Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: RANGELAND RESTORATION AND MANAGEMENT

Location: Range and Meadow Forage Management Research

Title: Medusahead in sagebrush steppe rangelands: Prevention, control, and revegetation

Authors
item Johnson, Dustin -
item Davies, Kirk

Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2011
Publication Date: February 1, 2012
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/56123
Citation: Johnson, D.D., Davies, K.W. 2012. Medusahead in sagebrush steppe rangelands: Prevention, control, and revegetation. Rangelands. 34(1):32-38.

Interpretive Summary: Medusahead is an exotic annual grass invading western rangelands. Medusahead invasion is particularly troublesome, because revegetation of invaded areas is difficult. This manuscript synthesizes the literature to provide recommendations for managing medusahead in sagebrush plant communities. Because of the limited success of revegetation, adopting an approach that focuses on preventing new infestations and limiting the expansion of existing infestations has the greatest potential to reduce the future impacts of medusahead. However, there is still a need to revegetate existing medusahead infestations. Recent research suggests that medusahead control may be achieved with prescribed burning followed by a fall application of imazapic. Perennial bunchgrasses are then seeded the fall after imazapic application to revegetate the medusahead infestation. This method is expensive and may not always be successful, thus it is still beneficial to prevent new medusahead infestations. This synthesis can be used to direct management actions and prioritize efforts to reduce the impacts of medusahead.

Technical Abstract: Medusahead is an exotic annual grass invading western rangelands. Medusahead invasion is particularly troublesome, because revegetation of invaded areas is difficult. This manuscript synthesizes the literature to provide recommendations for managing medusahead in sagebrush plant communities. Because of the limited success of revegetation, adopting an approach that focuses on preventing new infestations and limiting the expansion of existing infestations has the greatest potential to reduce the future impacts of medusahead. However, there is still a need to revegetate existing medusahead infestations. Recent research suggests that medusahead control may be achieved with prescribed burning followed by a fall application of imazapic. Perennial bunchgrasses are then seeded the fall after imazapic application to revegetate the medusahead infestation. This method is expensive and may not always be successful, thus it is still beneficial to prevent new medusahead infestations. This synthesis can be used to direct management actions and prioritize efforts to reduce the impacts of medusahead.

Last Modified: 9/20/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page