Evaluation of forage species for improving deer habitat in the rolling plains



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Texas Tech University


To determine the feasibility of introducing nutritious browse and forb species into the northcentral Rolling Plains and improve the available forage base for deer (Qdocoileus spp.), 7 browse species, Atriplex canescens (Atca), Ceratoides lanata (Cela), Cercocarpus montanus (Cemo), Eysenhardtia texana (Eyte), 'Lassen' Purshia tridentata (L.Putr), Leucaena retusa (Lere), and Purshia tridentata (Putr), and 7 forb species, Desmanthus illinoensis (Deil), Engelmannia pinnatifida (Enpi), Medicago sativa (Mesa), Onobrychis vJcJifQlia (Onvi), Simsia calva (Sica), 'Howard' Trifolium subterraneum (H.Trsu), and 'Nungarin' X. subterraneum (N.Trsu), were seeded and transplanted, and seeded, respectively, on 4 study plots on a private 7,300-ha ranch in Foard County, Texas. Winter-forage browse and cool-season forb species were seeded 19 - 20 September and 13 - 15 October 1986 on 4 plots, and summer-forage browse and warm-season forb species were seeded 16 - 17 May 1987 on 2 plots. Browse seedlings were propagated in a greenhouse for 3 months, hardened in a lathhouse for 1 month, then transplanted to 2 plots 8 April 1987. Browse species' field establishment (%), greenhouse survival (%), and transplant survival (%) were determined from Jun - Nov 1987, Jan - Mar 1987, and Nov 1986 - Jan 1988 (evaluation-months), respectively. Lere leaf biomass (g/m) and crude protein (CP) was determined in October 1987. Forb species' biomass (g/m) and CP were determined from Dec 1986 - Nov 1987 (evaluation-months).



Rangelands, Forage plants, Deer