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The Great Basin is the largest North American desert covering more than 50 million hectares. The region has extremely variable climate both spatially and temporally.
Cheatgrass invasion into the Great Basin has truncated secondary succession by outcompeting native plants. Building persistent seed banks it has increased the chance, rate, spread and season of wildfires.
Over 20% of Great Basin ecosystems have been significantly altered by invasive plants. This has increased wildfires while decreasing habitat, forage and biodiversity.
This research unit develops integrated techniques to control invasive weeds. Such as improving the establishment of perennial forage grasses that suppress weeds like cheatgrass.
A focus of the Research Unit is to improve the ability to predict how rangelands respond to changing environmental conditions and devise management guidelines for conserving Great Basin rangelands.
GBRR conducts research at a range of scales from point, to field, to landscape at diverse field sites across the Great Basin. photo credits: Dr.Bob Blank
The Great Basin Rangelands Research Unit’s (GBRR) mission is development of management guidelines, technologies, and practices for conserving and restoring Great Basin rangelands and development of tools and techniques to assess the effectiveness of these management actions to improve sustainable agricultural practices.