Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Phleum pratense

Introductory

SPECIES: Phleum pratense
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Esser, Lora L. 1993. Phleum pratense. 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/ [].

ABBREVIATION : PHLPRA SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : PHPR3 COMMON NAMES : timothy common timothy herd's grass TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for timothy is Phleum pratense L. There are two recognized varieties [59]: P. pratense var. pratense P. pratense var. nodosum (L.) Huds. LIFE FORM : Graminoid FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY

DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

SPECIES: Phleum pratense
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Timothy is of Eurasian origin but was first cultivated in the United States [47].  It was found growing in New Hampshire in 1711 and was named herd's grass.  In 1747, timothy spread from New England to Canada and westward [139].  Timothy is found in all 50 states and throughout Canada except Prince Edward Island and Labrador [9,113,129].  Timothy is widely cultivated in the northeastern states south to the Cotton Belt and west to the 100th meridian, in humid regions of Puget Sound, and in mountainous regions [45].   ECOSYSTEMS :       FRES10  White - red - jack pine    FRES11  Spruce - fir    FRES12  Longleaf - slash pine    FRES13  Loblolly - shortleaf pine    FRES14  Oak - pine    FRES15  Oak - hickory    FRES17  Elm - ash - cottonwood    FRES18  Maple - beech - birch    FRES19  Aspen - birch    FRES20  Douglas-fir    FRES21  Ponderosa pine    FRES22  Western white pine    FRES23  Fir - spruce    FRES24  Hemlock - Sitka spruce    FRES25  Larch    FRES26  Lodgepole pine    FRES28  Western hardwoods    FRES29  Sagebrush    FRES30  Desert shrub    FRES31  Shinnery    FRES33  Southwestern shrubsteppe    FRES34  Chaparral - mountain shrub    FRES35  Pinyon - juniper    FRES36  Mountain grasslands    FRES37  Mountain meadows    FRES38  Plains grasslands    FRES39  Prairie    FRES40  Desert grasslands    FRES41  Wet grasslands    FRES42  Annual grasslands    FRES44  Alpine STATES :      AL  AK  AZ  AR  CA  CO  CT  DE  FL  GA      HI  ID  IL  IN  IA  KS  KY  LA  ME  MD      MA  MI  MN  MS  MO  MT  NE  NV  NH  NJ      NM  NY  NC  ND  OH  OK  OR  PA  RI  SC      SD  TN  TX  UT  VT  VA  WA  WV  WI  WY      AB  BC  MB  NB  NF  NS  NT  ON  PQ  SK      YT BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS :     1  Northern Pacific Border     2  Cascade Mountains     3  Southern Pacific Border     4  Sierra Mountains     5  Columbia Plateau     6  Upper Basin and Range     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    14  Great Plains    15  Black Hills Uplift    16  Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands    KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS :    widely planted, occurs in nearly all types SAF COVER TYPES :    widely planted, occurs in nearly all types SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : NO-ENTRY

MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS

SPECIES: Phleum pratense
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Timothy is a palatable and nutritious forage for domestic livestock and big game animals [22,119].  It is cultivated for both hay and pasture throughout North America [140].  Timothy is valuable for range seeding because it grows under a wide variety of range and soil moisture conditions [96].  On a Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) clearcut in Montana, timothy was the preferred forage species of livestock [7]. Timothy is frequently seeded in mixtures with legumes for better performance but is grown alone to make premium hay for horses.  Timothy is also grown with meadow foxtail (Alopecurus arundinaceus), big trefoil (Lotus uliginosus), and white clover (Trifolium repens) for hay and silage [39].  Timothy is inferior to alfalfa and clover hays for fattening cattle [22]. Timothy is grazed by deer and rodents in Washington [27].  Songbirds and gamebirds consume timothy seeds.  It is an important forage for elk in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado and elsewhere, and is eaten by mule deer and mountain sheep [46].  In Arizona in July, timothy contributed 0.38 percent to mule deer diets [53].  In Glacier National Park, timothy contributed 20 percent to elk diets in the spring, and just a trace in the winter [109]. PALATABILITY : Timothy is highly palatable to all classes of livestock and big game species [119,122].  It is highly palatable to horses and cattle in spring, summer, and fall; and to sheep in summer [141].  Palatability of timothy is high for elk in the spring and summer, and high for deer in the summer [108]. Palatability ratings for timothy from selected western states are as follows [143]:                         WY       UT       CO      MT      ND     cattle                 good     good     good    good    good sheep                  good     fair     good    good    fair horses                 good     good     good    good    good elk                    good     good     ----    fair    ---- mule deer              good     fair     ----    poor    ---- white-tailed deer      good     ----     ----    ----    ---- antelope               poor     ----     ----    ----    ---- upland game birds      poor     good     ----    ----    ---- waterfowl              poor     ----     good    ----    ---- small nongame birds    good     good     fair    ----    ---- small mammals          fair     good     fair    ----    ---- NUTRITIONAL VALUE : The nutritive value of timothy decreases as plants mature; the digestibility of cellulose is directly proportional to overall nutritive value of timothy [8]. Crude protein, phosphorus, and carotene levels of timothy decline over the course of the growing season.  Some nutritional values for timothy are as follows [56]:               dry    crude  crude  crude  ash   Ca     P    carotene              matter protein  fat   fiber  (%)   (%)   (%)   (mg/kg)               (%)     (%)     (%)   (%)         STAGE                  leaf stage    92.2   13.3   3.17   24.3   7.23  0.37  0.20   45.2 heading       92.6    7.20  2.57   28.3   5.13  0.22  0.12   29.8 seed ripe     94.4    5.70  2.10   29.7   5.50  0.25  0.08    5.80 cured         93.0    2.94  1.86   34.4   7.30  0.38  0.04    2.12 weathered     95.1    2.45  1.20   42.5   4.85  0.26  0.03    1.00 Moisture content of timothy decreases as the plant matures; before heading, moisture content is 78.5 percent; at full bloom, moisture content is 67.2 percent; and as seeds mature, moisture content is 49.9 percent [46]. Feeds with low digestibility have a low net energy value; the net energy value of timothy hay is 43 therms.  The best time to cut grass for hay is a few days after it has reached the stage of maximum flowering and before seeds begin to form.  It will yield a greater return of digestible nutrients per acre [57]:     Yields of digestible nutrients per acre of timothy cut at different                      stages of growth (in pounds)                dry matter    crude    carbos   crude fat   total digestible                             protein                            matter STAGE early bloom       3.41        135      1.68       43            1.91 full bloom        4.00        147      1.87       44            2.11 seed formed       4.01        113      1.80       51            2.03 seed in dough     4.04        98       1.70       54            1.91 seed ripe         3.75        92       1.58       38            1.75 Livestock utilize forested sites in the Black Hills of South Dakota less than adjacent meadow sites.  Shading of timothy in forested areas decreases sugars and easily hydrolyzable carbohydrates.  The high sugar content of timothy in the meadow sites is associated with an increase in utilization of these sites.  Phenological development is 1 to 2 weeks later in forested areas than in meadow areas [83]. COVER VALUE : Timothy provides important cover for a variety of game birds, small mammals, and waterfowl [40,75,138].  It provides cover for dwarf shrews and deer mice in southeastern Montana [75].  Stands of redtop (Agrostis alba), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), and timothy are indispensable as nesting cover and brood-rearing cover for prairie chickens in the North Central States [131,138]. In grass meadows along drainage ditches in Wisconsin, timothy provides nesting cover for sharp-tailed grouse, blue-winged teal, and prairie chickens [40]. Regional cover values for selected wildlife species are as follows [143]:                             UT       CO       WY       MT       Elk                        poor     ----     poor     ----     Mule deer                  poor     ----     fair     ---- White-tailed deer          ----     ----     fair     ---- Antelope                   poor     ----     poor     ---- Upland game birds          fair     good     good     fair Waterfowl                  ----     fair     good     good Small nongame birds        fair     ----     good     fair Small mammals              good     ----     good     fair VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Timothy is widely used for rehabilitation of cutover, burned-over, and overgrazed mountain rangelands [119].  It helps stabilize the soil and is commonly used in Nebraska and the cornbelt for erosion control [107]. Timothy is used for rehabilitation of sites disturbed by construction of railroads, canals, trails, and highways; logged sites; and sites altered for recreational purposes.  It is recommended for use in the Alaska boreal zone for reclamation and erosion control.  Timothy was seeded onto a strip mine in south-central Alaska in 1976 and 1979, and was found growing on those sites in 1981 and 1985 [25].  Timothy is well adapted to intense disturbances.  Plant cover of timothy increases with a corresponding increase in disturbance [63]. Timothy was used in the rehabilitation of a high-elevation mine on the Beartooth Plateau, Montana.  Timothy was transplanted while dormant to reduce physiological damage.  The well-developed root system and root crown of transplants are not as susceptible to frost heaving and desiccation as are those of emerging seedlings.  Consequently transplanting is the most successful technique available for alpine areas [13,14].  Timothy is good for short-term rehabilitation efforts [13]. After a fire in South Dakota, timothy was seeded with other grasses at a rate of ll pounds per acre (12.4 kg/ha).  As ground cover developed, summer runoff and erosion rates decreased until cover density reached about 60 percent.  Some stabilization of soil was realized in the first growing season, and by the fourth growing season all areas were stabilized.  Introduced species provide a more evenly dispersed cover than native species and supply a steady accumulation of litter cover [93]. Timothy was used as a part of a seed mixture for streambank and stream bottom reseeding on the Manti-Lasal National Forest in Utah.  It was recommended that all recently exposed sand and gravel bars within the stream channel and floodplain be broadcast seeded with this seed mixture to help control flooding and landslides [128]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : NO-ENTRY OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Timothy is successfully and profitably used for reseeding rangelands where the soil is moist and the growing season long enough for seed production [119].  Before planting, managers should take into account the grazing management plan for the ranch or range unit.  Seeded species can do more harm than good, and timothy may not always be the most appropriate species.  Exotic grasses are one of the most disruptive factors in native fescue grasslands in Glacier National Park [118]. Timothy is the most widely distributed exotic in the park, where it is associated with substrate disturbed by post-1980 underground utility construction.  Timothy was intentionally seeded by outfitters in the 1940's and by park personnel in the 1980's.  Extensive tiller mats of timothy limit cryptogam colonization sites and reduce native graminoid colonization.  Reduction of timothy is not a realistic option in Glacier or other natural areas; the most reasonable recommendation for resource managers is not to use it for revegetating disturbed sites [118]. The exotics of greatest concern to wildland managers are timothy and Kentucky bluegrass because they establish quickly, spread vigorously, and usually escape early detection.  Timothy has the highest ability of 34 exotics tested to invade closed vegetation areas.  Constancy values in forest, meadow, and alpine tundra is 99, 99, and 36 percent, respectively.  Numbers and frequency of timothy increases from undisturbed sites to regularly disturbed sites.  More resources are available at the latter sites because competition is greatly reduced. Timothy is of great concern because it often dominates the area it occupies.  Control should include both elimination and simultaneous introduction of a desirable competitor [130]. Livestock use:  Timothy maintains itself well with proper management, but it is not resistant to heavy grazing.  It will grow up to 12 years on properly managed rangelands, but stands tend to die out in 6 to 7 years [119].  Grazing is chiefly responsible for impoverishment and retrogressive succession of vegetation in Utah; erosion caused by sheep and cattle grazing is pronounced, and the runoff in many riparian areas has reached flood proportions.  Grazing must be regulated better in these areas [20].  Moderate grazing in Iowa and Wisconsin was more destructive than mowing.  Grazing compacts the soil and if important range grasses are overgrazed, timothy will start to dominate range sites [23]. Cattle grazing should be deferred to late summer to lessen streambank alterations; forage utilization should be monitored closely to enhance improvements in bank protection [78].  Noncontinuous grazing early or late in the growing season has a less detrimental effect on other vegetation than does continuous season-long grazing [67].  Meadows should be grazed on a rotation plan.  In humid zones, timothy should be grazed until the jointing stage, then mown for hay at bloom stage; this can be repeated two to three times under favorable grazing conditions. Timothy meadows should be harrowed and fertilized annually [130]. Riparian areas are directly affected by upland site conditions. Management including no grazing, limited grazing, or artificial restoration can stabilize erosive areas and reduce sedimentation and destructive erosive runoff to downslope riparian areas [111].  Timothy seedlings can be detrimental or beneficial in young conifer plantations.  They may hinder conifer seedling establishment by preemption of resources, allelopathy, attraction of insects and animals, and increased fire potential.  They can be beneficial by excluding other competitive plant species.  Timothy seedlings compete strongly with conifer seedlings, especially when conifer seedlings are not fully established.  After establishment of conifer seedlings, approximately 5 years, timothy seeds may aid conifer seedling growth by excluding shrub competition.  Grasses should be eliminated from plantations until conifer seedlings have become established; the limiting resource is soil moisture [82].  The interior Douglas-fir-Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmanii)-subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) biegeoclimatic zones have potential for producing both trees and grass depending on soil capability, erosion hazards, regeneration objectives, and cattle management problems [85]. Establishment:  Timothy should be planted before or early during the 2-month period most favorable for rapid germination and seedling growth: late summer, early spring, or late fall in most regions; June or early July in high mountains; August for irrigated plantings.  When used in mixtures with legumes, the mixture should be at the optimum time for seeding legumes.  Timothy seeds germinate rapidly:  10 days in lab testing aided by prechilling.  Timothy seedlings are moderately vigorous.  They usually become well established by the second growing season, and sometimes by the end of the first growing season under favorable conditions and a longer growing season.  Maximum dry matter hay yields are obtained by harvesting in the postbloom stag  [129]. Fall seeding is best when seeding timothy alone or with winter wheat. Seedlings from fall seedings are less likely to be injured by dry weather in late spring or early summer than seedlings from spring seedings.  Also, less seed is required for fall than for spring seedings.  For the fall, 3.5 pounds per acre (4.0 kg/ha) are needed; in the spring, 10 pounds per acre (11.2 kg/ha) are needed.  Timothy is commonly sown with clover or alfalfa to produce hay with higher protein content and to maintain better soil productivity [119].  When timothy is seeded in mixtures with other perennial grasses, it will be replaced by the slower developing, longer lived species in a few years.  Except at higher elevations, properly managed stands are maintained by good seed crops.  Timothy competes successfully with native grasses only where moisture and soil are favorable [104]. Fertilizers increase timothy seedling establishment in mineral and peat soils.  There is more rapid growth on peats, but sustained growth is better on mineral soils that are kept moist.  Fertilizer trials indicate that a N plus P treatment is most effective [9]. Diseases:  Timothy is susceptible to winter crown and root rots.  Purple spot (Heterosporium phlei) is widespread in timothy stands but is rarely severe.  Severe infection will impair hay quality and reduce seed yields [139]. Cultivars:  There are 25 varieties of timothy used in agricultural practices today.  In Montana, recommended varieties are 'Climax' and 'Hopkins'.  'Climax' timothy should be used for seed production on irrigated land or dryland with favorable moisture.  'Hopkins' timothy should be used for hay and seed production on irrigated lands or high altitude dryland with favorable moisture [18].  Another cultivar used frequently in Alaska, is 'Engmo' timothy.  It is a long-lived perennial that can persist indefinitely if not killed by winter or pathogens [62].

BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SPECIES: Phleum pratense
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Timothy is an introduced, cool-season, perennial bunchgrass that grows from 20 to 40 inches (51-102 cm) tall [114,129].  Culms emerge from a swollen or bulblike base and form large clumps.  The flowering heads of timothy are cylindrical and spikelike, and about 6 inches (15 cm) long. The one-flowered spikelet produces seeds that are small and enclosed in awned, urn-shaped husks [23,90,139].  Leaves of timothy are flat and 3 to 13 inches (7.6-33 cm) long [119].  Timothy is generally short-lived (4 to 5 years) but can live up to 6 or 7 years [124].  Timothy has a moderately shallow and fibrous root system; roots can extend to 48 inches (120 cm) in depth [129,139]. Timothy is nonrhizomatous [114,119]. Timothy plants contain corms at their base which are annual, forming in early summer and dying the next year when the seed matures [47]. Timothy forms vesicular-arbuscular endomycorrhizal associations [143].  RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM :    Hemicryptophyte    Geophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Sexual reproduction:  Timothy reproduces mainly from seed.  It is a prolific seeder [140]; the small, hard seeds are dispersed by livestock, wind, and other agents [119].  There are 1.1 to 1.3 million seeds per pound (0.495-.0585 million per kg) [133].  Maximum germination usually occurs about 3 or 4 weeks after it is harvested, when nearly 100 percent should germinate.  Germination rates remain high for 1 to 2 years. Timothy seed remains viable for 4 to 5 years if kept in a dry, cool place [133].  Timothy seedlings are vigorous and fast growing [18]. Vegetative reproduction:  Timothy reproduces vegetatively through tillering [2].  When timothy plants are plowed under, many become reestablished through rooting stems which develop and grow upwards to the surface.  Vegetative reproduction occurs through buds in the axils of the leaves, at nodes which may or may not be adjacent to the corms [29].  Tillering suppression has been noted at the onset of sexual reproductive growth [2]. The major site of carbohydrate storage is in the lower regions of the stems (corms, stem bases, and stolons).  Adequate carbohydrate reserves are important in perennial plants for winter survival, early spring growth initiation, and regrowth initiation after herbage removal [134]. High night temperatures decrease the carbohydrate reserves of timothy.  SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Timothy is adapted to a wide range of climatic and edaphic conditions but grows best on well-drained moist clay or loam soils [104,140]. Timothy is best adapted to growth in poorly drained alluvial, Humic Gley, and Brown Podzolic soils [39].  It thrives in deep, fertile, loamy, silty, and clayey soils of humid regions but can also grow in thin, gravelly, and rocky substrates if adequately moist [129]. Timothy has escaped cultivation and has become established at medium to high elevations in the mountains where it grows in moist grasslands, in aspen and conifer stands, and along roadways.  It has become naturalized on sites ranging from warm, dry grasslands to cool, moist supalpine forests [32].  Timothy has a medium to high water requirement and is intolerant of drought.  It does best on sites where the water table is low enough to allow at least the upper 6 inches (15 cm) of soil to remain unsaturated most of the year [108,140].  Timothy is intolerant of alkaline or acidic soils.  Lower pH limit is 4.5 to 5.0 [124].  It can tolerate up to several weeks of flooding in the winter but only a few days during the growing season [39,129]. Timothy needs about 20 inches (50 cm) of precipitation per year on good soils, and up to 30 inches (76 cm) on less favorable soils.  Irrigation greatly enhances productivity in dry climates [23,129].  Timothy has excellent cold tolerance and winter hardiness [129].  It will tolerate high shade but thrives in partial shade [108]. Timothy does best at medium elevations but grows up to 11,500 feet (3,506 m) in Colorado [119].  Regional elevation distributions are as follows [17,18,25,27,50,102,143]:                                feet              meters           Utah                   500 - 10,000       150 - 3,048           Colorado             4,500 - 11,500       1,370 - 3,506       Nevada                  up to 6,000       1,830            California              up to 6,000       1,830            Idaho                   up to 8,400       2,560             Montana               3,100 - 8,000       945 - 2,440        Alaska                1,300 - 3,015       396 - 919          Washington              up to 5,000       1,524            Wyoming               5,600 - 9,100       1,700 - 2,775       Alberta                 up to 3,200       975               British Columbia        up to 4,400       1,340        Graminoid species commonly associated with timothy are:  sloughgrass (Beckmannia syzigachne), creeping wildrye (Elymus triticoides), meadow barley (Hordeum brachyantherum), Nevada bluegrass (Poa nevadensis), carpet bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera), big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi), porcupine grass (Stipa spartea), little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), Junegrass (Koeleria cristata), prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis), Canada wildrye (E. canadensis), bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata), Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis), reedgrass (Calamagrostis spp.), streambank wheatgrass (Elymus lanceolatus), red fescue (F. rubra), crested wheatgrass (A. cristatum), fescue (Festuca spp.), wheatgrass (Agropyron spp.), tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia caespitosa), and oniongrass (Melica spp.) [19,74,98]. The following species are often seeded in mixtures with timothy: bromegrass (Smooth brome), orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata), Kentucky bluegrass, fescue (Festuca spp.), wheatgrass (Agropyron spp.), creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris), Canadian bluegrass (Poa compressa), tall oatgrass (Arrhenatherum elatius), reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea), creeping meadow foxtail (Alopecurus arundinaceus), sweetclover (Melilotus), alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum), big trefoil, birdsfoot trefoil (L. corniculatus), alfalfa (Medicago sativa), meadow foxtail, and yellow foxtail (Setaria geniculata) [21,29,39,47,102]. Common overstory species associated with timothy not listed in Distribution and Occurrence are:  sandbar willow (Salix exigua), thinleaf alder (Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia), and western river alder (A. incana) [14,46,70].  Species commonly associated with timothy not already listed include: chokecherry (Prunus), snowberry (Symphoricarpos), woods rose (Rosa woodsii), sedges (Carex spp.), spike-rush (Eleocharis), rushes (Juncus spp.), cicer milkvetch (Astragalus cicer), rambler alfalfa (Medicago media), sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia), common yarrow (Achillea millefolium), field horsetail (Equisetum arvense), yellow salsify (Tragopogon dubius), aster (Aster spp.), borage (Borago officianalis), cinquefoil (Potentilla spp.), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), willowweed (Epilobium spp.), and dock (Rumex spp.) [10,19,74,84]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Obligate Initial Community Species Timothy usually occurs in early to mid seral stages, although it can also dominate in self-perpetuating grasslands.  It is an intermediate competitor.  It colonizes disturbed areas via seed [123].  Timothy has been observed in early seral mixed forests [41].  In southwest Ohio, it was found in fields up to 50 years of age but not in fields 90 years of age [123].  Timothy does better following disturbance of sites in early successional stages compared with those in later successional stages. For example timothy cover was high after disturbance in old fields and low after disturbance in forests.  Mid-seral old fields contained an abundance of timothy [123].  In Wyoming, a cottonwood-grass sere is one of the dominant riparian communities in the Northern Great Plains.  It progresses from seedlings of Great Plains cottonwood establishing on newly deposited alluvium, to a thicket of sandbar willow and cottonwood, to cottonwood forest, to shrubland dominated by snowberry and wood's rose, to a self-perpetuating grassland dominated by timothy [10]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Timothy begins growth in early spring.  Flowering occurs from June to September, depending on altitude and latitude [129,143].  Seeds are formed by midsummer and are released in August.  Timothy produces a moderate amount of cool-season regrowth in early summer and fall with adequate moisture and fertility [129]. Some reported dates for anthesis are as follows [133,143]:          Colorado             June-September         Wyoming              June-September         Montana              June-August         North Dakota         June-July         Ohio                 June-July Timothy seeds are harvested in Missouri in July, and in Minnesota in early August [133].  There is a critical period in early fall for transfer of food reserves to the corms [29].

FIRE ECOLOGY

SPECIES: Phleum pratense
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : As with most perennial grasses, timothy is well adapted to fire. Susceptibility of pasture or range vegetation to fire depends on specific fire adaptations of the species and phenological stage when burned.  Timothy has underground regenerative organs that are not harmed by moderately severe fires.  Timothy is harmed if burned when actively growing in the spring and summer but is fairly fire tolerant when dormant [129].  In Yellowstone National Park after the fires of 1988, timothy sprouted from the roots after being top-killed [4].  Timothy can occurs on extremely cold sites; these sites seldom burn [129].   POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY :    Tussock graminoid    Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)    Secondary colonizer - off-site seed

FIRE EFFECTS

SPECIES: Phleum pratense
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Moderately severe fires will top-kill timothy, and severe fires may cause damage to or kill the root crown, killing the plant [4]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Fire stimulates the production of reproductive tillers in timothy.  In Illinois, a prescribed burn in August was beneficial for rejuvenation of timothy sods.  Seed production increased following fire, and there was an increased success of timothy 2 to 4 years after the burn [132]. In Oregon in early November, fire increased the vegetative yield and maximum height of timothy [19].  Following a prescribed prairie fire in Iowa carried out after snowmelt but while the soil was still frozen, timothy started growth 2 to 3 weeks earlier in the spring and matured earlier on burned areas than on adjacent unburned areas [24]. Several forage species were tested for performance on recently burned lodgepole pine sites in northeastern Washington.  After 4 years, timothy was considered adequate in vigor and density.  On a northeastern slope, timothy was more successful because of better soil and moisture conditions [27]. On a game farm in Pennsylvania, 5 acres (2 ha) were burned on April 22, 1983 to determine vegetation response.  Timothy production decreased after the spring burn.  There was no change in percent composition of timothy between 4 and 16 months after the fire.  Early spring burning temporarily reduced perennial grasses and increased forbs.  Grassy cover improved by postfire year 2 [49]. Total herbaceous production of timothy following the 1983 burn [49]: months after burn               control (%)          burn (%)         1                          28                  3         2                          41                 10         3                          45                  7         4                          55                  0         6                          48                  6 DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : Hamilton's Research Paper and the Research Project Summary of Metlen and others' study provides information on prescribed fire and postfire response of many plant species, including timothy, that was not available when this species review was written. FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Timothy is often used to stabilize soil against erosion and to provide cover for wildlife in clearcut areas that have been burned [3].  In the midwestern states, prairie fires are often prescribed and timothy seeded to provide nesting cover for prairie chickens and waterfowl [3].   In Montana, timothy was aerially seeded on a lodgepole pine clearcut that had been burned.  It was monitored for 12 years, from 1962 to 1973. Timothy was a strong competitor in the early years postburn, but eventual dominance by native grasses was suggested by the decline of timothy from 3.0 percent in 1964 to 0.7 percent in 1973 [71].   Percent vegetal cover for timothy for 12 transects, 1962-1973                 1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9    10    11    12  0.6   2.1   3.0   2.5   1.7   1.9   ---   1.8   ---   1.3   ---   0.7   In Oregon on a clearcut burned in 1969, timothy was seeded with a mixture of other grasses and legumes at a rate of 6 pounds per acre (6.8 kg/ha).  In 1973, timothy was abundant.  By 1984, timothy declined drastically in numbers, partially because of heavy grazing pressure [86]. In Deadwood, South Dakota in 1959, an intense forest fire burned 4,500 acres (1,800 ha) of land.  Artificial seeding on 4,011 acres (1,604 ha) at 11 pounds per acre (12.4 kg/ha) of a mixture containing timothy was completed.  The mixture consisted of 3 pounds per acre (3.4 kg/ha) of timothy, 3 pounds per acre (3.4 kg/ha) of smooth brome, 2 pounds per acre (2.25 kg/ha) of Kentucky bluegrass, 2 pounds per acre (2.25 kg/ha) of yellow sweet clover, and 1 pound per acre (1.125 kg/ha) of hairy vetch.  Two sites were seeded.  Site one was on stony-loam soil at 5,400 feet (1,620 m) and site two was on a finer textured soil at 4,900 feet (1,470 m).  Timothy established quickly and persisted in dominance on site one.  At site two, timothy was codominant with other species [93]. In northern Alberta, timothy was used to reseed burned-over land after a fire in 1950.  The organic matter was destroyed and the depth of ash was 1 to 3 inches (2.5-7.6 cm).  Seedings were done in the fall on 3 to 6 inches (7.6-15 cm) of snow and in April at the same depth with no snow or frost.  Productivity was not influenced by the time of seeding. Timothy seeds established where moisture was adequate.  Stands of timothy declined with age [3]. 

References for species: Phleum pratense


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