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Natural Expansion of Buchloe dactyloides at a Disturbed Site in New Jersey and Its Implications for Turf and Conservation Uses

James A. Quinn
The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society
Vol. 125, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1998), pp. 319-323
Published by: Torrey Botanical Society
DOI: 10.2307/2997245
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2997245
Page Count: 5
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Natural Expansion of Buchloe dactyloides at a Disturbed Site in New Jersey and Its Implications for Turf and Conservation Uses
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Abstract

Buffalograss [Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.] has been widely used in central North America for reseeding depleted rangelands and for erosion control, and recently it has received attention as a turf species. However, due to its shade intolerance and inability to compete under high rainfall conditions, its ability to increase unaided in northeastern North America was unknown. This paper describes the growth of a population initiated by an accidental introduction in 1977 of buffalograss diaspores into a heavily trampled site with a shallow compacted soil at Rutgers University. In 10 years, buffalograss was found 123 m from the point of the introduction and was the primary plant cover on 20% of a 0.1 ha grass-forb area. Expansion of the population occurred through both clonal spread and seedling establishment. In 1986, a total census produced a wide range of clonal size classes, and seedling recruitment that year was estimated at 6 per m2. In 1988, a 62 m2 area was estimated to have produced a minimum of 64,250 diaspores in the prior 5 years. Twenty-four clones from the site, established in a transplant garden in mid-July 1995, have all shown winter hardiness; four of them are demonstrating superior periods of green growth and growth rates, which suggest the potential for a successful cultivar for denuded sites in the region

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