1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
To develop and implement a comprehensive, regional Ecologically-Based Invasive Plant Management (EBIPM) program to restore ecosystems threatened and dominated by cheatgrass/medusahead in Rock Creek watershed and the Great Basin.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
University of Nevada, Reno (UN-Reno) and USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists will cooperate on a project to (1) demonstrate and assess, on a large-scale, the effectiveness of reduced rates of glyphosate for control of downy brome, and to determine its utility in stimulating a trajectory toward desired species, and (2) determine the influence of (a) site, (b) reduction of herbaceous competition, (c) season of planting and (d) plant source (nursery stock vs. indigenous) on survival of sagebrush transplants (refer to project proposal for more detailed information).
3. Progress Report
The goal of this project is to develop and implement a comprehensive, regional Ecologically-based Invasive Plant Management (EBIPM) program to restore ecosystems threatened and dominated by cheatgrass/ medusahead in Rock Creek watershed in the Great Basin which contributes directly to Subobjectives 1.1 and 1.2 of the Area-wide pest management project for annual grasses in the Great Basin. Study sites established at each of 3 locations are: (1) a cheatgrass monoculture, (2) a monoculture crested wheatgrass seeding, and (3) a native post-fire grass-forb community. The goal of the research is to determine if aging crested wheatgrass stands can be diversified to increase wildlife habitat. Each block included 8, 5 x 5m plots representing factorial combinations of herbicide treatment (glyphosate), no herbicide treatment, season of planting (fall or spring), and plant source (wildling transplant or nursery stock), with 10 sagebrush planted in each plot. Data collection on this research is ongoing. Interim results were presented at the Society of Range Management Annual Meeting in Billings, MT in Feb. 2011. Spring-planted trials showed that significantly more (p<0.05) nursery stock survived than wildling transplants in each of the 3 plant communities where herbaceous cover was reduced with herbicide. In all plant communities combined, mean survival rate of nursery stock was 54.7%, compared with 16.7% for the wildling transplants. Surviving wildlings and nursery stock were significantly (p<0.05) taller and hence more vigorous within each plant community in plots where herbaceous cover had been reduced with herbicide. The treatments detailed above were repeated during spring of 2010. A field day was held in July 2011, over 20 land managers and rangeland restoration specialists attended the tour. Methods of project monitoring included meetings, e-mails, and phone calls.