Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Dr. F. W. Albertson
Work on root systems of forage plants has indicated that a knowledge of root relationships is fully as important in determining the actual conditions of ranges or pastures as is knowledge of the effects of grazing upon aboveground portions of plants. This is especially true in arid or semiarid regions since plants of these areas are frequently subjected to long periods of drought, high temperatures, and high wind velocities. Some xeric plants have a thickened cuticular layer, stomates that open only at night, and other mechanisms that prevent loss of water that is absorbed by the roots. However, in plants of the short grass plains an extensive root system is the primary means of obtaining water that is needed for life processes during periods of stress. If the development of roots is impaired by bad grazing practices there is a reduction in the ability of plants to withstand drought and other adverse climatic conditions. The ability of a plant to produce abundant forage is also decreased by poorly developed underground parts. A knowledge of root systems, therefore, is essential in determining grazing practices that will insure the growth of well developed vigorous plants.
Branson, Farrel, "Effects On Different Intensities of Utilization Upon The Underground Parts of Short Grasses In West Central Kansas" (1947). Master's Theses. 386.
© 1947 Farrel Branson