- Agriculture, Forestry & Soils
- Field crops, grasses, plant fibers, spices, tree crops, herbs
- Bluestem grass
Lewis, James K. Department of Animal Science, South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota.
Last reviewed:December 2019
- Big bluestem
- Little bluestem
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The common name often applied to several species of perennial grasses in the genera Andropogon, Dichanthium, Bothriochloa and Schizachyrium in the grass tribe Andropogoneae. The bluestems are medium to tall, warm-season, perennial grasses with basic chromosome numbers of 9 or 10 and they often exhibit polyploidy (the presence of three or more chromosome sets in a cell). Although asexual reproduction is common, reproduction is predominantly sexual and ecotypic variation occurs in wide-ranging species. Photosynthesis in the bluestem grasses, as well as in the entire grass tribe Andropogoneae, follows the C4 pathway characterized by high activity of the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP)–malic enzyme, providing adaptation to environments with high light intensities and high temperatures during the growing season. Prescribed burning is an important management tool, especially in subhumid and humid regions. Because of the bluestems' long season of growth, which is closely synchronized with the rate of decomposition, these grasses usually compete successfully against cool-season grasses on soils that are low in fertility. The two most important forage species are big bluestem (A. gerardii) and little bluestem (S. scoparium). See also: Cyperales; Forage crops; Grass crops; Photosynthesis; Poales; Polyploidy
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 45 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information