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The ongoing drought in the Intermountain West has brought a great deal of attention to water conservation over the past several years. During that time, turfgrass irrigation has been targeted as a source for large potential water savings. Some communities promote downsizing turfgrass areas as the best water conservation measure. In reality, turfgrass controls erosion, reduces evaporation from a site, and provides a safe surface for human activities. One alternative to elimination would be wider use of low water-use-grasses appropriate to the area. However, many questions arise regarding the choice of such grasses and their management. Our research addresses these questions. Plots have been established at Montana State University, Bozeman; Utah State University, Logan; and USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Center, Bridger, Mo. The grasses considered include 12 single species and 12 mixed species stands of `Cody' buffalograss, `Foothills' Canada bluegrass, `Bad River' blue grama, sheep fescue, sandberg bluegrass, muttongrass, and wheatgrasses `Sodar' streambank, `Road Crest' crested, `Rosana' western, and `Critana' thickspike with Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue as controls. Line source irrigation allowed the plots to be evaluated at a number of levels of irrigation. Experimental measurements on the plots included growth response as determined by clipping yield and quality ratings, and species composition. Fescues and wheatgrasses retained their color, texture, and density throughout the growing season, regardless of moisture level. Warm-season grasses performed well in June, July, and August only, and worked poorly in mixtures as the green cool-season grasses could not mask the brown dormant leaves in cooler weather.

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Lupinus albus ssp. graecus, L. Fabaceae (Boiss. and Spruner) Franco and P.Silva, is being studied at the TEI of Heraklion since 1998 as a new plant with potential use in floriculture and ornamental horticulture. The plant has been recorded botanically; however, little is known about its physiology and genetic profile. Lupinus albus ssp. is a herbaceous annual plant 10 to 20 cm tall, growing at roadsides, field margins, vineyards, and olive groves up to 700 m altitude. The leaves are 5 to 11 cm wide, palmate shaped in alternate orientation, with five to nine leaflets 10 to 18 mm wide, all arising from the same point. The flowers are borne in terminal or lateral spike-like racemes 10 to 20 cm long. Florets are 15 mm long, dark blue occasionally with a white patch, stamens forming a tube. Pods are 60 to 70 mm long,with four to six black-spotted seeds. In the present work, seed germination studies were conducted combining chilling pretreatments with physical scarification (scratching). Mature seeds chilled at 5 °C for 6 weeks germinated readily (83%) when scarified with sand paper. Furthermore, we tested the effects of several plant growth regulators (chlorocholine chloride, paclobutrazol, maleic hydrazide and Ethrel 48) on young plants of Lupinus in order to obtain compact pot plants with more flowering racemes. Paclobutrazol at 5 and 10 mg/L achieved the best retardation effect, but did not affect flowering. In another trial with different potting media,the commercial potting soil proved the most suitable for growing lupins satisfactorily. It is concluded that Lupinus albus spp. graecus L. need further investigation in order to establish the best cultural conditions for its growth and development. Furthermore, due to its high genetic variability, selection and genetic improvement is required for optimal results.

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This research was done to examine the damage to vegetation due to white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Deer damage is an alarming problem in the agricultural setting, but a growing concern is the “browsing damage” to the natural habitat. Forests and their undergrowth are not able to regenerate under the heavy browsing pressure. This is posing serious problems that are in the progress of being remedied.

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Seedlings of Baptisia australis (L.) R. Br. and Liatris aspera Michx., grown in prairie soil with no additional P, benefited significantly from inoculation with Glomus etunicatum Becker and Gerd., regardless of whether they were adequately watered or moderately or severely drought-stressed. In the presence of additional P, growth of severely droughted inoculated seedlings for both plant species was not significantly greater than noninoculated plants. When the influence of four Glomus species on growth of the two forbs was compared under drought-stress conditions with no supplemental P, growth of both plant species was signficantly improved by all fungal species compared to noninoculated controls. Preinoculated seedlings of both plant species were transplanted into disturbed-site soils with indigenous vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungi present and subjected to severe moisture stress. After 12 weeks, inoculated seedlings were significantly larger than noninoculated seedlings for all soil types, with or without additional fertilizer (0.15 kg P/m3 + 0.075 kg N/m3). Under conditions of drought stress and low fertility, preinoculated seedlings of both B. australis and L. aspera grew significantly larger than noninoculated seedlings.

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