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Relationship of Native and Introduced Grasses With and Without Cattle in a Young Ponderosa Pine Plantation

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On an above-average site in northern California, an early shrub-forb-grass plant community was treated by artificially seeding two forage grass species at plantation age 3, cattle grazing with and without seeded grasses, and applying a soil-active chemical (Velpar). Planted ponderosa pines (Pinus ponderosa var. ponderosa) were part of this community. Results for a 10 yr period (1988-1997) are presented for a native, naturally invading needlegrass (Achnatherum nelsonnii), introduced orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata) and introduced pubescent wheatgrass (Agropyron trichophorum). In general, all three grasses became established, grew well, and spread throughout the study area. Density of needlegrass was highest in the Velpar, fenced control, and grazed control treatments (more than 72,000 plants/ac). Orchard grass density was highest in the seeded and grazed and seeded and fenced treatments (more than 14,000 plants/ac) and relatively high in the Velpar treatment (8,400 plants/ac). Pubescent wheatgrass established well in both seeded treatments (more than 24,000 plants/ac) and spread best to the grazed control (6,950 plants/ac). Ecologically, the introduced grasses had no major effect on the native plant community, and, economically, their effect was positive, although minor. West. J. Appl. For. 17(1):31–36.
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Keywords: Pinus ponderosa; Velpar treatment; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; grass density; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Pacific Southwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service, 2400 Washington Avenue, Redding, CA, 96001

Publication date: 01 January 2002

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