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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Establishment rates of pure and mixed stands of short and tall native grasses on a roadside slope
Year: 2002
Author(s): Doak, S. O., Ervin, E., Daniels, J.
Source Title: Proceedings of the Third Eastern Native Grass Symposium
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 75
Original Publication:  
Abstract: Interest in using native grasses for stabilization of roadside and other disturbed sites is increasing but there is little work comparing the establishment rates of native species and those of adapted species. This experiment was designed to provide comparative establishment information under roadside construction conditions. Pure and mixed stands of native grasses and two adapted species were planted on a newly constructed roadside slope, cut out of a hillside in Blacksburg, VA. The native grasses were divided into two categories. The short species planted were buffalograss, blue grama, sideoats grma, and little bluestem. The tall species used were big bluestem, indiangrass, switchgrass, and deertongue. The adapted species planted were hard fescue and tall fescue. The adapted species established faster and provided a higher percentage of ground cover than the native species in the first year. In the second year, the stands with buffalograss and blue grama in the mix provided a percentage of ground cover similar to the adapted species and by the end of the third year, all the short native species, except sideoats grama, were statistically equal to the adapted species. The taller native species established much slower than either the adapted or the short native native species. By the end of three years, only one tall species, big bluestem, achieved a percentage ground cover similar to the adapted species. The native grasses can provide similar percentage of ground cover as some currently adapted species, but may take several years to achieve what the adapted species cover in a single season.
Publisher: The North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, NC, October 1-3, 2002. Omnipress, Madison, WI
Editor(s): J. Randall