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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: FIRE AND NITROGEN EFFECTS ON RED THREE-AWN COMMUNITIES IN THE NORTHERN PLAINS

Location: Range and Livestock Research

2011 Annual Report


1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
Determine effects of summer and fall fire and nitrogen addition on red three-awn communities.


1b. Approach (from AD-416)
A 3x3 factorial arrangement of fire and fertilizer treatments will be applied on 2 sites over 2 years and monitored 2years following treatment to examine effects of no fire, summer or fall fire and no nitrogen addition or addition of 40 or 80 kg/ha on red three-awn communities. Increased nitrogen availability will likely improve the ability of other species to establish and compete with red three-awn. Summer fire should be detrimental to red three-awn because of the plant's growth pattern and bunchgrass habit. Treatment effects will be evaluated by measuring standing crop, plant species composition and plant diversity before treatment and 2 years post-treatment.


3. Progress Report
Fire and nitrogen effects on red three-awn communities in the northern plains First-year post-treatment data have been collected. Greenhouse plants have been established for a fire-grazing-competition experiment with treatments to be initiated at the end of this summer. Simulated grazing treatments have been applied to determine utilization effects on three-awn and coexisting species and half of the laboratory analyses of fire and fertilizer effects on three-awn diet quality have been conducted. As ADODR, communications have been daily through personal contact, phone and e-mail with a graduate student. Two planning/progress meetings were held this year, one in Fargo and one in Miles City. This project supports NP 215 Rangeland, Pasture and Forages Action Plan under Component I (Rangeland Management Systems to Enhance the Environment and Economic Viability) and supports ARS strategic plan Objective 5.1 (Provide Science-Based Knowledge and Education To Improve the Management of Forest, Rangelands, and Pastures). More specifically, experiments in this project target the following objectives of the NP 215 Action Plan: A.2, Determine impact of livestock grazing, fire, mechanical treatments, and drought on ecological integrity and watershed structure and function; and Objective C.1, Understand mechanisms of weed invasion and develop management strategies that can be used to restore rangelands that have been degraded by weeds and other disturbances.


4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 2/23/2016
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