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Types and Categories of Range Plants. Jen Peterson. Jen Peterson. Growth Forms of Rangeland Plants. 4 major growth forms: Grasses Grass-likes Forbs Shrubs. Jen Peterson. Grasses. Most important and abundant kind of range plant Cover more than 1/5 th of the earth’s land surface

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types and categories of range plants

Types and Categories of Range Plants

Jen Peterson

Jen Peterson

growth forms of rangeland plants
Growth Forms of Rangeland Plants
  • 4 major growth forms:
    • Grasses
    • Grass-likes
    • Forbs
    • Shrubs

Jen Peterson

grasses
Grasses
  • Most important and abundant kind of range plant
    • Cover more than 1/5th of the earth’s land surface
  • Jointed stems
  • Stems are hollow between

the joints (nodes)

  • Leaves are in 2 rows along the stem
  • Veins in the leaves are parallel

Jen Peterson

grasses1
Grasses
  • No showy flowers
  • All grasses are herbaceous (i.e., not woody)
  • Size = very small to very large
  • Great morphological variation
    • Poacea family (the grass family)

has 500 genera & 8,000 species

K. Launchbaugh

grass like plants
Grass-like Plants
  • Look like grasses but have solid stems without joints
  • Stems are often triangular
  • Veins in the leaves are parallel
  • Includes sedges and rushes

www.livinglandscapes.bc.ca

forbs
Forbs
  • Herbaceous plants
  • Broad leaves and showy flowers
  • Above-ground growth dies back each year
  • Veins in the leaves are net veins

although some forbs have

veins that are parallel

  • Range wildflowers and weeds

K. Launchbaugh

shrubs
Shrubs
  • Woody plants with several main stems
  • Usually have broad leaves

Jen Peterson

K. Launchbaugh

shrubs1
Shrubs
  • Efficiently use water - invade into grasslands
  • Deep roots to tolerate xeric environments
  • Defenses against grazing:
    • Chemical
    • Physical
    • Large plants

Jen Peterson

life span
Life Span
  • Length of time from the beginning of development to death of the plant
    • Annuals – live for one growing season
      • Winter annuals
      • Summer annuals
    • Biennials – live for two growing seasons
    • Perennials – live from one year to the next
winter annuals
Winter Annuals

Summer

plant dies

Spring

Fall

germinate

produce seed

Winter

dormant

summer annuals
Summer Annuals

Summer

grow

Spring

Fall

germinate

produce seed

Winter

plant dies

biennials
Biennials

Summer & Fall

Winter

Spring

germinate

go dormant

produce rosette & developed roots

Spring

Winter

Summer

plant dies

produce flowering stalk

produce seed

perennials

produce seed

1st Fall

1st Summer

build up root reserves

flower

1st Winter

go dormant

1st Spring

Winter

go dormant

2nd Spring

new plant from root

germinate

Fall

build up root reserves

Summer

flower

produce seed

Perennials

Cycle continues until plant eventually dies

season of growth
Season of Growth
  • Cool Season
    • Make most growth in cool weather of spring and fall
    • Flower mostly in early summer
    • Provide spring/fall forage at lower elevations and summer forage at high elevations
    • Adapted to cool, wet conditions
    • Most plants in Idaho and northern states
season of growth1
Season of Growth
  • Warm Season
    • Make most growth in warm summer periods
    • Flower from mid-summer to early fall
    • Provide forage in summer months
    • Adapted to hotter, drier conditions
    • Some of the warm regions of Idaho have a few warm season plants
    • Common in southern states
origin
Origin
  • Area where the plant evolved
    • Native plants – originated in North America
    • Introduced plants – Intentionally or accidentally brought to North America
    • Invasive Species (Noxious Weeds) – weeds that have been specifically identified as “noxious” by state law
      • 64 Noxious weeds in Idaho
      • 47 Noxious weeds in Nevada
      • 27 Noxious weeds in Utah
plant terminology
Plant Terminology
  • Native
    • ?
  • Introduced
    • ?
  • Invasive
    • ?
  • Weed
    • ?
native on indigenous
Native on Indigenous
  • Originated where they now occur without the help of humans.
  • For example, native to North America
  • Well adapted to the local climate, soils, animals, and microbes.
  • How long have they been here?

Western Yarrow - widely distributed throughout North America

introduced exotic or non native
Introduced, Exotic or Non-native

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_profilepage&v=eDji4I1v4-E#!

introduced exotic or non native1
Introduced, Exotic or Non-native
  • An organism occurring outside of its natural home range
  • Other names include alien, foreign, non-indigenous
  • Introduced by humans
introduced exotic or non native2
Introduced, Exotic or Non-native
  • Humans introduced non-native plants as:
    • Grains and food crops
    • Seeds in Ship Ballast
    • Ornamentals
    • Plants for erosion control
    • Plants with higher forage value
    • Accidental
  • Introductions of exotics continues today
invasive species
Invasive Species
  • An organism that spreads and establishes over large areas and persists
  • Growth characteristics that allow it to dominate the ecosystem

Invasive Species Website = http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/

invasive species1
Invasive Species
  • Often non-native (or alien) to the ecosystem
    • Not all non-natives are invasive
  • Whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.

Cheatgrass

Juniper

characteristics of invasive plants
Characteristics of Invasive Plants
  • Abundant seed producers
  • Rapid population establishment
  • Long-term survival of seeds
  • Occupy disturbed sites
  • Competitive
  • Lack of natural enemies

Cheatgrass

Juniper

slide25
Weed
  • Plant of little value or a plant “out of place”
  • Competes with crops and native species
  • Troublesome pest that affects the health an productivity of native landscapes
  • “a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered”... Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “plants that interfere with the growth of desirable plants and that are unusually persistent and pernicious. They negatively impact human activities and as such are undesirable” Ross & Lembi – Applied Weed Science. 1999
impacts of weeds
Impacts of Weeds
  • Reducing biological diversity
  • Altering hydrologic conditions
  • Altering soil characteristics
  • Altering fire intensity and frequency
  • Interfering with natural succession
  • Competing for native pollinators
  • Replacing complex communities with monocultures
  • Displacing rare plant species
noxious weeds
Noxious Weeds
  • Noxious = plant species that have been designated “noxious” by law.
  • The word “noxious” simply means deleterious
  • Weeds are declared noxious by states or counties.
  • In Idaho, hundreds of weed species exist. However, only 64are designated noxious by Idaho law.

www.agri.idaho.gov/Categories/PlantsInsects/NoxiousWeeds/watchlist.phpwww.cals.uidaho.edu/weeds2/IWR/iwr-v6_website/files/Download/BUL816.pdf

plant terminology1
Plant Terminology
  • Native
    • Originated where they now occur without the help of humans
  • Introduced
    • Introduced by humans, exotic or not native
  • Invasive
    • Growth characteristics that allow it to spread and dominate the ecosystem
  • Weed
    • Troublesome pest that affects the health an productivity of native landscapes
    • Noxious Weeds = designated “noxious” by law
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