Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/25/2011
Publication Date: 1/27/2012
Citation: Johnson, D.A., Bushman, B.S., Jones, T.A., Connors, K.J. 2012. Effect of seed scarification and seeding depth on greenhouse seedling emergence in western prairie clover, Searls prairie clover, and Basalt milkvetch. Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts.
Technical Abstract: Only a few North American legumes are commercially available for rangeland revegetation in the western U.S. Basalt milkvetch (Astragalus filipes, Asfi)), western prairie clover (Dalea ornata, Daor) and Searls' prairie clover (D. searlsiae, Dase) are three North American legumes that hold promise for use in rangeland revegetation/restoration. Hardseededness is a common feature in legume species that can limit initial, uniform germination and subsequent seedling establishment. However, no information is available concerning hardseededness in these three legumes and how scarification by acid or sandpaper affects the germination and early seedling establishment of these three species. Seeds of the three species were scarified for 5 min. in concentrated sulfuric acid, scarified by sandpaper, or given no treatment. Seeds of purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea) and Utah sweetvetch (Hedysarum boreale) were used as checks. Seeds were planted at 0.6 or 1.9 cm depth in a sandy loam soil in a greenhouse using four replications and a randomized complete block design. Two trials were conducted. Results showed that scarification greatly improved seedling emergence in Daor and Dase, but less so for Asfi. Seedlings emerged slightly better with acid-scarification than scarification by sandpaper. Also, seedlings of Daor and Dase emerged nearly the same at a 0.6- or 1.9-cm soil depth. These results suggest that scarification is necessary to maximize germination in Daor and Dase and that planting at depths up to 1.9 cm are possible in sandy loam soils. These greenhouse results will be used to design field establishment trials with these three species.