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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DISTURBANCE ASSESSMENT AND MITIGATION OF GREAT BASIN RANGELAND Title: Germination prediction from soil moisture and temperature in the Great Basin

Authors
item Cline, Nathan -
item Roundy, Bruce -
item Hardegree, Stuart

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 19, 2011
Publication Date: January 29, 2012
Citation: Cline, N.L., Roundy, B.A., Hardegree, S.P. 2012. Germination prediction from soil moisture and temperature in the Great Basin. In: Abstracts of the 65th Annual Meeting, Society for Range Management, Spokane, WA, Jan 29-Feb 3, 2012 (CD-ROM Abstract).

Technical Abstract: Preventing cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) dominance associated with frequent wildfires may depend on successful establishment of desirable species sown in rehabilitation and fuel control projects. Ranking potential species success to develop more performance-based species selection for revegetation of rangelands can be done with thermal germination models. Using previously-developed germination models, we compared predicted-thermal progress toward germination (or germination progression) for eight cheatgrass collections, six bunchgrasses, and three forb species using near surface (1-3 cm) soil water potential and temperature at 31 sites in the Great Basin. We also compared the effects of fire, herbicide applications, and mechanical treatments on germination progression. Sites included grasslands (Elymus spp. and Agropyron spp.) and sagebrush stands (Artemisia spp.) either invaded or not invaded by woodland species (Juniperus spp. and Pinus spp.). Progress toward germination in field seedbeds was summed from field soil temperatures (> 0 °C) when soil was wet (> –1.5 MPa) as measured by thermocouples and gypsum blocks. Soils were wet and warm enough in spring that germination was predicted for most species. However, some perennial grasses and forbs had limited germination progression and may not be suitable for seeding at some locations. In general, predicted germination progression was highest for most cheatgrass collections compared to germination progression of perennial grasses and forbs. Treatments had less effect on surface soil moisture and temperature and germination progression than did site, season, or year.

Last Modified: 12/18/2014