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Diane M. Narem, Mary Hockenberry Meyer, Chengyan Yue and Nicole Roth

Shropshire, 2009 ). All these characteristics make native plants desirable for ecologically conscious gardeners and landscape designers. Native grasses provide many of these environmental benefits. They are low-maintenance plants that need little fertilizer

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Rebecca Nelson Brown, Cynthia Percivalle, Sophia Narkiewicz and Samantha DeCuollo

( Sprague, 1933 ; Stuckey, 1941 ). Little is known about the rooting patterns of eastern ecotypes of the prairie grasses studied by Weaver (1968) or about the rooting patterns of the eastern native grass species not found in the prairie. The objective

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Lance Stott, Lisa Rew and Tracy Dougher

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has used hydroseeding, imprinting, and drill seeding methods to revegetate highway construction sites, with varying degrees of success. Ecological concerns, particularly in areas with high erosion potential, have led Caltrans to search for more-reliable plant establishment methods. One possibility is native sod, which should reduce erosion potential, and, the species would also be better suited to local environments, require less maintenance, and pose no invasive threat to adjacent ecosystems. In addition, the use of native sod may also reduce or prevent weed establishment. Our project aims to evaluate different native grass species mixes to determine the best species combinations for sod. We selected 21 species of native grasses in order to determine their suitability for sod production in six Californian ecoregions. Grasses were grown in six growth chambers that mimic the climate of the six ecoregions. Mixtures of varying species included either one rhizomatous species with three bunch grasses, one rhizomatous species and five bunch grasses, two rhizomatous species with three bunch grasses, or two rhizomatous species with five bunch grasses for each ecoregion. The mixtures were grown and tested for yield, species composition, and percentage of cover over time. At the end of the 6-month production time, a final harvest evaluated root depth and biomass as well as sod strength. Rhizomatous grasses, if planted with Bromus sp., were quickly overwhelmed. At the first harvest ground coverage was between 10% and 15% for all species mixes. Ground coverage increased over the production cycle, but maximum ground coverage remained less than 80% overall.

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Landon D. Bunderson, Paul G. Johnson, Kelly L. Kopp and Adam Van Dyke

). These methods have not been used for evaluating stands of native grasses with variable visual characteristics. The color of native turfgrass stands vary widely, making comparisons of turfgrass quality difficult. This is a challenge in the development of

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Qi Zhang, Kevin Rue and Sheng Wang

] > sideoats grama [ B. curtipendula (Michx.) Torr.], black grama [ B. eriopoda (Torr.) Torr.], and buffalograss. Mintenko and Smith (2001) estimated the salt tolerance of four native grasses, alkaligrass [ Puccinellia nuttalliana (Schult.) Hitchc.], blue

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Michael J. Costello

studies have evaluated California native grasses in vineyards ( Baumgartner et al., 2008 ; Ingels et al., 2005 ), and neither found a negative effect on grape yield. Several studies have looked at how vineyard cover crops affect soil– and plant

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Daniel R. Miller, Robert J. Mugaas, Mary H. Meyer and Eric Watkins

. Several native grass species also show potential for low-maintenance turfgrass areas. Mintenko et al. (2002) evaluated 12 species of native grasses adapted to the northern Great Plains for 4 years at Winnipeg and Carmen, MB, Canada, and found blue grama

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Erika N. Kocsis, Ronald F. Hooks and James N. McCrimmon

The use of grasses native to New Mexico are preferred for revegetating Albuquerque's sewage sludge disposal site. A greenhouse study was conducted to determine the most appropriate grass species that could be used in revegetation. Nine grasses grown in soil collected at Albuquerque's sludge disposal site were compared based on germination measurements, including plant height and density. Final shoot and root weights also were taken for comparison. Plant tissue was analyzed for the accumulation of metals and salts. With 200 ml of water applied weekly, plant height was greatest in spike dropseed (Sporobolus contractus A. S. Hitchc.) at 33.86 cm; plant density was greatest in alkali sacaton (Sporobolus airoides Torr.). Results indicate the grasses that have the best potential for use in revegetation are blue grama [Bouteloua gracilis (H.B.K.) Lag. ex Griffiths], sideoats grama [Bouteloua curtipendula (Michx.) Torr.], and alkali sacaton.

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Susan M. Hawkins and Carol D. Robacker

Native grasses are increasingly used in the landscape. Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium L.), a perennial bunchgrass native to most of the United States, has ornamental traits, such as variation in leaf color, differences in growth morphology, and attractive seed heads. Traditionally, cultivars of little bluestem are propagated by division, which limits the production of new plants. Our objective in this study was to develop an improved micropropagation protocol for little bluestem that would produce true-to-type plants. In 2016, we cultured immature inflorescences of eight genotypes of little bluestem on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium with four combinations of kinetin (1.0 or 2.0 mg·L−1) and 2,4-D (0.5 or 1.0 mg·L−1) under three levels of light (dark, semilight, full light) to initiate callus. Cultures were evaluated 30 days after initiation and those that had initiated callus were subcultured. Media for subculturing and rooting contained either 0.1 mg·L−1 or no 1-Naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA). Light level had no effect on callus initiation. Initiation media with 1.0 mg·L−1 kinetin and either level of 2,4-D induced callus at almost twice the rate of media with 2.0 mg·L−1 kinetin, and cultures initiated on those media also produced almost twice the number of rooted plants over all genotypes. Genotype affected the number of rooted plants produced. The addition of NAA to medium for subculturing and rooting did not increase the number of rooted plants. In 2017, we cultured immature inflorescences of four genotypes of little bluestem on MS medium with 0.5 mg·L−1 2,4-D and either 1.0 mg·L−1 kinetin or 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) under full light. Cultures were evaluated 30 days after initiation. Cultures that had initiated callus were subcultured onto MS medium with the same growth regulators as the initiation medium but without 2,4-D. Cultures were cycled between subculture medium with growth regulator and subculture medium with no additional growth regulator until rooted. Cultures initiated and subcultured on medium with BAP initiated two to three times more callus than those on kinetin and produced twice as many rooted plants. Our recommendation for rapid micropropagation of little bluestem is to initiate cultures on MS medium with 1.0 mg·L−1 BAP and 0.5 mg·L−1 2,4-D. After callus initiation, cultures should be subcultured to medium with BAP but no 2,4-D, alternating with medium with no additional growth regulators, until rooted.

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Mary H. Meyer, Pamela J. Bennett, Barbara Fair, James E. Klett, Kimberly Moore, H. Brent Pemberton, Leonard Perry, Jane Rozum, Alan Shay and Matthew D. Taylor

Native herbaceous perennials, especially grasses, have increased in popularity in recent years due to their low maintenance requirements, ecosystem services, and pollinator benefits ( Meyer, 2012 ; USDA, 2014 ). Most native grass cultivars have