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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Forage and Range Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #326378

Research Project: Develop Improved Plant Genetic Resources to Enhance Pasture and Rangeland Productivity in the Semiarid Regions of the Western U.S.

Location: Forage and Range Research

Title: Evaluation of a native prairie Junegrass collection from Eastern Oregon for use in the Great Basin

Author
item Staub, Jack
item Robbins, Matthew

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2016
Publication Date: 3/14/2016
Citation: Staub, J.E., Robbins, M.D. 2016. Evaluation of a native prairie Junegrass collection from Eastern Oregon for use in the Great Basin. Meeting Abstract.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Native prairie Junegrass [Koeleria macrantha (Ledeb.) Schult.; PJG] has potential for contributing to increased western U.S. rangeland productivity given its putative drought and heat tolerance. In 2010 a collection of PJG was received from L&H Seed Company, originating from several sites in the Umatilla National Forest of Eastern Oregon (Grant, Morrow, and Wheeler counties). This collection (designated as Umatilla) was evaluated as transplants along with controls {PJG cultivar Barkoel, and fescue cultivars Durar [Festuca. trachyphylla (Hack.) Krajina], Covar (F. ovina L.), and Black Sheep (F. ovinal)} in replicated performance trials at three locations (Malta, ID, Blue Creek, UT, and North Logan, UT) with a range of annual precipitation (200 mm, 350 mm, and 450 mm, respectively). After the establishment year (2011), plants were evaluated for biomass (g/plant dry weight), regrowth (g/plant dry weight), persistence, and seed yield (number of seeds per plant) over two years (2012-2013). There were significant (p<0.05) differences for all traits between years and locations. For locations, Blue Creek and North Logan were similar while the harshest site (lowest precipitation), Malta, was significantly (p<0.05) lower for all traits. Trait values for Umatilla were greater than Barkoel for all traits in Malta and Blue Creek, but none of these differences were statistically significant (p>0.05). Umatilla was not statistically different from the fescues in these two locations for all traits, except regrowth. For this trait, Umatilla performed as well as Black Sheep, but 2.1-2.7 and 2.5-4.4 times less than Covar and Durar, respectively. However, in the harshest environment, Umatilla was 15.3, 10.0, 6.8, and 6.2 times greater than Barkoel for biomass, regrowth, persistence, and seed number, respectively. Conversely, Umatilla was not statistically different from the fescues for all four traits except for performing 3.7 times greater than Black Sheep for regrowth. These data indicate that Umatilla has potential as a plant material for forage production and rangeland reclamation in arid environments of the western U.S.