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Montana Field Guides

Bluebunch Wheatgrass - Elymus spicatus
Other Names:  Agropyron spicatum, Pseudoroegneria spicata, Agropyron inerme

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 5

External Links






 
General Description
Bunchgrass. Stems 3–9 dm. Leaves: blades 1–3 mm wide, flat to rolled, sheath and collar often hairless. Inflorescence 4–20 cm long, rachis continuous, internodes >10 mm long. Spikelets 10–15(–26) mm long, appressed to the main rachis, florets mostly 3 to 7 per spikelet, glumes shorter than florets, awnless or short-awned. Lemmas hairless to inconspicuously hairy, with a divergent awn up to 2 cm long, rarely awnless (Lavin in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range

Year-round
 


Range Comments
Throughout much of western North America and rarely elsewhere (Lavin in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 8261

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

 

(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)



Habitat

References
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • Aldrich, D. F. 1978. Overwintering, springtime development and migration of some Aphidea, including Myzus persicae of Northwestern Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 112 p.
    • Ament, R.J. 1995. Pioneer Plant Communities Five Years After the 1988 Yellowstone Fires. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 216 p.
    • Anderson, N.L. 1951. Field studies on the biology of range grasshoppers of southeastern Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 96 p.
    • Anderson, N.L. 1962. Grasshopper-vegetation relationships on Montana grasslands. Ph.D Dissertation. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 73 p.
    • Aradottir, A.L. 1984. Ammonia volatilization from native grasslands and forests of SW Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 48 p.
    • Bess, J.A. 1997. The leafhopper species assemblages associated with native and replanted grasslands in southwest Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 94 p.
    • Bilbao, J.V. 2008. Predicting feeding site selection of mule deer on foothill and mountain rangelands. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 40 p.
    • Blicker, P.S. 2000. Nitrate uptake and water use of Centaurea maculosa (Spotted Knapweed) and native grasses. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 90 p.
    • Blunt, K.R. 2001. Seasonal forage dry matter production and quality of 29 dryland grasses in Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman MT: Montana State University. 174 p.
    • Brewer, T.K. 2002. Effects of spring clipping on bluebunch wheatgrass in summer. M. Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 62 p.
    • Britton, M. P. 1955. An ecological study of a relict grassland and an adjacent grazed pasture in Beaverhead Valley, Montana. M.S. thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 23 pp.
    • Buckmaster, 2015. Community Composition Analysis of Altered Vegetation Communities Following the Release of Grazing Pressure. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozema, MT: Montana State University. 66 p.
    • Cascaddan, B.M. 2018. Effects of Mountain Pine Beetle on Elk habitat and nutrition in the Elkhorn Mountains of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 59 p.
    • Chadde, S.W. 1985. Initial recovery patterns of southwestern Montana foothill range. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 103 p.
    • Cope, M.G. 1992. Distribution, habitat selection and survival of transplanted Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus) in the Tobacco Valley, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 60 p.
    • Craighead, A.C. 2000. Pellet and scat analysis as indicators of present and past habitats. M.Sc. Theses. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 219 p.
    • Dragt, W. J. 1985. Nutritional and developmental responses of three mountain bunchgrasses to summer cattle and winter elk grazing. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. Bozeman. 94 p.
    • Egan, J.L. 1957. Some relationships between mule deer and alfalfa production in Powder River County, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 34 p.
    • Enk, E.A. 1999. Population dynamics of bighorn sheep on the Beartooth Wildlife Management Area, Montana. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 177 p.
    • Feist, F.G. 1968. Breeding bird populations in relation to proposed sagebrush control in central Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 41 p.
    • Fogelsong, M.L. 1974. Effects of fluorides on Peromyscus maniculatus in Glacier National Park. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 52 p.
    • Foster, J.W. 1977. Impact of off-road vehicle traffic on soils and vegetation on rangeland in southeastern Montana and photographic monitoring of the effects. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 168 p.
    • Fraas, W.W. 1992. Bitterbrush growth and reproductive character in relation to browsing in southwest Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 137 p.
    • Fuller, W.L. 1997. Elk management strategies for sustainable beef cattle enterprises. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montnaa State University. 92 p.
    • Glazier, R.J. 1971. Ecological and morphological relationships of subspecies of Peromyscus maniculatus near St. Mary, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 41 p.
    • Gobeille, J.E. 1992. The effect of fire on Merriams turkey brood habitat in southeastern Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 61 p.
    • Grigg, J.L. 2007. Gradients of predation risk affect distribution and migration of a large herbivore. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 94 p.
    • Gross, J.A. 1998. Elk use of various sized cattle exclosures. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 40 p.
    • Grove, A.J. 1998. Effects of Douglas fir establishment in southwestern Montana mountain big sagebrush communities. M. Sc.Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 150 p.
    • Guenther, G.E. 1989. Ecological relationships of bitterbrush communities on the Mount Haggin Wildlife Management Area. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 73 p.
    • Hansen, J. J. 1987. Effect of stock density on ground cover on a southwest Montana foothills rangeland. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 65 p.
    • Hodgson, J.R. 1970. Ecological distribution of Microtus montanus and Microtus pennsylvanicus in an area of geographic sympatry in southwestern Montana. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 65 p.
    • Hoffman, T.L. 1996. An ecological investigation of mountain big sagebrush in the Gardiner Basin. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 84 p.
    • Holeckek, J.L. 1976. Initial effects of different species treatments and fertilizer rates on a mine spoils rehabilitation. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 91 p.
    • Husby, P.O. 1982. Effects of grazing on vegetation in the Artemisia tridentata-Festuca idahoensis habitat type. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 76 p.
    • Johnson, J.D. 2004. Restoring native species to crested wheatgrass dominated rangelands. M.Sc.Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 58 p.
    • Johnson, J.R. 1966. The effects of some environmental influences on big sagebrush, Artemisia tridentata Nutt., reinvasion. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 100 pp.
    • Johnson, T. W. 1982. An analysis of pack and saddle stock grazing areas in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. M.Sc.Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 105 p.
    • Jorgensen, H.E. 1970. Ecological aspects of the life history of Agropyron smithii Rydb. in Central Montana, with related effects of selective herbicide treatments of rangeland. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 118 p.
    • Larson, C.D., E.A. Lehnhoff, C. Noffsinger, and L.J. Rew. 2017. Competition between cheatgrass and bluebunch wheatgrass is altered by temperature, resource availability, and atmospheric CO2 concentration. Oecologia (2018) 186:855-868. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-017-4046-6
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Lovaas, A.L. 1957. Mule deer food habits and range use in the Little Belt Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 43 p.
    • Mackie, R.J. 1965. Range ecology and relationships of mule deer, elk, and cattle in the Missouri River breaks. Ph.D Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 229 p.
    • Martin, N.S. 1965. Effects of chemical control of sagebrush on the occurrence of sage grouse in southwestern Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 38 p.
    • Martin, S.A. 1985. Ecology of the Rock Creek bighorn sheep herd, Beartooth Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 152 p.
    • Martinka, R.R. 1970. Structural characteristics and ecological relationships of male blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus (Say)) territories in southwestern Montana. Ph.D Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 73 p.
    • Matlock-Cooley, S.J. 1993. Interaction between Deermice, Antelope Bitterbrush, and cattle in southwest Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University 84 p.
    • Miller, J.G. 1978. An ecoligical study of creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis Moench.) in Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 154 p.
    • Morton, M.A. 1976. Nutritional values of major mule deer winter forage species in the Bridger Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 105 p.
    • Mosher, B.A. 2011. Avian community response to a mountain beetle epidemic. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 55 p.
    • Nelson, G.P. 1986. Responses of elk to a 500 kV transmission line on the North Boulder winter range, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 60 p.
    • Northrup, R.D. 1991. Sharp-tailed grouse habitat use during fall and winter on the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 54 p.
    • Nyberg, H.E. 1980. Distribution, movements and habitat use of mule deer associated with the Brackett Creek winter range, Bridger Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 106 p.
    • O'Connor, K.S. 1987. Ecology of white-tailed deer and mule deer in agricultural lands in the Gallatin Valley, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 67 p.
    • Pac, D.F. 1976. Distribution, movements, and habitat use during spring, summer, and fall by mule deer associated with Armstrong winter range, Bridger Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 121 p.
    • Pallister, G.L. 1974. The seasonal distribution and range use of bighorn sheep in the Beartooth Mountains, with special reference to the West Rosebud and Stillwater herds. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 67 p.
    • Picton, H.D. 1959. Use of vegetative types, migration, and hunter harvest of the Sun River elk herd, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 39 p.
    • Quire, R.L. 2013. The sagebrush steppe of Montana and southeastern Idaho shows evidence of high native plant diversity, stability, and resistance to the detrimental effects of nonnative plant species. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 124 p.
    • Rens, E.N. 2003. Geographical analysis of the distribution and spread of invasive plants in the Gardiner Basin, MT. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 100 p.
    • Rosgaard, A.I., Jr. 1981. Ecology of the mule deer associated with the Brackett Creek winter range in the Bridger Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 76 p.
    • Roy, J.L. 1992. Ecology of reintroduced Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep following two transplants in the southern Madison Range, Montana. M.SC. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 102 p.
    • Salix, J.L. 2004. Lichens and their distribution in Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 74 p.
    • Saunders, J.K., Jr. 1954. A two-year investigation of the food habits and range use of the Rocky Mountain goat in the Crazy Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 22 p.
    • Scow, K.L. 1981. Ecological distribution of small mammals at Sarpy Creek, Montana, with special consideration of the Deer Mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 73 p.
    • Seipel, T.F. 2006. Plant species diversity in the sagebrush steppe of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 87 p.
    • Semmens, W.J. 1996. Seasonal movements and habitat use of the Highlands/Pioneer Mountains bighorn sheep herd of southwest Montana. M. Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 103 p.
    • Sikes, D.S. 1994. Influences of ungulate carcasses on Coleopteran communities in Yellowstone National Park, USA. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 179 p.
    • South, P.R. 1957. Food habits and range use of the mule deer in the Scudder Creek area, Beaverhead County, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 34 p.
    • Stansberry, B.J. 1991. Distribution, movements, and habitat use during spring, summer, and fall by mule deer in the North Salish Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 64 p.
    • Steerey, W. F. 1979. Distribution, range use and population characteristics of Mule Deer associated with the Schafer Creek winter range, Bridger Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 119 p.
    • Stevens, D.R. 1965. Range relationships of elk and livestock in the Crow Creek drainage, Elkhorn Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 68 p.
    • Stewart, S.T. 1975. Ecology of the West Rosebud and Stillwater bighorn sheep herds, Beartooth Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 130 p.
    • Stivers, T.S. 1988. Effects of livestock grazing on grizzly bear habitat along the east front of the Rocky Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 80 p.
    • Taylor, K., T. Brummer, L.J. Rew, B.D. Maxwell. 2014. Bromus tectorum response to fire varies with climate conditions. Ecosystems 17(6): 960-973. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10021-014-9771-7
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    • Tuinstra, K. E. 1967. Vegetation of the floodplains and first terraces of Rock Creek near Red Lodge, Montana. Ph.D dissertation. Montana State University, Bozeman 110 pp.
    • Wachter, D.H. 1995. The ecology of selected grasshopper species along an elevational gradient. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 59 p.
    • Williams, K.L. 2012. Classification of the grasslands, shrublands, woodlands, forests and alpine vegetation associations of the Custer National Forest portion of the Beartooth Mountains in southcentral Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 376 p.
    • Wiman, N.G. 2001. Dynamics of leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula L.) infested plant communities influenced by flea beetles in the Aphthona complex (Colepotera: Chrysomelidae). M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 148 p.
    • Winnie, J.A., Jr. 2006. Behavioral responses of Elk (Cervus elaphus) to the threat of Wolf (Canis lupus) predation. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 80 p.
    • Zlatnik, E. 1999a. Pseudoregnaria spicata. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online}. U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer).
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Bluebunch Wheatgrass — Elymus spicatus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from