FIRE AND NITROGEN EFFECTS ON RED THREE-AWN COMMUNITIES IN THE NORTHERN PLAINS
Livestock and Range Research Laboratory (LARRL)
2011 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Determine effects of summer and fall fire and nitrogen addition on red three-awn communities.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
A 3x3 factorial arrangement of fire and fertilizer treatments will be applied on 2 sites over 2 years and monitored 2years following treatment to examine effects of no fire, summer or fall fire and no nitrogen addition or addition of 40 or 80 kg/ha on red three-awn communities. Increased nitrogen availability will likely improve the ability of other species to establish and compete with red three-awn. Summer fire should be detrimental to red three-awn because of the plant's growth pattern and bunchgrass habit. Treatment effects will be evaluated by measuring standing crop, plant species composition and plant diversity before treatment and 2 years post-treatment.
Fire and nitrogen effects on red three-awn communities in the northern plains
First-year post-treatment data have been collected. Greenhouse plants have been established for a fire-grazing-competition experiment with treatments to be initiated at the end of this summer. Simulated grazing treatments have been applied to determine utilization effects on three-awn and coexisting species and half of the laboratory analyses of fire and fertilizer effects on three-awn diet quality have been conducted. As ADODR, communications have been daily through personal contact, phone and e-mail with a graduate student. Two planning/progress meetings were held this year, one in Fargo and one in Miles City. This project supports NP 215 Rangeland, Pasture and Forages Action Plan under Component I (Rangeland Management Systems to Enhance the Environment and Economic Viability) and supports ARS strategic plan Objective 5.1 (Provide Science-Based Knowledge and Education To Improve the Management of Forest, Rangelands, and Pastures). More specifically, experiments in this project target the following objectives of the NP 215 Action Plan: A.2, Determine impact of livestock grazing, fire, mechanical treatments, and drought on ecological integrity and watershed structure and function; and Objective C.1, Understand mechanisms of weed invasion and develop management strategies that can be used to restore rangelands that have been degraded by weeds and other disturbances.