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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Forage and Range Research » Research » Research Project #430980

Research Project: Establishment of Native Grasses, Legumes, and Forbs in Disturbed Rangelands using Siberian Wheatgrass

Location: Forage and Range Research

Project Number: 2080-21000-018-14-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2016
End Date: Dec 31, 2019

Objective:
The objectives of this cooperative research project are to: 1. Evaluate the effectiveness of establishing native grasses, legumes, and forbs while utilizing different planting densities of Siberian wheatgrass. 2. Evaluate the effectiveness of the different native grasses, legumes, and forbs with Siberian wheatgrass to control cheatgrass and other invasive annual weeds. 3. Evaluate the effectiveness of the different native grasses, legumes, and forbs with Siberian wheatgrass in reducing bare ground.

Approach:
In 2014, there was a wildfire between Ely and Wendover, Nevada (Lages Junction). Fall of 2014, the USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) was given permission by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to establish research plots (664+) to evaluate plant establishment and persistence using no-till drills. Siberian wheatgrass is often the species of choice because it wil compete with cheatgrass and other invasive annuals; however, it appears to reduce the establishment of some native species. As part of this project, ARS established a series of 10 m x 20 m plots that were seeded to the BLM native mix (combination of native grasses, legumes, and forbs) and then within each plot adjusted the planting rate to include 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100% Siberian wheatgrass (cv. Vavilov II). Within each plot using a diagonal transect, three subsamples of 1 x 1 meter will be sampled along the transect and data collected will include ground cover, native grasses, legumes, forbs, Siberian wheatgrass, and invasive annuals; i.e., cheatgrass, etc. Plant species will be separated at the site, dried, and weighed. Data will be reported as percent by volume of total plot dry-matter yield.