Submitted to: Wildland Shrub Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2009
Publication Date: 1/1/2011
Citation: Gunnell, K.L., Williams, J.R., Monaco, T.A. 2011. Clarifying Potential Successional Trajectories in Sagebrush Communities Historically Seeded with Crested Wheatgrass. Wildland Shrub Symposium Proceedings. NRE1:Vol 16:17.
Technical Abstract: Crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum [L.] Gaertn.) has been historically seeded on thousands of hectares of Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. wyomingenis) communities. Initially used to improve degraded rangeland, its use has become controversial in the current management setting where emphasis has shifted from increased forage production to increased community diversification. Naturalized crested wheatgrass communities are an attractive setting for this goal of diversification, but little is understood about how succession functions in these communities in the absence of management techniques that perpetuate the dominance of crested wheatgrass; i.e., fire, chemical, and mechanical treatments. Little research has been done to clarify how mechanisms of succession can influence vegetation and seed banks that have not been managed to maintain crested wheatgrass dominance. Further research in these areas may help define interacting factors, determine successional trajectories, and provide insights into management options to satisfy contemporary and future rangeland management activities within seeded Wyoming big sagebrush communities.