Biology ETDs

Publication Date



The species of shrubs and nine species of grasses were proposed as candidates for investigations for their germination parameters and suitability in stripmine recovery by the US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. Species which were considered as possible candidates for stripmine recovery area: Artemisia frigida, estafiata; Artemisia tridentate, big sagebrush; Atriplex confertifolia, shadscale; Cercocarpus montanus, true mountain mahogany; Chrysothamnus nauseosus ssp. Biglovii and C. nauseousus ssp. Consimilis, rubber rabbit brush; Cowania stansburiana, cliffrose; Fallugia paradoxa, apache plume; Menodora scabra, rough menodora; Sarcobatus vermiculitus, greasewood; Sphaeralcea incana, globe mallow; Agropyron smithii, desert wheatgrass; Andropogon scoparius, little bluestem; Bouteloua crutipendula, sideoats grama; Boutelous gracilis, blue grama; Distichlis stricta, desert saltgrass; Hilaria jamesii, galleta; Muhlenbergia wrightii, spike muhly; Sporobolous contractus, spike dropseed; Sporobolus cryptandrus, sand dropseed.

Investigations of germination parameters were undertaken, and areas explored were: (i) reaction to the presence or absence of light, that is if a positive, negative, or no photo-response is present; (ii) the optimum germination temperature or range of temperatures were determined utilizing a thermal gradient plate; and (iii) the species germination ability at the optimum temperature, and seven levels of moisture stress were determined using polyethylene glycol 4000 as an osmoticum.

Recommendations for optimum seed pretreatments, germination temperatures, and moisture requirements are given for the 19 species. Locations are given for collection sites of species which were not received from the US Forest Services because ecotypic variability influencing germination requirements can exist throughout a species’ distributional range.



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Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

UNM Biology Department

First Committee Member (Chair)

Gordon Verle Johnson

Second Committee Member

William Clarence Martin

Third Committee Member

Earl F. Aldon

Fourth Committee Member

James Roman Gosz

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Biology Commons