Influence of Seedbed Microsite Characteristics on Grass Seedling Emergence

Von K. Winkel, Bruce A. Roundy, Jerry R. Cox
1991 Journal of range management  
Successful germination and establishment of grass seedlings from surface-sown seeds requires a microsite which provides nde quate soil water and temperature conditions, among other speciesspecific requirements. The microsite where these requirements are met has been termed a "safesite". Safesites may occur naturally as cracks and depressions in the soil surface, gravel, and plant litter, or be prepared by seedbed equipment and livestock trampling. A greenhouse study was conducted to determine
more » ... e intluence of seedbed microsite characteristics and soil water treatments on seedling emergence of 'Vaughn' sideoats gramn (Bouteloua curtipendula (Michx.) Torr.), 'A-130' blue panic (Panicurn antidotule Retz.), and 'Cochise' Atherstone lovegrass (Eragrostis lehmanniana Nees X E. tricophera Coss and Dur.). Although there were several interactions, in general, emergence of all 3 species was highest from gravel, followed by litter, cracks, and finally the bare soil surface. Bare surface sites decreased in water content more quickly than the other sites. Cochise lovegrass had high emergence in gravel under all water treatments. Small-seeded species such as Cochise lovegrass broadcast on coarse-textured surface soils may establish with minimal seedbed preparation, provided summer precipitation is adequate.
doi:10.2307/4002943 fatcat:z5keby6jwbbltcko72bgesucra