CS – Potential For Use Of Kochia Prostrata And Perennial Grasses For Use In Rangeland Rehabilitation In Jordan
Six varieties of forage kochia [Kochia prostrata (L.) Shad.], three native shrubs, two introduced Atriplex shrub species native to cold deserts in the western United States and drought-tolerant perennial grass varieties were seeded and evaluated under arid rangeland conditions in Jordan. Varieties were seeded in December 2007 evaluated in August 2008 at two sites in arid rangeland areas of southern and northern Jordan. Precipitation was below normal with the southern site (Ghrain) receiving 110 mm and the northern site (Tal Rimah) receiving 58 mm. Plants were more abundant and taller (P < 0.001) at wetter Ghrain site than the drier Tal Rimah site. Only a few native and Atriplex shrubs emerged. Frequency measurement of forage kochia demonstrated that plants emerged and survived the summer in about half of each row. Abundance of KZ-6X, Octavny select and Sahro varieties of forage kochia were greater (P < 0.05) than the BC-118, Immigrant and Pustiny varieties. Height was similar (P > 0.10) among forage kochia varieties. Abundance and height of perennial grass varieties were similar (P > 0.10) when evaluated across both sites. However, the higher frequencies of Kazak Siberian wheatgrass (21 ± 3%) and Hycrest crested wheatgrass (20 ± 4%) at the drier Tal Rimah site suggested that these varieties might be superior toValivov Siberian wheatgrass (4 ± 3%) and Bozoiksky Russian wildrye (6 ± 4%) in very arid conditions. Based on this study, forage kochia appears to have great potential for establishing palatable perennial shrubs through direct seeding in arid rangeland conditions of Jordan, and except in extremely dry conditions arid-adapted perennial grass varieties may also be useful for direct seeding in rangeland restoration efforts.