Native grasses : improving the seedling vigor and seed production of blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) and prairie junegrass (Koeleria macrantha) ecovars (TM)

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Friesen, Glenn Mark A.
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Interest continues to grow in the utilization of native grasses for conservation, reclamation, Conservation Reserve Programs (CRP), right-of-ways, and wildlife habitat across North America. However, difficulty in establishment and limited availability of adapted seed sources has constrained the use of native grasses. The objectives of this study were to assess the effects of seeding rate, phosphorous fertilizer, Penicillium bilaii and soil texture on the establishment of blue grama and prairie junegrass ecovars TM, to examine the morphological distinctness and uniformity of a Manitoba blue grama ecovarrM, and to determine the potential for protection of this ecovar TM under the Plant Breeders' Rights Act of Canada. Blue grama and prairie junegrass row densities increased when seeding rate was doubled in a controlled environment; however seedling establishment as a percentage of seed sown decreased. Neither species responded to in-furrow P fefiilizer, fungal inoculant treatment, or a liquid foliar application of N. Soil type was the most important treatment for increasing establishment success, with the sandy loam providing the highest establishment rates and largest plants for both blue grama and prairie junegrass. The potential for the Manitoba blue grama ecovar TM to qualify for protection under the PBR Act of Canada was assessed as good...