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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Reno, Nevada » Great Basin Rangelands Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #345127

Title: Rehabilitation of Great Basin rangelands: an integrated approach

item Clements, Darin - Charlie
item Harmon, Daniel - Dan
item Blank, Robert - Bob

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/29/2018
Publication Date: 1/29/2018
Citation: Clements, D.D., Harmon, D.N., Blank, R.R. 2018. Rehabilitation of Great Basin rangelands: an integrated approach. Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts. 71:53.

Interpretive Summary: None

Technical Abstract: Disturbed rangelands present significant challenges to resource managers and land owners. In the Great Basin, exotic annual grasses have truncated secondary succession by outcompeting native perennial species for limited moisture and nutrients. An integrated approach to successfully control such invasive exotic annuals as cheatgrass can significantly improve rehabilitation efforts. By allowing on-the-ground conditions to dictate a specific or combination of a wide array of tools available, successful rehabilitation practices can be achieved on these disturbed rangelands. The use of plant materials that have the inherent potential to germinate, emerge and establish in specific soil types, precipitation zones and in the face of inter-specific species competition is critical in any rehabilitation effort. Proper weed control practices such as mechanical or chemical (herbicides) are very critical when dealing with cheatgrass rangelands as these weed control treatments can decrease cheatgrass densities by as much as 98%. This level of weed control practice improves the seedling success and establishment by increasing available soil moisture by more than 40%. Since cheatgrass outcompetes native perennials at the seedling stage, this increase in perennial seedling survivability and establishment aids in future cheatgrass suppression and associated fuels. With each passing wildfire season more and more wildlife and grazing resources are burned due to fuels associated with cheatgrass. The effective use of weed control practices and seeding of proper plant materials and rates will allow actions personnel on-the-ground to successfully rehabilitate and improve wildlife and grazing resources.