Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Bill E. Davidson; J. Matthew Germino; Bryce Richardson; David M. Barnard
    Date: 2019
    Source: Restoration Ecology. doi: 10.1111/rec.12940.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.0 MB)


    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. Evaluating the variability in abiotic and biotic factors that contribute to differences in survival and establishment can provide useful insight into the relative importance of these factors. In the western United States, severe degradation of the sagebrush steppe has motivated substantial efforts to restore native perennial cover, but success has been mixed. In this study, we evaluated survival of more than 3,000 sagebrush seedlings transplanted on 12 patches totaling 650 ha within a 113,000 ha burn area, and related the survival to organismal and subtaxonomic traits, and to landscape variables. Big sagebrush has high intraspecific diversity attributed to subspecies and cytotypes identifiable through ultraviolet (UV)-induced fluorescence, length:width of leaves, or genome size (ploidy). Of these organismal traits, survival was related only to UV fluorescence, and then only so when landscape variables were excluded from analyses. The most significant landscape variable affecting survival was soil taxonomic subgroup, with much lower survival where buried restrictive layers reduce deep water infiltration. Survival also decreased with greater slope steepness, exotic annual grass cover, and burn severity. Survival was optimal where perennial bunchgrasses comprised 8–14% of total cover. These soil, topographic, and community condition factors revealed through monitoring of landscape-level treatments can be used to explain the success of plantings and to strategically plan future restoration projects.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Davidson, Bill E.; Germino, J. Matthew; Richardson, Bryce; Barnard, David M. 2019. Landscape and organismal factors affecting sagebrush-seedling transplant survival after megafire restoration. Restoration Ecology. doi: 10.1111/rec.12940.


    Google Scholar


    bunchgrass, cheatgrass, fire, rehabilitation, sagebrush steppe, subspecies, transplants

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page