2011 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
We will develop the ability to forecast reclamation outcomes on former coal mining lands plagued by invasive annual brome invasion (i.e. cheatgrass and Japanese brome). The forecasts will predict plant species compositions resulting from particular combinations of seed mixes, soils, climate, vegetation, and other reclamation attributes. We will develop an outreach program to educate reclamation managers about the most consistently effective reclamation procedures our project identifies.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Our team will collect data from 80 sites distributed across eight coal mines and two states in order to develop an extensive database of information on reclamation planning, monitoring and outcomes. We will use statistical modeling of these data to develop the ability to forecast reclamation outcomes.
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 objective of the NP 215 Action Plan: 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. Terra Soils has been instrumental in generating the maps and marking vegetation transects via GPS, and will be initiating soil sampling for the project this fall. ADODR monitoring is done on a regular basis via personal interaction on the job site and email.