Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Second Floor
Many of acres of Western rangeland have been degraded by mining and other land disturbances which often results in soil with elevated salinity, increased acidity, high levels of sodium, metals, and decreased nutrient availability. Chemical amendment of degraded soils followed by reseeding has resulted in some success, yet high costs and low effectiveness suggest that naturally tolerant plant species and genetic improvement may be required to rehabilitate these rangelands. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the ability of crested wheatgrass, Russian wildrye, Altai wildrye, thickspike wheatgrass, slender wheatgrass, Snake River wheatgrass, intermediate and tall wheatgrass, basin wildrye, creeping wildrye, and other misc. species to establish and persist on heavy metal soils containing Arsenic, Selenium, N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Mn, Cu, Na, and S. Seeds (30 seeds replication-1 with 4 replications) were planted in soil from three mine sites containing different concentrations of the above heavy metals. When combined across all three soil types in ascending order, Nevada bluegrass (cv. Opportunity), smooth brome (cv. Manchar), orchardgrass (Exp. Line and Paiute), thickspike wheatgrass (Exp. Line), slender wheatgrass (cv. FirstStrike, Copperhead, and Exp. line), Basin wildrye (cv. Trailhead), crested wheatgrass (cv. Hycrest II), Snake River wheatgrass (Exp. Line and Discovery), meadow brome (cv. Cache), and Altai wildrye (cv. Mustang) all had germination rates over 50%. Persistence and heavy metal concentrations in the forage will be reported.