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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Using Ecological Theory to Guide the Implementation of Augmentative Restoration

Authors
item Bard, Erin - MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Sheley, Roger
item Jacobsen, Jeff - MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Borkowski, John - MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Weed Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 25, 2004
Publication Date: July 20, 2004
Citation: Bard, E.C., Sheley, R.L., Jacobsen, J.S., Borkowski, J.J. 2004. Using ecological theory to guide the implementation of augmentative restoration. Weed Technology. 18(4):1246-1249.

Interpretive Summary: Augmentative restoration is based on the idea that the processes associated with disturbance, colonization, and species performance can be modified to allow plant communities to shift in desired directions. In this study, we tried to restore invasive plant dominated rangeland by repairing ecosystem processes that appear to be functioning below some sustainable level. We chose areas that had high vole activity (disturbance), with low native seed output (colonization), and low water tables (species performance) to test the concept of augmentative restoration. In this area, drill seeding (colonization) and water addition (species performance) produced the highest native plant establishment. Augmentative restoration may improve our ability to establish desired species on invasive plant-dominated rangeland.

Technical Abstract: Successful control of invasive plants can have unexpected impacts on native plants and wildland systems. Therefore, it is important for managers of invasive species to be concerned with ecological mechanisms and processes like invasion resistance, environmental heterogeneity, and succession that direct plant community dynamics. Augmentative restoration is a management approach for restoring desired species on wildlands dominated by invasive plants where functioning ecological processes are maintained by selectively augmenting only those processes that are not operating sufficiently. The study was conducted within the Mission Valley, Montana, in an area where meadow vole disturbance provided site availability for colonization. In a split plot design with 4 replications, 8 factorial treatment combinations from 3 factors (shallow tilling, watering, and seeding) were applied to whole plots, and 2,4-D was applied to sub plots. Cover and density of seeded species, Centaurea maculosa, and Potentilla recta were sampled in July of 2002 and 2003 to produce pre-treatment and post-treatment data. ANCOVA was used to analyze cover and density data using pre-treatment data as a baseline covariate. Data indicated that in areas with adequate site availability due to meadow vole disturbance, seeding and watering without tilling were required to increase seeded species. C. Maculosa and P. Recta decreased in response to 2,4-D. This data provided evidence that augmentative restoration may improve our ability to establish desired species on invasive plant dominated wildlands.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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