The Roundup -

Grassland "Bud Banks" Focus of ARS BrownBagger

 

April 19, 2017 | View PDF



We’ve all heard of seed banks, but bud banks?

Bud banks and their pivotal role in biomass production for three key grassland forage species are the focus of the final BrownBagger presentation of 2017 at the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney this coming Friday, April 21.

Jacqueline Ott, a research ecologist studying grasslands with the US Forest Service in South Dakota, is the speaker. Her presentation is entitled “Grass bud bank and tiller dynamics in mixed-grass prairie” and will run from Noon to 1 pm, Friday, at the Sidney ARS lab, 1500 N. Central Avenue. In addition to her talk, Ott will also be meeting with Sidney ARS scientists studying grasslands in the Bakken oilfields to discuss related research during her visit to Montana.

According to Ott, a majority (sometimes >99%) of aboveground stems come from belowground buds rather than seeds in the perennial grasslands of North America. Consequently, the bud bank is responsible for producing most of the grassland biomass, which often serves as forage for both wildlife and livestock.

In her presentation, Ott will describe the bud and stem dynamics of western wheatgrass, green needlegrass, and needle-and-thread. She will also discuss how the bud bank could influence productivity; competition between native and invasive species, and grassland restoration.

Ott works in the Forest and Grassland Research Laboratory of the US Forest Service- Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) in Rapid City, SD. The USFS manages 21 National Grasslands including several in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. In addition to conducting grassland research, Ott strives to provide technology transfer to assist the national grasslands in using the best available science in their management.

Ott joined the RMRS in fall 2016 but has been conducting grassland research throughout the Great Plains for the past several years. She received her PhD from Kansas State University in 2014. When not watching the grass grow, she enjoys being outside and playing her clarinet as part of the local wind quintet in Rapid City.

Please join us at Sidney ARS on Friday, April 21, for this intriguing look below-ground at our region’s perennial grassland systems. Bring your lunch; we’ll provide dessert!

For questions or more information, contact Beth Redlin at 406-433-9427 or beth.redlin@ars.usda.gov.

 

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