Location: Range Management Research2011 Annual Report
1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages 13.5 million acres of public land in New Mexico. The mission of the BLM is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the resources and land entrusted to it for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations through balanced management within the framework of the laws. To meet the goals of the BLM mission, the agency must have reliable sources of sound science concerning rangeland resources within its jurisdiction in support of the Bureau's overall vegetation management program, and rangeland health assessment and evaluations.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
1) Provide landscape stratified protocols, with control sites for evaluation of landscape-scaled brush controled treatments. 2) Evaluate new research-based soil-plant-endophyte technologies to enhance establishment of perennial grasses on disturbed Chihuahuan desert rangelands.
3. Progress Report
In FY 2010, ARS mapped brush control areas across the field office and assisted BLM in establishing monitoring sites in 82 locations. Some of these locations were also associated with a new bird population monitoring component. Vegetative cover, reproductive potential, and soil microbial diversity were analyzed on two experimental restoration sites where grasses of varied genotypes and endophyte populations were transplanted. Endophyte-treated plants produced more stolons than uninoculated plants, suggesting increased reproductive potential. Soil microbial diversity was also compared across sites with varied disturbance levels. Sites with less severe disturbance showed less diverse, more structured communities. The ARS Unit and BLM had frequent e-mail, telephone communication, meetings, and field site visits for discussing, collaborating, and establishing the monitoring sites.