Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Global Range: Spordic in Wyoming, Utah, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Mexico (Cronquist et al. 1977).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Occurrence in North America

     AZ  CA  CO  MT  NM  TX  UT  WY  MEXICO

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Mountain muhly occurs from Montana and Wyoming to western Texas and
south through Mexico to Guatemala.  It extends west through Utah and
Arizona.  It is also found in northern and Sierra Nevadan California
[16,25,34,40,42,46].
  • 46.  Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock,        Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2d ed. Berkeley, CA: University of        California Press. 1085 p.  [6563]
  • 16.  Cronquist, Arthur; Holmgren, Arthur H.; Holmgren, Noel H.; [and others]
  • 25.  Dorn, Robert D. 1988. Vascular plants of Wyoming. Cheyenne, WY: Mountain        West Publishing. 340 p.  [6129]
  • 34.  Harrington, H. D. 1964. Manual of the plants of Colorado. 2d ed.        Chicago: The Swallow Press Inc. 666 p.  [6851]
  • 40.  Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of        California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p.        [21992]
  • 42.  Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1973. Flora of the Pacific        Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 730 p.  [1168]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Regional Distribution in the Western United States

More info on this topic.

This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

    4  Sierra Mountains
    7  Lower Basin and Range
    8  Northern Rocky Mountains
    9  Middle Rocky Mountains
   10  Wyoming Basin
   11  Southern Rocky Mountains
   12  Colorado Plateau
   13  Rocky Mountain Piedmont
   16  Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the terms: caryopsis, culm, warm-season

Mountain muhly is a native, perennial, warm-season bunchgrass [6,23].
Culms are branched at the base [82] and densely tufted [40,60]; they are
usually erect and 4 to 32 inches (10-80 cm) tall [16,34,40,82].  Leaves
are mostly basal and densely clustered; there are also some culm leaves
[16,82].  Leaf blades are 2 to 10 inches (5-25 cm) long [16,34,82].
Leaf sheaths become papery and loose from the culm [38] and are
persistent, often becoming flattened with age [82].  The inflorescence
is a narrow, oblong, erect or nodding panicle 2 to 6 inches (5-15 cm)
long [16,34,40]; the branches are 0.4 to 3.5 inches (1-9 cm) long, and
erect to moderately spreading [82].  Spikelets are one flowered [16].
Lemma awns are 0.24 to 0.79 inch (6-20 mm) long [16,34,40].  The fruit
is a caryopsis [34].

Mountain muhly has fibrous roots [10].  In a variety of soils, 15
percent of mountain muhly roots were in the first 3 feet (.91 m) of
soil, and 58 percent were in the first 6 feet (1.83 m).  The deepest
roots were 9 feet deep (2.74 m) [29].
  • 82.  Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry        C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo,        UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p.  [2944]
  • 6.  Arnold, Joseph F. 1950. Changes in ponderosa pine bunchgrass ranges in        northern Arizona resulting from pine regeneration and grazing. Journal        of Forestry. February: 118-126.  [352]
  • 10.  Berndt, Herbert W.; Gibbons, Robert D. 1958. Root distribution of some        native trees and understory plants growing on three sites within        ponderosa pine watersheds in Colorado. Station Paper No. 37. Fort        Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky        Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 14 p.  [16337]
  • 16.  Cronquist, Arthur; Holmgren, Arthur H.; Holmgren, Noel H.; [and others]
  • 23.  Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information        network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and        Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior,        Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p.  [806]
  • 29.  Foxx, Teralene S.; Tierney, Gail D. 1987. Rooting patterns in the        pinyon-juniper woodland. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler.        Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV.        Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture,        Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 69-79.  [4790]
  • 34.  Harrington, H. D. 1964. Manual of the plants of Colorado. 2d ed.        Chicago: The Swallow Press Inc. 666 p.  [6851]
  • 38.  Herzman, Carl W.; Everson, A. C.; Mickey, Myron H.; [and others]
  • 40.  Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of        California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p.        [21992]
  • 60.  Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA:        University of California Press. 1905 p.  [6155]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Perennials, Terrestrial, not aquatic, Stems trailing, spreading or prostrate, Stems nodes swollen or brittle, Stems erect or ascending, Stems geniculate, decumbent, or lax, sometimes rooting at nodes, Stems caespitose, tufted, or clustered, Stems terete, round in cross section, or polygonal, Stem internodes hollow, Stems with inflorescence less than 1 m tall, Stems, culms, or scapes exceeding basal leaves, Leaves mostly cauline, Leaves conspicuously 2-ranked, distichous, Leaves sheathing at base, Leaf sheath mostly open, or loose, Leaf sheath smooth, glabrous, Leaf sheath and blade differentiated, Leaf blades linear, Leaf blades 2-10 mm wide, Leaf blades mostly flat, Leaf blade margins folded, involute, or conduplicate, Leaf blades mostly glabrous, Ligule present, Ligule an unfringed eciliate membrane, Inflorescence terminal, Inflorescence an open panicle, openly paniculate, branches spreading, Inflorescence solitary, with 1 spike, fascicle, glomerule, head , or cluster per stem or culm, Inflorescence branches more than 10 to numerous, Flowers bisexual, Spikelets pedicellate, Spikelets laterally compressed, Spikelet less than 3 mm wide, Spikelets with 1 fertile floret, Spikelets solitary at rachis nodes, Spikelets all alike and fertille, Spikelets bisexual, Spikelets disarticulating above the glumes, glumes persistent, Spikelets disarticulating beneath or between the florets, Rachilla or pedicel glabrous, Glumes present, empty bracts, Glumes 2 clearly present, Glumes equal or subequal, Glumes shorter than adjacent lemma, Glumes awned, awn 1-5 mm or longer, Glumes 1 nerved, Lemmas thin, chartaceous, hyaline, cartilaginous, or membranous, Lemma similar in texture to glumes, Lemma 3 nerved, Lemma glabrous, Lemma apex acute or acuminate, Lemma distinctly awned, more than 2-3 mm, Lemma with 1 awn, Lemma awn 1-2 cm long, Lemma awn 2-4 cm long or longer, Lemma awns straight or curved to base, Lemma margins thin, lying flat, Lemma stra ight, Callus or base of lemma evidently hairy, Callus hairs shorter than lemma, Palea present, well developed, Palea membranous, hyaline, Palea about equal to lemma, Palea 2 nerved or 2 keeled, Stamens 3, Styles 2-fid, deeply 2-branched, Stigmas 2, Fruit - caryopsis, Caryopsis ellipsoid, longitudinally grooved, hilum long-linear.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

Dr. David Bogler

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Type Information

Isotype for Muhlenbergia gracilis var. major Vasey in G.M. Wheeler
Catalog Number: US 995138
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): J. T. Rothrock
Year Collected: 1874
Locality: Mt. Graham., Arizona, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Wheeler, G. M. 1874. Cat. Pl. Surv. W. 100th Merid. 56.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Isotype for Muhlenbergia gracilis var. breviaristata Vasey in G.M. Wheeler
Catalog Number: US 81619
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): J. Wolfe
Year Collected: 1873
Locality: Twin Lakes., Lake, Colorado, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Wheeler, G. M. 1878. Cat. Pl. Surv. W. 100th Merid. 6: 284.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Isotype for Muhlenbergia gracilis var. major Vasey in G.M. Wheeler
Catalog Number: US 995140
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): J. T. Rothrock
Year Collected: 1874
Locality: Mt. Graham., Graham, Arizona, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Wheeler, G. M. 1874. Cat. Pl. Surv. W. 100th Merid. 56.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Holotype for Muhlenbergia gracilis var. enervis Scribn. ex Beal
Catalog Number: US 995814
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): C. G. Pringle
Year Collected: 1887
Locality: Sierra Madre, dry ledges., Chihuahua, Mexico, North America
  • Holotype: Beal, W. J. 1896. Grasses N. Amer. 2: 242.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Habitat characteristics

Mountain muhly is found in dry to moist sites [23,82], but it requires
excellent drainage [40].  It is found in grassy parklands, on slopes and
foothills [16,20,82], on rocky, dry hillsides [24,25,34], and in
canyons and on mesas [34,38,46].  In Arizona it is the principal grass
on dry forested ranges between meadows [44].

Mountain muhly usually occurs on coarse to loamy soils, although it
sometimes occurs on clays.  In Arizona mountain muhly grows on stony
clayey loam [4], sandy loam developed from basaltic parent material
[27], gravelly loam with a broken surface of volcanic rock, gravelly
sandy loams of both limestone and sandstone origin, and red clay [6].
In California mountain muhly grows on granitic rock outcrops [40].  In
Colorado mountain muhly grows on gravelly sandy loam, stony loam
developed from limestone, fine loose sand from disintegrating sandstone,
[10], and infertile, coarse-textured soil with little profile
development [33].  In Utah mountain muhly grows on basaltic stony loams
[63].  Mountain muhly grows poorly on acidic and saline soils [23].

In central Arizona mountain muhly grows where precipitation occurs
mainly during winter and late summer [4].  Annual maximum precipitation
occurs from July through September; a secondary period occurs from
December through March.  Fall and late spring months are usually arid
[20].  Annual precipitation ranges from 17 to 25 inches (430-640 mm).
In Colorado about two-thirds of the annual precipitation, which averages
15.9 inches (404 mm), falls during the April through September growing
season [33].

Mountain muhly is reported at the following elevations:

                      Feet            Meters

Arizona           4,000-9,203       1,219-2,805    [5,12,20,27,46]
California        4,500-11,220      1,372-3,420    [40,60]
Colorado          5,500-10,400      1,676-3,170    [10,23,34]
Montana           2,650-6,000         808-1,829    [36,74]
New Mexico        5,387-11,100      1,642-3,383    [1,29,56]
Texas                 7,500             2,286      [41]
Utah              6,004-10,810      1,830-3,295    [82,84]
Wyoming               7,300             2,225      [23]
  • 82.  Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry        C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo,        UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p.  [2944]
  • 46.  Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock,        Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2d ed. Berkeley, CA: University of        California Press. 1085 p.  [6563]
  • 1.  Alexander, Billy G., Jr.; Fitzhugh, E. Lee; Ronco, Frank, Jr.; Ludwig,        John A. 1987. A classification of forest habitat types of the northern        portion of the Cibola National Forest, New Mexico. Gen. Tech. Rep.        RM-143. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 35 p.        [4207]
  • 4.  Andariese, Steven W. 1982. Time-response graphs for understory        production following fall prescribed burning in Arizona ponderosa pine        on basalt soils. Flagstaff, AZ: Northern Arizona University. 42 p.        Thesis.  [20307]
  • 5.  Andariese, Steven W.; Covington, W. Wallace. 1986. Changes in understory        production for three prescribed burns of different ages in ponderosa        pine. Forest Ecology and Management. 14: 193-203.  [8101]
  • 6.  Arnold, Joseph F. 1950. Changes in ponderosa pine bunchgrass ranges in        northern Arizona resulting from pine regeneration and grazing. Journal        of Forestry. February: 118-126.  [352]
  • 10.  Berndt, Herbert W.; Gibbons, Robert D. 1958. Root distribution of some        native trees and understory plants growing on three sites within        ponderosa pine watersheds in Colorado. Station Paper No. 37. Fort        Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky        Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 14 p.  [16337]
  • 12.  Bojorquez Tapia, Luis A.; Ffolliott, Peter F.; Guertin, D. Phillip.        1990. Herbage production-forest overstory relationships in two Arizona        ponderosa pine forests. Journal of Range Management. 43(1): 25-28.        [11509]
  • 16.  Cronquist, Arthur; Holmgren, Arthur H.; Holmgren, Noel H.; [and others]
  • 20.  Darrow, Robert A. 1944. Arizona range resources and their utilization:        1. Cochise County. Tech. Bull. 103. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona,        Agricultural Experiment Station: 311-364.  [4521]
  • 23.  Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information        network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and        Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior,        Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p.  [806]
  • 24.  Dorn, Robert D. 1984. Vascular plants of Montana. Cheyenne, WY: Mountain        West Publishing. 276 p.  [819]
  • 25.  Dorn, Robert D. 1988. Vascular plants of Wyoming. Cheyenne, WY: Mountain        West Publishing. 340 p.  [6129]
  • 27.  Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gottfried, Gerald J. 1989. Production and        utilization of herbaceous plants in small clearcuts in an Arizona mixed        conifer forest. Res. Note RM-494. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment        Station. 5 p.  [10543]
  • 29.  Foxx, Teralene S.; Tierney, Gail D. 1987. Rooting patterns in the        pinyon-juniper woodland. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler.        Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV.        Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture,        Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 69-79.  [4790]
  • 33.  Gary, Howard L.; Currie, Pat O. 1977. The Front Range pine type: A        40-year photographic record of plant recovery on an abused watershed.        Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-46. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture,        Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 17        p.  [15887]
  • 34.  Harrington, H. D. 1964. Manual of the plants of Colorado. 2d ed.        Chicago: The Swallow Press Inc. 666 p.  [6851]
  • 36.  Heady, Harold F. 1950. Studies on bluebunch wheatgrass in Montana and        height-weight relationships of certain range grasses. Ecological        Monographs. 20(1): 55-81.  [1112]
  • 38.  Herzman, Carl W.; Everson, A. C.; Mickey, Myron H.; [and others]
  • 40.  Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of        California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p.        [21992]
  • 41.  Hinckley, L. C. 1944. The vegetation of the Mount Livermore area in        Texas. American Midland Naturalist. 32: 236-250.  [4451]
  • 44.  Humphrey, Robert R. 1970. Arizona range grasses: Their description,        forage value and management. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona        Press. 159 p.  [5567]
  • 56.  Moir, William H. 1967. The subalpine tall grass, Festuca thurberi,        community of Sierra Blanca, New Mexico. Southwestern Naturalist. 12(3):        321-328.  [1675]
  • 60.  Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA:        University of California Press. 1905 p.  [6155]
  • 63.  Parker, Karl G. 1975. Some important Utah range plants. Extension        Service Bulletin EC-383. Logan, UT: Utah State University. 174 p.        [9878]
  • 74.  Ross, Robert L.; Murray, Earl P.; Haigh, June G. 1973. Soil and        vegetation inventory of near-pristine sites in Montana. Bozeman, MT:        U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 55 p.  [2029]
  • 84.  Youngblood, Andrew P.; Mauk, Ronald L. 1985. Coniferous forest habitat        types of central and southern Utah. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-187. Ogden, UT:        U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research        Station. 89 p.  [2684]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Key Plant Community Associations

Mountain muhly is an indicator or dominant species in the following
published classifications:

Classification of the forest vegetation of Colorado by habitat type
  and community type [2
Classification of the forest vegetation on the National Forests of
  Arizona and New Mexico [3]
Forest and woodland habitat types (plant associations) of Arizona south
  of the Mogollon Rim and southwestern New Mexico [7]
A classification of forest habitat types of northern New Mexico and
  southern Colorado [22]
Forest habitat types in the Apache, Gila, and part of the Cibola
  National Forests, Arizona and New Mexico [28]
Forest vegetation of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests in
  central Colorado: a habitat type classification [39].
Forest vegetation of the Gunnison and parts of the Uncompahgre National
  Forests: a preliminary habitat type classification [48]
Forest and woodland habitat types (plant associations) of northern New
  Mexico and northern Arizona [51]
A forest habitat type classification of southern Arizona and its
  relationship to forests of the Sierra Madre Occidental of Mexico [59]
Coniferous forest habitat types of central and southern Utah [84]
  • 2.  Alexander, Robert R. 1987. Classification of the forest vegetation of        Colorado by habitat type and community type. Res. Note RM-478. Fort        Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky        Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 14 p.  [9092]
  • 3.  Alexander, Robert R.; Ronco, Frank, Jr. 1987. Classification of the        forest vegetation on the National Forests of Arizona and New Mexico.        Res. Note RM-469. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture,        Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 10        p.  [3515]
  • 7.  Bassett, R.; Larson, M.; Moir, W. 1987. Forest and woodland habitat        types (plant associations) of Arizona south of the Mogollon Rim and        southwestern New Mexico. 2nd Edition. Albuquerque, NM: U.S. Department        of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southwestern Region. [Pages unknown]
  • 22.  DeVelice, Robert L.; Ludwig, John A.; Moir, William H.; Ronco, Frank,        Jr. 1986. A classification of forest habitat types of northern New        Mexico and southern Colorado. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-131. Fort Collins, CO:        U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest        and Range Experiment Station. 59 p.  [781]
  • 28.  Fitzhugh, E. Lee; Moir, William H.; Ludwig, John A.; Ronco, Frank, Jr.        1987. Forest habitat types in the Apache, Gila, and part of the Cibola        National Forests, Arizona and New Mexico. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-145. Fort        Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky        Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 116 p.  [4206]
  • 39.  Hess, Karl; Alexander, Robert R. 1986. Forest vegetation of the Arapaho        and Roosevelt National Forests in central Colorado: a habitat type        classification. Res. Pap. RM-266. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment        Station. 48 p.  [1141]
  • 48.  Komarkova, Vera; Alexander, Robert R.; Johnston, Barry C. 1988. Forest        vegetation of the Gunnison and parts of the Uncompahgre National        Forests: a preliminary habitat type classification. Gen. Tech. Rep.        RM-163. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 65 p.        [5798]
  • 51.  Larson, Milo; Moir, W. H. 1987. Forest and woodland habitat types (plant        associations) of northern New Mexico and northern Arizona. 2d ed.        Albuquerque, NM: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,        Southwestern Region. 90 p.  [8947]
  • 59.  Muldavin, Esteban H.; DeVelice, Robert L. 1987. A forest habitat type        classification of southern Arizona and its relationship to forests of        the Sierra Madre Occidental of Mexico. In: Aldon, Earl F.; Gonzales        Vicente, Carlos E.; Moir, William H., technical coordinators. Strategies        for classification and management of native vegetation for food        production in arid zones: Proceedings; 1987 October 12-16; Tucson, AZ.        Gen, Tech. Rep. RM-150. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment        Station: 24-31.  [2728]
  • 84.  Youngblood, Andrew P.; Mauk, Ronald L. 1985. Coniferous forest habitat        types of central and southern Utah. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-187. Ogden, UT:        U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research        Station. 89 p.  [2684]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat: Rangeland Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following Rangeland Cover Types (as classified by the Society for Range Management, SRM):

   209  Montane shrubland
   210  Bitterbrush
   314  Big sagebrush-bluebunch wheatgrass
   322  Curlleaf mountain-mahogany-bluebunch wheatgrass
   401  Basin big sagebrush
   403  Wyoming big sagebrush
   409  Tall forb
   412  Juniper-pinyon woodland
   413  Gambel oak
   415  Curlleaf mountain-mahogany
   416  True mountain-mahogany
   420  Snowbrush
   504  Juniper-pinyon pine woodland
   509  Transition between oak-juniper woodland and mahogany-oak association

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat: Ecosystem

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

   FRES20  Douglas-fir
   FRES21  Ponderosa pine
   FRES23  Fir - spruce
   FRES29  Sagebrush
   FRES34  Chaparral - mountain shrub
   FRES35  Pinyon - juniper
   FRES36  Mountain grasslands
   FRES38  Plains grasslands
   FRES40  Desert grasslands

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat: Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

   206  Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir
   210  Interior Douglas-fir
   220  Rocky Mountain juniper
   234  Douglas-fir-tanoak-Pacific madrone
   237  Interior ponderosa pine
   239  Pinyon-juniper
   243  Sierra Nevada mixed conifer
   244  Pacific ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir
   247  Jeffrey pine
   256  California mixed subalpine

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat: Plant Associations

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

   K011  Western ponderosa forest
   K012  Douglas-fir forest
   K015  Western spruce - fir forest
   K016  Eastern ponderosa forest
   K018  Pine - Douglas-fir forest
   K019  Arizona pine forest
   K020  Spruce - fir - Douglas-fir forest
   K021  Southwestern spruce - fir forest
   K023  Juniper - pinyon woodland
   K031  Oak - juniper woodlands
   K037  Mountain-mahogany - oak scrub
   K054  Grama - tobosa prairie
   K055  Sagebrush steppe
   K063  Foothills prairie
   K066  Wheatgrass - needlegrass

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

General Ecology

Fire Management Implications

More info for the terms: cover, density, fuel, fuel moisture

Mountain muhly cover and biomass decrease in response to fire, and
flowering is suppressed for 1 postfire year.
FIRE CASE STUDIES
SPECIES: Muhlenbergia montana
FIRE CASE STUDY CITATION:
Walsh, Roberta A., compiler. 1995. Effects of prescribed fires on mountain muhly
in the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, Arizona: Fuel, timber and forage effects.
In: Muhlenbergia montana. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S.
Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station,
Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/
[
var months = new Array(12);
months[0] = "January";
months[1] = "February";
months[2] = "March";
months[3] = "April";
months[4] = "May";
months[5] = "June";
months[6] = "July";
months[7] = "August";
months[8] = "September";
months[9] = "October";
months[10] = "November";
months[11] = "December";
var date = new Date();
var year = date.getFullYear();
var month = date.getMonth();
var day = date.getDate();
document.write(year+", "+months[month]+" "+day);
].

REFERENCES :
Gaines, Edward M.; Kallander, Harry R.; Wagner, Joe A. 1958. Controlled burning in
southwestern ponderosa pine: results from the Blue Mountain plots, Fort Apache Indian
Reservation. Journal of Forestry. 56: 323-327. [31].

SEASON/SEVERITY CLASSIFICATION:
spring/moderate

STUDY LOCATION:
Prescribed fires were carried out on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation
7 miles (11 km) east of McNary, Arizona.

PREFIRE VEGETATIVE COMMUNITY :
Prefire vegetation was in uneven-aged variable density ponderosa pine
(Pinus ponderosa) stands with open grassy glades which included mountain
muhly (Muhlenbergia montana), with cover of about 70 percent, and
bottlebrush squirreltail (Elymus elymoides).

TARGET SPECIES PHENOLOGICAL STATE :
Not given.

SITE DESCRIPTION:
The study site is at an elevation of 7,400 feet (2,256 m).  The ground
is flat, and the soil is "rather heavy."  The area was selectively
logged in 1924. Grass density was low because of the relatively dense
trees.  Forage was similar on all plots.

FIRE DESCRIPTION:
There were six burned plots and six unburned control plots in a
ponderosa pine habitat type.  Three plots were burned September 30,
1950; another three were burned October 10, 1950.

Average fuel weights before burning (in tons per acre) were as follows:

                            Control     September      October
         Size of Fuel        Plots      Burn Plots    Burn Plots

    Large (diam. > 12 in)     4.49         8.00*         3.73*
    Medium (2-11 in. diam.)   3.81         3.08          1.40
    Small (< 2 in. diam.)     6.94         6.21          4.83
    Total                    15.24        17.29**        9.96**

*  Difference between September and October plots significant (p less than .05).
** Difference between September and October plots significant (p less than .01).

Small fuels included needles, dead grass, cones, and partly rotted wood.

Weather conditions were different on the 2 burning days, and the effects
of the fires were markedly different.  The September fire was conducted
from 10:00 a.m. to 3:40 p.m.  Air temperature was 59 to 67 degrees
Fahrenheit (15-19 deg C).  Relative humidity was 62 to 37 percent.  Fuel
moisture was 14.0 to 11.6 percent.  Wind velocity was 18 to 25 miles per
hour (29-40 km/hr).  A light shower fell during burning of two of the
three plots, and 0.25 inches (0.64 cm) rain fell after 6:00 pm, cooling
the site.

The October fire was conducted from 12:00 m. to 3:30 p.m.  Air
temperature was 73 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (23-24 deg C).  Relative
humidity was 19 to 17 percent.  Fuel moisture was 10.0 to 8.5 percent.
Wind velocity was 3 to 12 mph (5-19 km/hr).  Wind was variable and
gusty, causing spot blowups during burning.

The effect of the fires on surface fuel weight was as follows:

                           Percent Change

                 September Fire        October Fire

        Large        -63*                  -74*
        Medium       -62*                  +83*
        Small        -48                   -51
        Total        -57                   -40

* Difference between September and October fires significant (p less than .05).

Reduction of heavy fuel by the October fire was partially offset by an
increase in medium fuel.  Both fires raised the lower level of tree
crowns in sapling thickets and killed almost all trees less than 3 or 4
feet (0.9-1.2 m).

FIRE EFFECTS ON TARGET SPECIES :
Mountain muhly was reduced on all burned plots the first year after
burning, as were other grasses.  Two years later mountain muhly
comprised about 60 percent of total grass density, 10 percent less than
prefire levels.

FIRE MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS:
Mountain muhly usually declines the first growing season after fire.  It
usually does not regain its former cover until at least 3 years after
fire.
  • 31.  Gaines, Edward M.; Kallander, Harry R.; Wagner, Joe A. 1958. Controlled        burning in southwestern ponderosa pine: results from the Blue Mountain        plots, Fort Apache Indian Reservation. Journal of Forestry. 56: 323-327.        [988]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Site Description

The study site is at 6,890 feet (2,100 m) elevation.  Soil is stony clay
loam.  Annual precipitation averages 19.7 inches (500 mm).  There is
pronounced drought in May and June, frequent rain in July and August,
and scattered snowfall and rain in winter.  Prior to prescribed burning,
the site was relatively undisturbed, with no evidence of grazing.  The
study area was fenced in 1982, prior to plot establishment, to prevent
future livestock grazing.

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: frequency, fuel, tree

Mountain muhly is a principal grass in some ponderosa pine/grass types
where recurring fires have maintained savanna.  In north-central
Arizona mountain muhly will usually carry surface fires in November,
and perhaps during the winter and spring [11].

In the Santa Catalina Mountains of Arizona, decades of fire protection
have resulted in many ponderosa pine stands with a dense undergrowth of
ponderosa pine saplings.  In the 1960's, an inventory of ponderosa pine
stands burned within the past few decades revealed that those burned by
lightning-caused fires, which occur at a relatively high frequency in
the range, were primarily open and parklike, with an herb layer
dominated by mountain muhly.  However, intensity of a major incendiary
fire was so severe that it killed all ponderosa pines in the stand and
enhanced development of oak (Quercus spp.) scrub, which shaded out
mountain muhly [61].

In ponderosa pine/bunchgrass forests in Arizona and New Mexico, fires
applied every decade to reduce fuel and thin tree seedlings will
maintain ponderosa pine/bunchgrass savanna [58].
  • 11.  Biswell, Harold H. 1973. Fire ecology in ponderosa pine-grassland. In:        Komarek, Edwin V., Sr., technical coordinator. Proceedings, annual Tall        Timbers fire ecology conference; 1972 June 8-9; Lubbock, TX. Number 12.        Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 69-96.  [8462]
  • 58.  Moir, W. H.; Dieterich, J. H. 1988. Old-growth ponderosa pine from        succession in pine-bunchgrass forests in Arizona and New Mexico. Natural        Areas Journal. 8(1): 17-24.  [6781]
  • 61.  Niering, William A. 1981. The role of fire management in altering        ecosystems. In: Mooney, H. A.; Bonnicksen, T. M.; Christensen, N. L.;        [and others]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: density, fuel

In central Arizona mountain muhly was sampled in September 1981, on
sites that previously had been prescribed burned in ponderosa pine pole
timber and mature stands.  Thinning treatments and grazing management
varied from site to site.  All burned sites were matched with similar,
unburned controls.  The following mountain muhly production (kg/ha)
means were reported [4]; standard errors are in parentheses:

                         Ponderosa Pine Pole Stands

                 2 yr burn         5 yr Burn         7 yr burn

Burn            0.21 (0.06)*      0.60 (0.22)       4.56 (1.06)*
Control         1.60 (0.82)*      0.28 (0.12)       1.22 (0.38)*
 
                         Mature Ponderosa Pine Stands

Burn            0.88 (0.30)       0.16 (0.15)       0.84 (0.27)
Control         8.24 (4.20)       0.10 (0.05)       0.67 (0.20)

* Indicates significant difference (p less than .05) between burn and control.

In 2-year-old burns, mountain muhly production was less than on control
sites.  In 5- and 7-year-old burns, mountain muhly production was
greater than on control sites [4].

In central Arizona mountain muhly occurred on an area that was
prescribed burned October 18 and 19, 1977.  Mountain muhly density was
sampled before the fire, in 1974, and again after the fire, in 1980.
Backfires and short strip headfires were used; estimates of fuel
consumption ranged from 50 to 75 percent.  Most ponderosa pine
regeneration was not killed.  Mountain muhly density was 1.01 stems per
square meter in 1974.  In 1980, after the fire, stem density was zero
[62].

In central Arizona mountain muhly biomass and nutrient concentrations
were measured during the first growing season after burning on plots in
a ponderosa pine/Arizona fescue habitat type.  The stand had been
unburned since a fire in 1876.  The overstory consisted of uneven-aged
ponderosa pine distributed in even-aged groups of mature trees, poles,
or saplings.  Mountain muhly was dominant in the herbaceous vegetation
within openings.  Controlled burning occurred in November 1976.  The
fire consumed surface needles on 94 percent of the area, and exposed
mineral soil on 16 percent of the area.  Fuels less than 1 inch (2.54
cm) in diameter were reduced 63 percent.  Fuel reduction was greatest
under mature trees, where fuel loads were heaviest; it was intermediate
in pole stands, and least in sapling stands.  Mountain muhly standing
crop was sampled on 11 burned and 7 unburned plots during June and
September of postfire year 1.  Mountain muhly standing crop and measured
nutrient concentrations (% oven-dry weight) were as follows 7 months
after fire [35]:

                                    June 1977

             Mature Timber             Pole                Sapling

           Unburned   Burned     Unburned   Burned     Unburned   Burned

Standing     
  Crop         
  (kg/ha)     3.97     3.26         2.18*    0.47         0.26     2.09
N  (%)        0.99     1.19         1.02*    1.31         1.07     1.15
P  (%)        0.25*    0.35         0.28*    0.34         0.27     0.32
K  (%)        0.69*    0.82         0.68*    0.82         0.62*    0.82
Ca (%)        0.13*    0.18         0.14*    0.19         0.14*    0.18
Mg (%)        0.10*    0.14         0.12     0.14         0.12     0.12

* Indicates significant difference (p less than .05) between burned and unburned
    sites within a stratum.

By 10 months after fire, no significant differences in standing crop
were found between unburned and burned plots, and few significant
differences in nutrient concentrations persisted [35].
  • 4.  Andariese, Steven W. 1982. Time-response graphs for understory        production following fall prescribed burning in Arizona ponderosa pine        on basalt soils. Flagstaff, AZ: Northern Arizona University. 42 p.        Thesis.  [20307]
  • 35.  Harris, Gary R.; Covington, W. Wallace. 1983. The effect of a prescribed        fire on nutrient concentration and standing crop of understory        vegetation in ponderosa pine. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 13:        501-507.  [4699]
  • 62.  Oswald, Brian P.; Covington, W. Wallace. 1984. Effect of a prescribed        fire on herbage production in southwestern ponderosa pine on sedimentary        soils. Forest Science. 30(1): 22-25.  [2805]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Plant Response to Fire

More info for the term: density

Mountain muhly density generally decreases from prefire values during
the first few years after fire [31,62], but it may increase over
original values thereafter [4].  Mountain muhly usually takes at least 3
years to fully recover from fire [31].  However, after prescribed fire
in central Arizona, mountain muhly had recovered prefire biomass within
10 months [35].
  • 4.  Andariese, Steven W. 1982. Time-response graphs for understory        production following fall prescribed burning in Arizona ponderosa pine        on basalt soils. Flagstaff, AZ: Northern Arizona University. 42 p.        Thesis.  [20307]
  • 31.  Gaines, Edward M.; Kallander, Harry R.; Wagner, Joe A. 1958. Controlled        burning in southwestern ponderosa pine: results from the Blue Mountain        plots, Fort Apache Indian Reservation. Journal of Forestry. 56: 323-327.        [988]
  • 35.  Harris, Gary R.; Covington, W. Wallace. 1983. The effect of a prescribed        fire on nutrient concentration and standing crop of understory        vegetation in ponderosa pine. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 13:        501-507.  [4699]
  • 62.  Oswald, Brian P.; Covington, W. Wallace. 1984. Effect of a prescribed        fire on herbage production in southwestern ponderosa pine on sedimentary        soils. Forest Science. 30(1): 22-25.  [2805]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Immediate Effect of Fire

Mountain muhly culms and leaves are probably killed by fire.

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the term: tussock

   Tussock graminoid

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Fire Ecology

More info for the term: litter

Mountain muhly may sprout after aerial portions are burned.  It is
densely tufted [40,60] and old sheath bases are persistent [82]; they
may protect basal buds from fire damage.  On the other hand, in hot dry
conditions the dead litter of a mountain muhly plant can produce a hot
fire which may damage or kill the plant [81].
  • 82.  Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry        C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo,        UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p.  [2944]
  • 40.  Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of        California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p.        [21992]
  • 60.  Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA:        University of California Press. 1905 p.  [6155]
  • 81.  Vose, James M.; White, Alan S. 1991. Biomass response mechanisms of        understory species the first year after prescribed burning in an Arizona        ponderosa-pine community. Forest Ecology and Management. 40: 175-187.        [15570]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: climax, litter

Mountain muhly occurs in seral and climax communities.  On ponderosa
pine/bunchgrass ranges of the central Rocky Mountains, the Arizona
fescue-mountain muhly stage is seral to ponderosa pine-fir forest [18].
In ponderosa pine/bunchgrass forests of Arizona and New Mexico, mountain
muhly declines in the successional sequence that follows complete fire
suppression [58].

Mountain muhly grows best in full sun [40].  In northern Arizona
mountain muhly declines as shade from ponderosa pine increases [6].  In
central Colorado mountain muhly declines with litter accumulation and
increased shading by young trees [33].

In parklike stands and openings in ponderosa pine forests of Arizona,
mountain muhly and other bunchgrasses develop into dense, exclusive
communities that resist penetration by other species, including
ponderosa pine [71].
  • 6.  Arnold, Joseph F. 1950. Changes in ponderosa pine bunchgrass ranges in        northern Arizona resulting from pine regeneration and grazing. Journal        of Forestry. February: 118-126.  [352]
  • 18.  Currie, Pat O. 1975. Grazing management of ponderosa pine-buchgrass        ranges of the central Rocky Mountains. Res. Pap. RM-159. Fort Collins,        CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain        Forest and Range Experiment Station. 24 p.  [12600]
  • 33.  Gary, Howard L.; Currie, Pat O. 1977. The Front Range pine type: A        40-year photographic record of plant recovery on an abused watershed.        Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-46. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture,        Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 17        p.  [15887]
  • 40.  Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of        California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p.        [21992]
  • 58.  Moir, W. H.; Dieterich, J. H. 1988. Old-growth ponderosa pine from        succession in pine-bunchgrass forests in Arizona and New Mexico. Natural        Areas Journal. 8(1): 17-24.  [6781]
  • 71.  Rietveld, W. J. 1975. Phytotoxic grass residues reduce germination and        initial root growth of ponderosa pine. Res. Pap. RM-153. Fort Collins,        CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain        Forest and Range Experiment Station. 15 p.  [5619]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Regeneration Processes

Mountain muhly reproduces by seed [16].  It can also reproduce
vegetatively by tillering, and sometimes spreads slowly by this method
[80].

On western Colorado ponderosa pine ranges, mountain muhly seedstalk
production is abundant in normal growing seasons [15].

In central Arizona mountain muhly sometimes retains its seeds into the
winter months [80].
  • 15.  Costello, David F.; Schwan, H. E. 1946. Conditions and trends on        ponderosa pine ranges in Colorado. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of        Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment        Station. 33 p.  [21469]
  • 16.  Cronquist, Arthur; Holmgren, Arthur H.; Holmgren, Noel H.; [and others]
  • 80.  Vose, James M.; White, Alan S. 1987. Processes of understory seedling        recruitment 1 year after prescribed fire in an Arizona ponderosa pine        community. Canadian Journal of Botany. 65: 2280-2290.  [4053]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: hemicryptophyte

  
   Hemicryptophyte

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Life Form

More info for the term: graminoid

Graminoid

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Season/Severity Classification

fall/moderate in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) sawtimber stands
fall/severe in ponderosa pine pole stands

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

Mountain muhly grows during the spring and summer months [38].  Mountain
muhly becomes semidormant if there is midsummer drought [64].  In
northern Arizona the start of mountain muhly growth is related to the
time of spring thaw, which begins when maximum air temperatures attain
50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 deg C).  This temperature is usually achieved
about the beginning of March [65].

On northern Arizona ponderosa pine/bunchgrass range, mountain muhly was
measured during the snow-free months from 1963 through 1965.  Overwinter
green height of mountain muhly was less than 1.3 inches (3.3 cm).
Mountain muhly peak growth was during July and August; extent of growth
appeared to be closely related to precipitation during those months.
Mountain muhly ceased growing during September.  Phenological
development of mountain muhly was as follows [65]:

                        1963          1964          1965

    Heads showing      Sept. 5       Sept. 4       Aug. 15
    Flowers in bloom   Sept. 25      Sept. 24      Sept. 7
    Seeds mature       Oct. 10       Oct. 6        Sept. 27

Mountain muhly flowering times are:

         Arizona              August-September   [46]
         California           June-August        [60]
         Colorado             July-September     [23,68]
         Wyoming              July-September     [23]
         Intermountain West   July-September     [16]
  • 46.  Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock,        Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2d ed. Berkeley, CA: University of        California Press. 1085 p.  [6563]
  • 16.  Cronquist, Arthur; Holmgren, Arthur H.; Holmgren, Noel H.; [and others]
  • 23.  Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information        network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and        Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior,        Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p.  [806]
  • 38.  Herzman, Carl W.; Everson, A. C.; Mickey, Myron H.; [and others]
  • 60.  Munz, Philip A. 1973. A California flora and supplement. Berkeley, CA:        University of California Press. 1905 p.  [6155]
  • 64.  Pearson, Henry A. 1965. Studies of forage digestibility under ponderosa        pine stands. In: Proceedings: Society of American Foresters meeting;        1964 September 27 - October 1; Denver, CO. Washington, DC: Society of        American Foresters: 71-73.  [11513]
  • 65.  Pearson, Henry A. 1967. Phenology of Arizona fescue and mountain muhly        in the northern Arizona ponderosa pine type. Res. Note RM-89. Fort        Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky        Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 4 p.  [5306]
  • 68.  Quinn, James A.; Miller, Roy V. 1967. A biotic selection study utilizing        Muhlenbergia montana. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 94(5):        423-432.  [4045]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Muhlenbergia montana

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Muhlenbergia montana

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Management considerations

More info for the terms: cover, density, tree

Response to disturbance - Mountain muhly is a decreaser in response to
trampling and heavy grazing [6,45,55,56].  In Rocky Mountain National
Park mountain muhly had significantly less cover at the edge
of hiking trails than in the forest interior, where it was not heavily
disturbed [8].  Mountain muhly is considered a key indicator of range
condition in Cochise County, Arizona.  Allowable stubble heights and
volume removal to maintain satisfactory range condition are given [20].
On Arizona [14] and Colorado [45] ponderosa pine/bunchgrass ranges,
overgrazing causes mountain muhly to decline and be replaced by
sod-forming grasses.  In Zion National Park, Utah, mountain muhly was
quite rare on a grazed plateau and was restricted to the southern third
of the plateau where grazing pressure had been lightest due to earlier
fencing.  It was a common component of the surface vegetation on nearby
isolated, ungrazed mesas [53].

In a northern Arizona study of exclosures established in 1912 and
monitored until 1942, mountain muhly showed greatest increase on
unshaded, ungrazed quadrats.  On excessively grazed ranges, openings
between trees completely lacked mountain muhly.  Where scattered trees
provided some protection against grazing, mountain muhly occurred as
isolated "islands" [6].  In central Colorado ponderosa pine/bunchgrass
ranges, mountain muhly formed an increasingly larger percentage of grass
cover as the intensity of grazing use was reduced.  It varied from an
average of 20 percent of composition on heavily grazed areas to 45
percent on those not grazed.  Ungrazed plants produced 10 to 12 times
more seedstalks than plants that were heavily grazed [45].

On central Colorado ponderosa pine/bunchgrass range, grazing impacts
were monitored from 1940 until 1957.  Of the perennial grasses on the
experimental sites, mountain muhly was the most important forage
producer.  It remained widely distributed regardless of rates of
grazing, but cover was affected by grazing level.  In grassland cover
types, mountain muhly cover increased more than 50 percent between 1940
and 1957 on lightly utilized areas; it decreased about 35 percent under
moderate use; and 63 percent under heavy use.  Its density was greatest
inside grassland exclosures protected since 1940 [76].

In a Colorado study morphological differences between long-term grazed
and ungrazed mountain muhly largely disappeared within the first growing
season following cessation of grazing [13,68].  However, on central
Colorado ponderosa pine/bunchgrass ranges, mountain muhly which had been
grazed at 70 percent for at least 7 years took 3 years for leaf lengths
and number and height of flowerstalks to recover after protection from
grazing [76].

In central Colorado mountain muhly makes its main growth later than
Arizona fescue, little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), and sun sedge
(Carex heliophila), and is grazed later.  On Arizona ponderosa
pine/bunchgrass ranges, mountain muhly receives heavier use than Arizona
fescue later in the growing season [76].

Mountain muhly on depleted ponderosa pine/bunchgrass ranges in central
Colorado increased significantly (p less than .01) when fertilized with 50
pounds (22.7 kg) each of elemental nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium
per acre during May 1968.  Dry weight yields increased under all grazing
levels [19].

Effects on tree regeneration - In central Arizona mountain muhly
competed with ponderosa pine seedlings for water.  Mountain muhly roots
grew faster than seedling ponderosa pine roots; mountain muhly was more
drought tolerant than ponderosa pine seedlings.  During rain following
spring drought, mountain muhly roots took up water faster and more
completely and depleted soil moisture to lower levels than did ponderosa
pine roots.  Established ponderosa pines were able to tolerate
competition for moisture by mountain muhly [50].

In the Southwest herbicides have been used to reduce grass competition
with ponderosa pine seedlings.  Ponderosa pine survival 1 year after
planting on a site occupied by mountain muhly and Arizona fescue was
greater than 94 percent when the grasses were killed with dalapon.  The
success was probably enhanced by the dead grasses serving as mulch [37].

Extracts of mountain muhly green foliage and dead residues reduced
germination and growth of ponderosa pine [71] and yellow sweetclover
(Melilotus officinalis) [72].
  • 6.  Arnold, Joseph F. 1950. Changes in ponderosa pine bunchgrass ranges in        northern Arizona resulting from pine regeneration and grazing. Journal        of Forestry. February: 118-126.  [352]
  • 8.  Benninger-Truax, Mary; Vankat, John L.; Schaefer, Robert L. 1992. Trail        corridors as habitat and conduits for movement of plant species in Rocky        Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA. Landscape Ecology. 6(4): 269-278.        [22175]
  • 13.  Carman, J. G.; Briske, D. D. 1985. Morphologic & allozymic variation        between long-term grazed & non-grazed populations of the bunchgrass        Schizachrium scoparium var. frequens. Oecologia. 66: 332-337.  [3319]
  • 14.  Clary, Warren P. 1975. Range management and its ecological basis in the        ponderosa pine type of Arizona: the status of our knowledge. Res. Pap.        RM-158. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 35 p.        [4688]
  • 20.  Darrow, Robert A. 1944. Arizona range resources and their utilization:        1. Cochise County. Tech. Bull. 103. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona,        Agricultural Experiment Station: 311-364.  [4521]
  • 45.  Johnson, W. M. 1956. The effect of grazing intensity on plant        composition, vigor, and growth of pine-bunchgrass ranges in central        Colorado. Ecology. 37(4): 790-798.  [16921]
  • 53.  Madany, Michael H.; West, Neil E. 1983. Livestock grazing-fire regime        interactions within montane forests of Zion National Park, Utah.        Ecology. 64(4): 661-667.  [1509]
  • 55.  Moinat, A. D. 1956. Comparative yields of herbage from oak scrub and        interspersed grassland in Colorado. Ecology. 37(4): 852-854.  [1671]
  • 56.  Moir, William H. 1967. The subalpine tall grass, Festuca thurberi,        community of Sierra Blanca, New Mexico. Southwestern Naturalist. 12(3):        321-328.  [1675]
  • 68.  Quinn, James A.; Miller, Roy V. 1967. A biotic selection study utilizing        Muhlenbergia montana. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 94(5):        423-432.  [4045]
  • 71.  Rietveld, W. J. 1975. Phytotoxic grass residues reduce germination and        initial root growth of ponderosa pine. Res. Pap. RM-153. Fort Collins,        CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain        Forest and Range Experiment Station. 15 p.  [5619]
  • 76.  Smith, Dwight R. 1967. Effects of cattle grazing on a ponderosa        pine-bunchgrass range in Colorado. Technical Bulletin No. 1371.        Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 60 p.        [4763]
  • 19.  Currie, Pat O. 1976. Recovery of ponderosa pine-bunchgrass ranges        through grazing and herbicide or fertilizer treatments. Journal of Range        Management. 29(6): 444-448.  [15824]
  • 37.  Heidmann, L. J. 1988. Regeneration strategies for ponderosa pine. In:        Baumgartner, David M.; Lotan, James E., compilers. Ponderosa pine: The        species and its management: Symposium proceedings; 1987 September 29 -        October 1; Spokane, WA. Pullman, WA: Washington State University,        Cooperative Extension: 227-233.  [9422]
  • 50.  Larson, M. M.; Schubert, Gilbert H. 1969. Root competition between        ponderosa pine seedlings and grass. Res. Pap. RM-54. Fort Collins, CO:        U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest        and Range Experiment Station. 12 p.  [4713]
  • 72.  Rietveld, W. J. 1977. Phytotoxic effects of bunchgrass residues on        germination and initial root growth of yellow sweetclover. Journal of        Range Management. 30(1): 39-43.  [15889]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

More info for the term: reclamation

Mountain muhly has potential for use in land reclamation [82].
  • 82.  Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry        C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo,        UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p.  [2944]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Cover Value

More info for the term: cover

In Utah the cover value of mountain muhly for wildlife has been rated
as good for small mammals, fair for upland game birds and small nongame
birds, and poor for waterfowl [23].
  • 23.  Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information        network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and        Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior,        Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p.  [806]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Nutritional Value

Mountain muhly energy value is rated good.  Its protein value is rated
poor [23]. 

In Colorado and Utah, mountain muhly food values were listed as good for
elk, fair for mule deer, small mammals, and small nongame birds, and
poor for pronghorn and waterfowl [23].

Mountain muhly nutrition and digestibility have been described for
Arizona ponderosa pine/bunchgrass range.  Mountain muhly nutritional
components and digestibility when growing in the open and under a timber
overstory were as follows [14]:

                                 Open     Timbered
 
     Nutritional Components (%)

              Crude Protein       6.8       6.1
              Phosphorus          0.20      0.18
              Ash                 8.4       8.0

     Digestibility (%)           50.9      47.6

Mountain muhly percent digestible dry matter at the beginning of each
month was as follows [64]:

                                  Digestible Dry Matter (%)

            June                            47
            July                            49
            August                          55
            September (beginning)           52
            September (middle)              55 
  • 14.  Clary, Warren P. 1975. Range management and its ecological basis in the        ponderosa pine type of Arizona: the status of our knowledge. Res. Pap.        RM-158. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 35 p.        [4688]
  • 23.  Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information        network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and        Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior,        Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p.  [806]
  • 64.  Pearson, Henry A. 1965. Studies of forage digestibility under ponderosa        pine stands. In: Proceedings: Society of American Foresters meeting;        1964 September 27 - October 1; Denver, CO. Washington, DC: Society of        American Foresters: 71-73.  [11513]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the term: xeric

In Arizona mountain muhly is an important range species with high
forage value for cattle [14,46,52]; it is most valuable for grazing
during the summer rainy period, when it is growing [6].

On ponderosa pine/bunchgrass ranges in northern Arizona, mountain muhly
was the third most utilized grass in a study of relative cattle
preference for various forage species.  Mountain muhly was grazed 31
percent; only Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratense) and Arizona fescue
(Festuca arizonica) were more heavily grazed [14].

In Colorado mountain muhly is an important forage species in ponderosa
pine forests [38].  In the eastern Intermountain West, mountain muhly
provides considerable forage for cattle [16].

In central Colorado cattle preference for forage species was measured
on ponderosa pine/bunchgrass range during the spring-summer-fall grazing
season.  Mountain muhly percent of dried rumen samples was [17]:

            May     June     July     Aug.     Sept.     Nov.

Percent     3.5     2.7      0.0      0.8      3.9       10.5  

In Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, mountain muhly was a
principal winter elk food in xeric grasslands, in ponderosa pine-shrub
habitats, and in big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) areas [43].
  • 46.  Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock,        Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2d ed. Berkeley, CA: University of        California Press. 1085 p.  [6563]
  • 6.  Arnold, Joseph F. 1950. Changes in ponderosa pine bunchgrass ranges in        northern Arizona resulting from pine regeneration and grazing. Journal        of Forestry. February: 118-126.  [352]
  • 14.  Clary, Warren P. 1975. Range management and its ecological basis in the        ponderosa pine type of Arizona: the status of our knowledge. Res. Pap.        RM-158. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest        Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 35 p.        [4688]
  • 16.  Cronquist, Arthur; Holmgren, Arthur H.; Holmgren, Noel H.; [and others]
  • 17.  Currie, P. O.; Reichert, D. W.; Malechek, J. C.; Wallmo, O. C. 1977.        Forage selection comparisons for mule deer and cattle under managed        ponderosa pine. Journal of Range Management. 30(5): 352-356.  [4697]
  • 38.  Herzman, Carl W.; Everson, A. C.; Mickey, Myron H.; [and others]
  • 43.  Hobbs, N. Thompson; Baker, Dan L.; Ellis, James E.; Swift, David M.        1981. Composition and quality of elk winter diets in Colorado. Journal        of Wildlife Management. 45(1): 156-171.  [7421]
  • 52.  Lowe, Philip Orval. 1975. Potential wildlife benefits of fire in        ponderosa pine forests. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona. 131 p. M.S.        thesis.  [5115]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Palatability

In Arizona mountain muhly is a valuable forage plant because of its
abundance rather than because of high palatability.  It is grazed most
readily when the plants are actively growing [44].

In Colorado mountain muhly is one of the more palatable bunchgrasses
for cattle.  However, it becomes less palatable as it matures [38]
unless fully grazed throughout the growing season [82].

In Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming, mountain muhly forage
palatability has been rated good for cattle and horses and fair to good
for sheep [23].
  • 82.  Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry        C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo,        UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p.  [2944]
  • 23.  Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information        network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and        Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior,        Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p.  [806]
  • 38.  Herzman, Carl W.; Everson, A. C.; Mickey, Myron H.; [and others]
  • 44.  Humphrey, Robert R. 1970. Arizona range grasses: Their description,        forage value and management. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona        Press. 159 p.  [5567]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Muhlenbergia montana

Muhlenbergia montana, with the common name Mountain muhly, is a species of grass. It is native to North and Central America, where it is found throughout the Western United States, the Sierra Nevada, Mexico, and Guatemala.

It can be found in several types of habitat, including grassland, rocky outcrops, mountains, and open areas.

Muhlenbergia montana is a perennial bunchgrass forming tufts of stems 10 to 40 centimeters tall. The inflorescence is an open array of spreading or upright branches bearing small, awned spikelets.

Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

The currently accepted scientific name of mountain muhly is Muhlenbergia
montana (Nutt.) A. S. Hitchc. [16,34,40,42,82]. It is in the family
Poaceae. There are no currently accepted infrataxa.
  • 82.  Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry        C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo,        UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p.  [2944]
  • 16.  Cronquist, Arthur; Holmgren, Arthur H.; Holmgren, Noel H.; [and others]
  • 34.  Harrington, H. D. 1964. Manual of the plants of Colorado. 2d ed.        Chicago: The Swallow Press Inc. 666 p.  [6851]
  • 40.  Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of        California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p.        [21992]
  • 42.  Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. 1973. Flora of the Pacific        Northwest. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. 730 p.  [1168]

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Common Names

mountain muhly

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!