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Forage kochia: Friend or foeAuthor(s): Blair L. Waldron; R. Deane Harrison; N. Jerry Chatterton; Burke W. Davenport
Source: In: McArthur, E. Durant; Fairbanks, Daniel J., comps. Shrubland ecosystem genetics and biodiversity: proceedings; 2000 June 13-15; Provo, UT. Proc. RMRS-P-21. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 210-215.
Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
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DescriptionPerennial forage kochia (Kochia prostrata) is a halfshrub valuable for reclamation, fire breaks, and livestock and wildlife forage on semiarid and saline rangelands. Interest is mounting about this species, but some are concerned that it will become an invader of perennial communities. Only one cultivar (Immigrant) has been released in the United States. Eighty-one forage kochia plantings (mainly Immigrant) were evaluated to document forage kochia’s adaptation and spread. Ecological descriptions were taken for each site and multiple regression analyses were done to determine prediction equations for recruitment outside the original plantings. Our results indicated that forage kochia is well adapted to a wide range of semiarid and arid rangelands, but is not an aggressive spreader. However, it may recruit into playas, slick spots, and disturbed and/or degraded areas. The fringe of recruitment, defined as the marginal recruitment threshold, ranged from 0 to 100 ft with a mean and median distance of 20 ft. Regression only explained 22 percent of fringe threshold variation and consisted of the following factors: medium textured soils, lower elevation, and age of seeding. Unexplained variation may be due to factors not determined, such as the disturbed peripheral area surrounding each planting.
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CitationWaldron, Blair L.; Harrison, R. Deane; Chatterton, N. Jerry; Davenport, Burke W. 2001. Forage kochia: Friend or foe. In: McArthur, E. Durant; Fairbanks, Daniel J., comps. Shrubland ecosystem genetics and biodiversity: proceedings; 2000 June 13-15; Provo, UT. Proc. RMRS-P-21. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 210-215.
Keywordswildland shrubs, genetics, biodiversity, disturbance, ecophysiology, community ecology
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