THE ROLE OF ANNUAL FORBS AND SEED PRODUCTION TECHNIQUE IN ROADSIDE RESTORATION
Pest Management Research Unit
Project Number: 5436-22000-017-02
Nonfunded Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jul 15, 2009
End Date: Nov 30, 2013
Restoration occurs over large scales after disturbance, often to maintain forage production or to reduce weed infestation. Because restoration is typically large scale, managers cannot employ gardening methods of watering, fertilizing, and weeding to ensure the growth of desired species. Therefore, we must engineer our restoration practices to minimize the need for such intensive management. This includes using seed sources that will establish and reproduce without supplemental water and using restoration seed mixes that will increase the likelihood of establishment and reproduction of component species and decrease the likelihood of weed invasion in these areas. The proposed research is to examine the differential success of agronomically-produced versus wildland collected seed sources and to determine the effect of including annual forbs in restoration seed mixes. This research addresses important questions and does so in a financially efficient manner, capitalizing on an already permitted and funded roadside restoration project in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park (TRNP).
Marked seeds of agronomically-produced and wildland-collected perennial grasses will be placed in each plot and their establishment will be monitored. Barren plots within the hydroseeding project will be divided among treatments: control (only perennial grasses seeded), and with annuals (native annual seeds added to seeding mix). Control plots will be established outside the roadside construction areas where pre-existing vegetation occurs. These will be clipped prior to hyrdoseeding and will be split among three treatments: all resident species included (control), one with annuals added to the seeding mix (control with annuals), and the last will have dandelions removed (control/dandelions removed). All plots will be monitored for grass establishment and for weed colonization. The effects of each treatment on the success of perennial grasses and for weed densities will be assessed.