Shade Tolerance of Festuca paradoxa Desv., a Cool-Season Grass Native to North America
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In: Fore, Stephanie, ed. Proceedings, 18th North American Prairie Conference "Promoting Prairie"; Kirksville, MO. [Saline, MI: McNaughton & Gunn, Inc.]: 178-181
Paradox grass (Festuca paradoxa Desv.) is a native cool-season grass found in prairies and forest openings. Paradox grass has not been included in tree plantings. To determine paradox grass adaptation to shaded environmmts, we established a pot experiment in the shade laboratory at the University of Missouri Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center in New Franklin, Missouri. We grew paradox grass for 2 consecutive years to determine the effects of 0%, 55%, or 80% shade on growth, forage quality, flowering, and seed production. Cumulative biomass from 2 harvests at year 2 averaged 468 to 766 g/m2 originally established with 30 seedlings/m2. All plants flowered with the greatest number of panicles under full sun. Seed yield ranged from 66 g/m2 under heavy shade to 138 g/m2 under full sun. Protein averaged 7.4% under full sun and increased to 12.3% under shade. Neutral detergent fiber, primarily indigestible cell wall constituents, averaged 37% under full sun and 46% under shade. Because paradox grass grows well under full sun or moderate shade, it may be a suitable native cool-season grass for inclusion in native plantings and agroforestry practices.
Navarrete-Tindall, Nadia; Mechlin, Larry; Van Sambeek, J. W. 2003. Shade Tolerance of Festuca paradoxa Desv., a Cool-Season Grass Native to North America. In: Fore, Stephanie, ed. Proceedings, 18th North American Prairie Conference Promoting Prairie; Kirksville, MO. [Saline, MI: McNaughton & Gunn, Inc.]: 178-181