|Vicklund, L - RAG COAL WEST INC.|
|Hild, A - UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING|
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 13, 2002
Publication Date: August 13, 2002
Citation: VICKLUND, L.E., SCHUMAN, G.E., HILD, A.L. INFLUENCE OF SAGEBRUSH AND GRASS SEEDING RATES ON SAGEBRUSH DENSITY AND PLANT SIZE. MEETING ABSTRACT. 2002. Technical Abstract: Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis) establishment on mined lands in Wyoming is a critical element of reclamation success. Because of its importance to wildlife, shrub density is used to assess reclamation success for wildlife habitat in Wyoming. Research was initiated at the Belle Ayr Mine near Gillette in 1999 to evaluate the effects of Wyoming big sagebrush seeding rates and grass competition on sagebrush establishment. Sagebrush seedling densities have demonstrated consistent increases with increased sagebrush seeding rates. The 4 kg PLS/ha sagebrush seeding rate has resulted in significantly greater density than either the 2 or 1 kg PLS/ha seeding rate in 1999-2001. Grass competition (grass seeding rates of 0,2,4,6,8,10 and 14 kg PLS/ha of a mixture of C3 native species) have not significantly affected sagebrush seedling density. However, 1999 and 2000 precipitation was above or near normal resulting in adequate moisture for the plant community. Seedling density in 2001 exhibited a declining sagebrush seedling density at the higher grass seeding rates but was still not statistically significant (P=0.12). Precipitation in 2001 was significantly below normal and grass competition did exhibit a significant effect on sagebrush seedling canopy volume. Sagebrush seedling canopies were significantly smaller at grass seeding rates greater than or equal to 4 kg PLS/ha. Continued evaluation of these treatments on sagebrush seedling establishment will enable development of a seeding strategy that enhances the probability of successful establishment of Wyoming big sagebrush on reclaimed mine lands.