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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Forage and Range Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #308191

Research Project: Develop Improved Plant Genetic Resources to Enhance Pasture and Rangeland Productivity in the Semiarid Regions of the Western U.S.

Location: Forage and Range Research

Title: Forage kochia and Russian wildrye potential for rehabilitating Gardner's saltbush ecosystems degraded by halogeton

Author
item Smith, Rob
item Waldron, Blair
item CREECH, EARL - Utah State University
item ZOBELL, DALE - Utah State University
item ZOBELL, AARON - Forest Service (FS)

Submitted to: Rangeland Ecology and Management
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/10/2016
Publication Date: 9/1/2016
Citation: Smith, R.C., Waldron, B.L., Creech, E., Zobell, D., Zobell, A. 2016. Forage kochia and Russian wildrye potential for rehabilitating Gardner's saltbush ecosystems degraded by halogeton. Rangeland Ecology and Management. 69(5):390-398. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rama.2016.06.001.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rama.2016.06.001

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Gardner saltbush ecosystems are increasingly being invaded by halogeton (Halogeton glomeratus), which is extremely competitive and believed to increase soil surface salinity making it difficult to establish other desired plants. This study evaluated the ability of forage kochia (Kochia prostrata), Russian wildrye (Psathyrostachys juncea), tall wheatgrass (Thinopyrum ponticum), Indian ricegrass (Oryzopis hymenoides) and Gardner saltbush (Atriplex garneri), in monocultures and binary mixtures with Gardner saltbush, to compete and persist in Gardner saltbush ecosystems that are dominated by halogeton. Halogeton densities were determined at 10 cm interval distances (0-10 cm, 10-20 cm, 20-30 cm, and 30-40 cm) between rows of spaced transplants of these desired species. The study was located within the Flaming Gorge Nation Recreation Area, Ashley National Forest, Manila, Utah. This study found that Bozoisky RWR and forage Kochia significantly (P<0.05) reduced halogeton recruitment at each 10 cm interval in comparison to the control. Bozoisky RWR reduced Halogeton by 77%, 59%, 49%, and 39% at the 0-10, 10-20, 20-30, and 30-40 cm intervals respectively in comparison to the control. Forage Kochia had similar competitive ability with a 72%, 42%, 26%, and 21% halogeton reduction at the 0-10, 10-20, 20-30, and 30-40 cm intervals respectively. Mixtures of Bozoisky RWR and forage Kochia with Gardner saltbush (50:50) also reduced halogeton frequency, albeit by approximately 50% less than monocultures. Gardner saltbush, tall wheatgrass, and Indian ricegrass were much less competitive in year 1 and did not persist beyond establishment year. Both Bozoisky RWR and forage Kochia appear to be adapted to these harsh conditions and can compete with halogeton, thereby providing an opportunity for reclamation of areas invaded by halogeton.