Pendery and Provenza measured the effects of interseeding 3 shrub species and alfalfa (Medicago sativa) with crested wheatgrass (Agropyron desertorum), in order to determine if this management practice could be utilized to increase the value of crested wheatgrass monocultures for livestock and wildlife. Annual growth of crested wheatgrass declined when other species were added to the pastures, however, shrubs produced little annual growth while alfalfa produced large quantities of annual growth, suggesting that shrubs were not able to compete with crested wheatgrass as well as alfalfa. Clipping alfalfa and crested wheatgrass increased annual yield of all plants and increased the number of flowering branches on shrubs, indicating that shrub development and growth was being limited somewhat by competition with these other species. The results of the study indicated that seeding alfalfa and a shrub species with crested wheatgrass could increase the forage yield and possibly the forage quality in crested wheatgrass pastures, however, they believe that shrub performance could be enhanced by reducing competition with other species and planting small patches of shrubs rather than interseeded them throughout the pasture.
Rangeland Ecology & Management
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