Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/10/2010
Publication Date: 10/25/2010
Citation: Clements, D.D., Young, J.A., Harmon, D.N., Mccuin, G. 2010. Revegetation of disturbed winter fat communities. Rangelands. 32(5):37-40.
Interpretive Summary: Winter fat is a critical browse species to domestic livestock and wildlife. The importance of winter livestock grazing on the Intermountain rangelands is often the cornerstone to a successful livestock operation. In central and eastern Nevada many winter fat communities are dying and being replaced by the exotic, invasive weed halageton that is poisonous to sheep. In cooperation with the Ely District of the Bureau of Land Management, USDI, we selected 4 sites in central and eastern Nevada in which winter fat die-off is occurring and being replaced by the noxious weed halageton. Revegetation efforts in 1999 showed initial success in these efforts, however over time these successes of various plant species rapidly declined. Follow up revegetation efforts have also ended up in frustration as very few seeded plant species established on these sites. Of the various grasses and shrubs seeded, crested and Siberian wheatgrass as well as ‘Immigrant’ forage kochia yielded the best results when recording established plants. Squirreltail and Indian ricegrass had limited success at a couple of sites, but over all were far too few. Follow up experiments continue to be underway.
Technical Abstract: Indian ricegrass (Achnnatherum hymenoides), squirreltail (Elymus elymoides) and ‘Immigrant’ forage kochia (Kochia prostrate). Three years of drought largely denuded initial successes though. Currently, additional revegetation efforts are under way using a variety of seed species and methodologies, including weed control. It is important to recognize the presence of various exotic weeds as to apply the proper level of weed control. By using a selected herbicide (broadleaf) we were able to decrease halogeton and Russian thistle (Salsola tragus) densities and add much needed moisture resources for seedling growth. It is also important to understand the potential of the site. As many of these sites are xeric and salt affected soils that limit plant growth.