Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences


Two bunchgrass species commonly found in the Intermountain West, Agropyron spicatum and A. desertorum, are morphologically similar but respond to defoliation very differently. A. desertorum produces more daughter tillers and is more hardy than A. spicatum. Hormones were applied to experimental plants to observe changes in tillering rates, growth rates, and response of plants to the stress of exogenous hormone application. Gibberellic acid treatments were related to increased tiller height in both species, but also a decrease in daughter tiller production in A. desertorum and an increase in senescence in A. spicatum. Kinetin increased senescence in A. desertorum. Auxin showed no significant response in either species or in any of the treatments. A. spicatum plants showed higher levels of senescence than A. desertorum plants and appeared unhealthy and stressed in subjective observations.



Faculty Mentor

James H. Richards