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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Ecological Interactions in Integrated and Biologically-Based Management of Invasive Plant Species in Western Rangelands

Location: Great Basin Rangelands Research

Title: Using Annual Forbs and Early Seral Species in Seeding Mixtures for Improved Success in Great Basin Restoration

item Uselman, Shauna
item Snyder, Keirith
item Leger, Elizabeth
item Duke, Sara

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/5/2013
Publication Date: 4/8/2013
Citation: Uselman, S.M., Snyder, K.A., Leger, E.A., Duke, S.E. 2013. Using Annual Forbs and Early Seral Species in Seeding Mixtures for Improved Success in Great Basin Restoration [abstract]. National Native Seed Conference, April 8-11, 2013, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Use of native annual and early sera! species in Great Basin rangeland reseeding efforts may increase invasion resistance, facilitate succession to desired vegetation, and improve restoration/rehabilitation success. Because they occupy a similar ecological niche, due to functional trait similarities (e.g., growth rates, resource acquisition strategies), theory predicts that early serals would compete more strongly against exotic annual grasses. We compared seedling emergence and early survival of two native seed mixes when growing in the presence of Bromus tectorum or Taeniatherum caput-medusae in soils of contras6ng texture (sandy loam and clay loam), using a common garden with sunken soil-filled treepots. Natives were also seeded without exotics. Performance of an early seral mix (annual forbs, early seral grasses and shrubs) was compared with that of a late sera! mix representative of species commonly used in restoration. Early seral species generally outperformed late sera! species when growing with exotics, for emergence probabilities (P<O.OOOl), survival probabilities (P<0.05, with T caput-medusae), and earlier emergence timing (P<O.OOOl), though results differed among functional groups and soil types. Native grasses exhibited the highest emergence probabilities of the functional groups (P<O.OOOl). Emergence of all native functional groups (P<O.Ol) and survival of native grasses (P<O.OOOl) was generally higher on sandy loam when growing with exotics. Findings indicate that early serals, especially native grasses and particularly in more coarse-textured soils, are better able to persist in the presence of exotics during early life stages, suggesting they may endure within mixed native-exotic communities and may help facilitate succession to later seral species.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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