Master's Theses

Date of Award

Summer 1955

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

Advisor

Dr. Gerald W. Tomanek

Abstract

Grassland research has undergone a definite acceleration since the great drought of 1933-40 (Albertson, 1949). The importance of grass in the conservation of our nation's agricultural resources has been brought clearly before research workers as well as the nation's population. In past years, especially after World War II, marginal and submarginal lands have been plowed and seeded to crops in an effort to supply food, and to take advantage of high crop prices (Albertson and Weaver, 1942). Many acres of land, which have been proven unfit for cultivation, should be reseeded to suitable grasses and returned to grazing. This is a large task, as Pearse, et al. (1948) estimate that 80 million acres of land are depleted and must be reseeded if they are to recover and become productive in our generation. By 1948 approximately 5 million acres had been planted. Nixon (1949) states that in Oklahoma and Texas alone, about 7 million acres of depleted cropland should be returned to permanent grassland and 14 million acres of grazing l and reseeded. The recent severe drought of the southwest will probably result in still larger acreages being put back to grass. The re-establishment of grass on dusted or abandoned land by natural succession is a very slow process. In the western Great Plains, Shantz (1911) acquired data which indicate that 20 to 50 years is required to restore buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides) to its original state where the cover was destroyed by cultivation. At Hays, Kansas, Riegel (1944) found that on a reseeded area blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) attained a cover in 3 seasons exceeding the cover which had taken 24 years to develop on a natural revegetation site. For satisfactory results in revegetation, a grass should be 2 used which will rapidly cover the surface of the soil, provide abundant palatable forage for livestock, and be sufficiently hardy to withstand the variable climatic conditions of the Great Plains. Since damage to grassland may result from dusting and intense heat as well as from lack of precipitation it is necessary to plant a species which will endure these conditions (Weaver and Albertson, 1940).

Rights

Copyright 1955 Marion P. Wheeler

Comments

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code).

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