2011. (Invited)
Technical Abstract: Vast areas of semiarid rangelands in western USA are severely degraded and infested with troublesome weeds such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) and medusahead rye (Taeniatherum asperum (Sim.) Nevski). Re-seeding with appropriate plant materials that are adapted to the site and competitive enough to replace existing undesirable vegetation is often the most plausible way to reclaim such sites. Most native grasses did not evolve under intense management or in association with species as competitive as cheatgrass. Geneticaly improved germplasms and cultivars of native grasses are being developed by the Forage and Range Research Laboratory (FRRL) of the United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS). These plant materials have demonstrated the potential for increasing the genetic diversity, protecting watersheds and soil resources and improving the habitat and grazing potential for livestock and wildlife on semiarid rangelands. This presentation will discuss the different strategies associated with native grass improvement. The proper choice of plant materials must be based on objective criteria if we are to protect our lands and natural resources from further degradation.