Several species of grasshoppers (primarily their nymphs) feed on the foliage of Downy Brome (see Grasshopper Table). Among these species, Downy Brome is a preferred host plant for Melanoplus sanguinipes (Migratory Grasshopper). Another insect, Oulema melanopus (Cereal Leaf Beetle), also feeds on the foliage. Hoofed mammalian herbivores will feed on this grass while it is immature during the spring. However, the awns of the spikelets on mature plants can cause mechanical injury to their mouthparts and digestive tracts. The leaves, stems, and seeds of this grass are eaten by the Prairie Vole; the House House (outdoor population) also eats the seeds. Some upland gamebirds and granivorous songbirds probably eat the seeds, although information about this in the Midwest is scant. The long awns of mature spikelets cling readily to the fur of animals and the clothing of humans, which helps to distribute the seeds into new areas. Photographic Location
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