Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/2/2007
Publication Date: 1/26/2008
Citation: Lafantasie, J., Enloe, S., Derner, J.D. 2008. Soil alterations and Black henbane growth following disturbance. In: American Forage and Grassland Council and Society for Range Management annual mtngs "Building bridges: Grasslands to rangelands." Louisville, KY, January 2008. CDROM, Abstract #2051. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Many invasive plants threaten the stability, services and function of ecosystems in Wyoming and throughout the West. An understanding of the ecology behind invasions can aid in prevention of the spread of invasive plants. This experiment focuses on the invasiveness of black henbane (Hyoscyamus niger L.), and soil/ plant relationships. Native to Eurasia, black henbane is a poisonous plant in the family Solanaceae. Conditions necessary for henbane establishment and performance in range ecosystems are largely unknown. We hypothesized that soil disturbance was required for black henbane establishment. To test this hypothesis we established four ecosystem disturbance treatments, designed to separate plant competition from soil disturbance. We quantified changes in soil properties, henbane success and the native plant community response due to different disturbance types. Our results indicate henbane was unable to invade undisturbed communities in sagebrush, shortgrass and mixed grass ecosystems; however, soil disturbance was not required, as henbane successfully invaded treatments with competition removal only. This establishment and survival pattern appears to be strongly correlated to higher rates of available nitrogen, soil moisture and possibly potassium. Greenhouse studies are underway to confirm this correlation. These results indicate that while henbane may successfully vector along disturbance corridors, it is not likely to become a major problem in intact sagebrush, mixed grass or shortgrass plant communities.