Native perennial grasses are the lifeblood of rangelands. Our livestock and wildlife species, ecosystem processes, and overall plant community function depend on our native grasses for numerous reasons. Learning about how grasses establish, reproduce, and sustain their species populations are key for any range manager.
Our job as managers is to derive economic value from the products that the system is capable of producing sustainably. That is, we must make a profit by manipulating the plants, animals and natural processes in such a way that the integrity and long-term productive capability of the system are not impaired by using only the amount of production that exceeds that necessary to maintain the integrity of the biological community (use desirable plants in such a way that they can maintain or regain their vigor and maintain their competitiveness with neighbors). In this way, the biological diversity and resilience of the system to natural disturbance is maintained, wastage of resources is minimized, water and nutrient cycling as well as energy flow are maintained at a high level, and additional inputs of energy are minimized. The primary means to this end is to maintain desirable plant vigor at a high level.
This website will help you gain a deeper understanding in how grasses grow, and the many differences that exist among native, perennial grass species. Not all rangeland grasses are created equal, and each species will respond differently to grazing, fire, and drought. This website serves as a database for species-specific information that you will find on some of the dominant grass species in Texas!