Date of Award:

1975

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Natural Resources

Department name when degree awarded

Range Science

Advisor/Chair:

John C. Malechek

Abstract

Two intermediate wheatgrass seedings with different levels of grass bug infestation were evaluated for herbage production, seedhead production, percent dry matter, crude protein, and cell contents. Study sites were located at different elevations on mountain summer ranges in northern (Site I) and central (Site II) Utah. Study plots at Site I and Site II were infested with 113 and 210 bugs per sweep, respectively. Herbage production appeared to be reduced in early spring on the site with the higher infestation; however, no effect on season-long herbage production could be detected on either site. Seedhead production on infested plots was reduced 45 percent at Site I and 56 percent at Site II. No important effect on dry matter content of infested plants was detected even though the leaves appeared to be dry and in a condition of moisture stress. Crude protein of infested plants was significantly higher (one to two percent) than control plants on the site with the higher infestation. The percentage of cell contents of plants on the more highly infested plot was eight percent less than the percentage of cell contents of control plants in the early spring. This reduction coincided with the period of peak damage. Later in the season this difference diminished as plant growth continued after the bug population completed its life cycle.

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