Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/24/2018
Publication Date: 3/15/2019
Citation: Harrison, M.L., Bradley, V.L., Casler, M.D. 2019. Native grass species for forage and turf. In: Greene, S.L., Williams, K.A., Khoury, C.K., Kantar, M.B., Marek, L.F., editors. North American Crop Wild Relatives. New York, NY: Springer, Cham. Volume 2, p. 579-605.
Technical Abstract: North America has an abundance of native grass species including both cool season and warm season grasses. These grasses serve a multitude of purposes including use as forage, turf, erosion control, riparian buffer, wildlife habitat, ornamental and biofuel. Although their importance in agriculture has been somewhat overshadowed by the use of non-native grasses in both forage and turf breeding programs, their value has not been overlooked. As the demand and interest in native grasses has risen in recent decades, germplasm exploration and collection of native grasses has likewise increased. The need to conserve North American native germplasm has become more and more evident as modern agricultural practices, urbanization, and changing climates threaten native populations and highlight the need for preserving high quality, representative germplasm. Current plant genetic resources, both in situ and ex situ, provide valuable plant germplasm to researchers and plant breeders, but there is a need to better represent the genetic diversity and fill genetic gaps of these important species.