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Shrub establishment in the presence of cheatgrass: The effect of soil microorganismsAuthor(s): Rosemary L. Pendleton; Burton K. Pendleton; Steven D. Warren; Jeffrey R. Johansen; Larry L. St. Clair
Source: In: Sosebee, Ronald E.; Wester, David B.; Britton, Carlton M.; McArthur, E. Durant; Kitchen, Stanley G., comps. Proceedings: Shrubland dynamics -- fire and water; 2004 August 10-12; Lubbock, TX. Proceedings RMRS-P-47. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 136-141.
Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
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DescriptionInvasive annual grasses, such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), create changes in soil microorganism communities and severely limit shrub establishment, a situation that is of considerable inportance to land managers. We examined the effects of biological crustforming algae and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on growth and survival of Ephedra viridis (EPVI), Coleogyne ramosissima (CORA), Artemisia filifolia (ARFI), Chrysothamnus nauseosus ssp. hololeucus (CHNA), and Artemisia nova (ARNO), with and without competition from cheatgrass, in a controlled laboratory pot experiment. Shrub survival declined as soil fertility increased. Few shrubs were able to survive in competition with cheatgrass in fertilized growth medium. Under low nutrient conditions, the addition of mycorrhizal inoculum intensified competition with cheatgrass, reducing shrub shoot biomass over that of the control treatment in all species except ARFI. However, shoot growth of cheatgrass in the mycorrhizal treatment was reduced to an even greater extent in all cases except when grown with ARNO. Algal inoculation increased shrub survival and appeared to beneficially affect the growth of ARFI and EPVI at the expense of cheatgrass. Our findings suggest that soil microorganisms can, to some extent, improve shrub establishment in the presence of cheatgrass.
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CitationPendleton, Rosemary L.; Pendleton, Burton K.; Warren, Steven D.; Johansen, Jeffrey R.; St. Clair, Larry L. 2007. Shrub establishment in the presence of cheatgrass: The effect of soil microorganisms. In: Sosebee, Ronald E.; Wester, David B.; Britton, Carlton M.; McArthur, E. Durant; Kitchen, Stanley G., comps. Proceedings: Shrubland dynamics -- fire and water; 2004 August 10-12; Lubbock, TX. Proceedings RMRS-P-47. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 136-141.
Keywordswildland shrubs, fire, water, shrub establishment, cheatgrass, Bromus tectorum, soil microorganisms
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