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Seed mix matters!

Post-fire seeding has long been used to control erosion and suppress problematic invasive annuals like cheatgrass in dryland areas of the Great Basin. It is also a potential tool for restoring pre-fire vegetation by assisting successional processes. Non-native perennial plants have been widely seeded on account of their establishment ability, competitiveness and forage value, but may pose barriers to natural vegetation recovery. Seeding native species is a more sensible choice if restoration is a long-term objective, but there is a question of both cost and whether native species will be as effective as non-natives in outcompeting invasive annuals.

In this webinar, RMRS Research Biologists Francis Kilkenny and Jeffrey Ott considered these issues in the context of a study where outcomes of native and non-native seed mixes were compared during an 18-year timeframe following wildfire. They:

  • Summarized results of a study reporting long-term outcomes of seed mixes applied following fire in Tintic Valley, Utah
  • Discussed tradeoffs of seeding native versus non-native species in areas susceptible to cheatgrass invasion
  • Took questions and feedback
May 20, 2020