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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: RANGELAND RESTORATION AND MANAGEMENT Title: Sagebrush Steppe Ecology and Management-Research Progress Report 2008

Authors
item Davies, Kirk
item Nafus, Aleta

Submitted to: Agricultural Research Service Publication
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: April 20, 2009
Publication Date: May 1, 2009
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/45282
Citation: Davies, K.W., Nafus, A. 2009. Sagebrush Steppe Ecology and Management-Research Progress Report 2008. Agricultural Research Service Publication. Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center, Burns, OR. 59 p.

Interpretive Summary: Sagebrush rangelands provide an important forage base for livestock production and are critical habitat for many wildlife species. However, information is needed that characterizes the affects of disturbances, management actions, and their interactions on sagebrush rangelands. This report summarizes ten studies that investigated the ecology and management of sagebrush rangelands. These studies evaluated the influence of interactions between grazing and fire on native vegetation, determined that moderate livestock grazing increased the ability of native plant communities to tolerate fire, and identified that microsite differences between sagebrush subcanopy and interspace locations were maintained after fire and influenced post-fire community assembly. These studies also determined that perennial bunchgrasses were the most important plant functional group to preventing exotic annual grass invasion, perennial bunchgrasses could be seeded around annual grass infestations to slow invasion, and native vegetation could be promoted in medusahead infestations with proper medusahead control. The results of these studies are of interest to policy makers, land and wildlife managers, and scientists. These studies provide information that is needed to manage sagebrush rangelands for sustainability and to meet the needs of multiple users.

Technical Abstract: Sagebrush rangelands provide an important forage base for livestock production and are critical habitat for many wildlife species. However, information is needed that characterizes the affects of disturbances, management actions, and their interactions on sagebrush rangelands. This report summarizes ten studies that investigated the ecology and management of sagebrush rangelands. These studies evaluated the influence of interactions between grazing and fire on native vegetation, determined that moderate livestock grazing increased the ability of native plant communities to tolerate fire, and identified that microsite differences between sagebrush subcanopy and interspace locations were maintained after fire and influenced post-fire community assembly. These studies also determined that perennial bunchgrasses were the most important plant functional group to preventing exotic annual grass invasion, perennial bunchgrasses could be seeded around annual grass infestations to slow invasion, and native vegetation could be promoted in medusahead infestations with proper medusahead control. The results of these studies are of interest to policy makers, land and wildlife managers, and scientists. These studies provide information that is needed to manage sagebrush rangelands for sustainability and to meet the needs of multiple users.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014
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