Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/25/2012
Publication Date: 2/25/2013
Citation: Nafus, A.M., Davies, K.W., Svejcar, A.J. 2013. Factors associated with native vegetation recruitment into established crested wheatgrass stands [abstract]. 66th Annual Meeting of the Society for Range Management, February 3-7, 2013, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Paper No. 251. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum and Agropyron desertorum) is an introduced perennial grass that has been seeded on over 5 million hectares in semiarid and arid regions of western North America. Crested wheatgrass has been used to stabilize soil following disturbance, increase forage production, suppress undesirable plants and reduce wildfires. However, crested wheatgrass can be a strong competitor, often forming monoculture stands, which can lead to concerns about native species displacement and low biological diversity following introduction. When crested wheatgrass is sown with native species, it frequently becomes dominant. In some crested wheatgrass plant communities, native herbaceous vegetation has successfully reestablished. Even though native vegetation occasionally establishes successfully in stands of crested wheatgrass, it is not clearly understood what factors promote native vegetation recruitment. The objectives of this study were to determine which factors (management, site/environmental characteristics) are associated with native plant recruitment in crested wheatgrass plant communities. Preliminary observations suggest that the main factors associated with native vegetation recruitment into stands of crested wheatgrass are: soil texture, season of grazing and time since crested wheatgrass was seeded and time since last fire. These results will allow land managers to make more informed decisions to manage stands of crested wheatgrass to either reestablish native vegetation for wildlife habitat or to maintain stands of crested wheatgrass to suppress undesirable plant invasion.