Master's Theses

Date of Award

Fall 1992

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Robert Nicholson


A 4-year experiment was conducted to assess the effect of added water and nitrogen on biomass yields of mixed shortgrass prairie in western Kansas. Treatments consisted of water, nitrogen, water + nitrogen, and control. Irrigated plots were sprinkled with 2.54 cm of water weekly during the growing season. Fertilized plots had 56 kg/ha nitrogen applied each spring. Fertilized plots had 56 kg/ha nitrogen applied each spring. Subplots were clipped with hand clippers in July and October, sorted, dried, and weighed. Species involved were buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.), blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis (H.B.K.) Lag. ex Steud.), western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii (Rydb.) Love), Japanese brome (Bromus japonicas Thunb. ex Murr.), and western ragweed (Ambrosia psilostachya D.C.). Added water and nitrogen, singly or in combination, increased forage yields of buffalograss or blue grama in some years (P<0.05). Nitrogen additions increased yields of Japanese brome (P<0.05). Added water increased yields of ragweed (P<0.05). Total forage was increased by water plus fertilizer (P<0.05). Warm-season native grasses (buffalograss and blue grama) produced a smaller percentage of the total forage when water, nitrogen, or water + nitrogen were added. Although biomass was increased with irrigation and fertilization, it may contain larger amounts of less-desirable species.


Copyright 1992 Carolyn E. Blocksome


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