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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Reno, Nevada » Great Basin Rangelands Research » Research » Research Project #444106

Research Project: Effects of Herbicide as a Fuel Reduction Treatment in the Mojave Desert

Location: Great Basin Rangelands Research

Project Number: 2060-22000-025-014-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: May 1, 2023
End Date: Apr 30, 2028

Evaluate the effects of herbicide used to reduce annual grasses as fuel treatments in the Mojave Desert and provide field data for wildfire risk modeling.

Monitor field experiments to quantify the effects of herbicide on native and invasive plant communities. Herbicide (imazapic) was applied at four sites in Gold Butte National Monument and Hidden Valley in 2019 by aerial application on 220 x 220 m plots with controls. Percent cover by plant species will be estimated ocularly in seven 0.5m x 0.5m quadrats per transect with three-75m transects per plot. Density of annual, native forbs will be recorded in all quadrats, and the height of the tallest annual, non-native grass and native forb within each quadrat will be measured to the nearest half centimeter. Additionally, all perennial plants will be measured in a belt transect (2m wide each side) to estimate perennial cover. Perennial annual production will be estimated with reference units that are clipped and weighed and then the number of units per plant will be counted for the following species: Larrea tridentata, Ambrosia dumosa, Krameria spp., and Pleuraphis rigida.