Abstract - Silicon Uptake and Distribution in Agronpyron smithii as Related to Grazing History and Defoliation

Cid, M.S., Detling, J.K., Whicher, A.D. and Brizuela, M.A. 1990. Silicon Uptake and Distribution in Agropyron smithii as Related to Grazing History and Defoliation. Journal of Range Management 43. pp. 344-346.


A controlled environment experiment was performed on plants from 2 Agropyron smithii Rydb. (western wheatgrass) populations to determine how defoliation at 6-week intervals and grazing history affected total silicon accumulation in shoots, and how Si was distributed within the plant. Plants were collected from a heavily grazed, 40-year-old prairie dog colony and an ungrazed, 40-year-old exclosure at Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota. After 18 weeks, the total amount of Si accumulated in shoots was similar in plants from both populations, regardless of whether or not the plants were clipped. However, the Si concentration in shoots was greater in nondefoliated than defoliated plants of both populations because of Si dilution resulting from greater shoot production in defoliated plants. In both populations, roots and leaf blades had the highest concentrations, rhizomes had the lowest concentrations, and sheaths, crowns, and belowground stems had intemediate concentrations.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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