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Keyword: cheatgrass

Disturbance type and sagebrush community type affect plant community structure after shrub reduction

Publications Posted on: October 02, 2019
Treatments to reduce shrub cover are commonly implemented with the objective of shifting community structure away from shrub dominance and toward shrub and perennial grass codominance. In sagebrush (Artemisia L.) ecosystems, shrub reduction treatments have had variable effects on target shrubs, herbaceous perennials, and non-native annual plants. The factors mediating this variability are not well understood.

Climate-driven shifts in soil temperature and moisture regimes suggest opportunities to enhance assessments of dryland resilience and resistance

Publications Posted on: October 02, 2019
Assessing landscape patterns in climate vulnerability, as well as resilience and resistance to drought, disturbance, and invasive species, requires appropriate metrics of relevant environmental conditions.

Using our understanding of resilience to disturbance and resistance to invasive annual grasses to target management actions in the sagebrush biome

Projects Posted on: July 30, 2019
The concepts of ecological resilience and resistance to invasive annual grasses have been used to develop an understanding of sagebrush ecosystem response to disturbances like wildfire and management actions to reduce fuels and restore native ecosystems. A multi-scale framework that uses these concepts to prioritize areas for conservation and restoration at landscape scales and to determine effective management strategies at local scales has been developed by Chambers and her colleagues. Regional SageSTEP (Sagebrush Treatment Evaluation Project) data coupled with west-wide AIM (Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring) data provide a unique opportunity to refine the predictors of resilience and resistance and extend the existing multi-scale framework effort.

Landscape and organismal factors affecting sagebrush-seedling transplant survival after megafire restoration

Publications Posted on: July 25, 2019
Larger and more frequent disturbances are motivating efforts to accelerate recovery of foundational perennial species by focusing efforts into establishing island patches to sustain keystone species and facilitate recovery of the surrounding plant community.

Seeding native species to promote ecosystem recovery after fire

Science Spotlights Posted on: July 24, 2019
The use of prescribed fire to reduce expansion of pinyon and juniper to sagebrush ecosystems is a commonly used by managers but can have unwanted consequences. In this Joint Fire Sciences Program Demonstration Project, we show how seeding native species after prescribed fire can decrease invasion of nonnative annual grasses in sites with low resistance.

Rangeland Production Monitoring Service: In season forage and fuel projections

Tools Posted on: July 08, 2019
Rangeland vegetation growth is highly variable often exceeding 40 percent on an interannual basis.

Region 4 Science Partner Programs: Cheatgrass seedling reduction for restoration of native sagebrush grassland plant communities

Projects Posted on: March 25, 2019
RMRS scientists have teamed up with managers and researchers at Bridger-Teton National Forest and Colorado State University to compare herbicide treatments to reduce cheatgrass seedlings, allowing restoration of Native Sagebrush Grassland Plant Communities. ​

Niche specialization in Bromus tectorum seed bank pathogens

Publications Posted on: December 06, 2018
Niche theory predicts that when two species exhibit major niche overlap, one will eventually be eliminated through competitive exclusion. Thus, some degree of niche specialization is required to facilitate coexistence. We examined whether two important seed bank pathogens on the invasive winter annual grass Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass, downy brome) exhibit niche specialization. These pathogens utilize seed resources in complementary ways.

Vegetation dynamics at the woodland-shrubland interface: Role of climate, disturbance, and species interactions

Publications Posted on: October 05, 2018
The boundary between woodlands and shrublands delineates the distribution of the tree biome in many regions across the globe. Woodlands and shrublands interface at multiple spatial scales, and many ecological processes operate at different spatial scales to determine the position of the woodland-shrubland boundary.

A conservation planning tool for Greater Sage-grouse using indices of species distribution, resilience, and resistance

Publications Posted on: July 10, 2018
Managers require quantitative yet tractable tools that identify areas for restoration yielding effective benefits for targeted wildlife species and the ecosystems they inhabit.