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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effect of Soil Nitrogen on Cheatgrass, Bluebunch Wheatgrass, and Canby Bluegrass

Authors
item Carpinelli, Michael
item Sheley, Roger - MONTANA STATE UNIV
item Jacobs, James - MONTANA STATE UNIV

Submitted to: Ecological Society of America Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 30, 2002
Publication Date: August 4, 2003
Citation: CARPINELLI, M.F., SHELEY, R.L., JACOBS, J.S. 2002. EFFECT OF SOIL NITROGEN ON CHEATGRASS, BLUEBUNCH WHEATGRASS, AND CANBY BLUEGRASS. ECOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA 87TH ANNUAL MEETING/SOCIETY FOR ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION 14TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE. ABSTRACT P. 2.

Technical Abstract: Much of the rangelands of the West, once dominated by native perennial grasses, has been replaced by the weedy, nonnative cheatgrass. Native perennial grasses provide higher quality forage for wildlife and livestock than cheatgrass does. The objective of this study was to determine if soil nitrogen is affected by long-term dominance by cheatgrass in a way that favors cheatgrass over native perennial grasses. We found that soil from a site dominated by cheatgrass was higher in nitrogen than soil from a site dominated by native perennial grasses. Cheatgrass grew better on both soils, with and without added nitrogen, than the two native perennial grasses tested. We concluded that the ability of cheatgrass to displace and exclude native perennial grasses may be due, in part, to its relatively high growth rate, regardless of soil nitrogen levels. Manipulating soil nitrogen levels does not appear to be a worthwhile strategy for managing cheatgrass.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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