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Native Grass Species for Forage and Turf

  • Melanie L. HarrisonEmail author
  • Vicki L. Bradley
  • Michael D. Casler
Chapter

Abstract

North America has an abundance of native grass species including both cool-season and warm-season grasses. These grasses serve a multitude of purposes including use as forage, turf, erosion control, riparian buffer, wildlife habitat, ornamental, and biofuel. Although their importance in agriculture has been somewhat overshadowed by the use of non-native grasses in both forage and turf breeding programs, their value has not been overlooked. As the demand and interest in native grasses have risen in recent decades, germplasm exploration and collection of native grasses have likewise increased. The need to conserve North American native germplasm has become more and more evident as modern agricultural practices, urbanization, and changing climates threaten native populations and highlight the need for preserving high-quality, representative germplasm. Current plant genetic resources, both in situ and ex situ, provide valuable plant germplasm to researchers and plant breeders, but there is a need to better represent the genetic diversity and fill genetic gaps of these important species.

Keywords

Grass Native North America Forage Turf Germplasm Genetic resources 

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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melanie L. Harrison
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vicki L. Bradley
    • 2
  • Michael D. Casler
    • 3
  1. 1.USDA, Agricultural Research ServicePlant Genetic Resources Conservation UnitGriffinUSA
  2. 2.USDA, Agricultural Research ServiceWestern Regional Plant Introduction StationPullmanUSA
  3. 3.USDA, Agricultural Research ServiceU.S. Dairy Forage Research CenterMadisonUSA

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