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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Reno, Nevada » Great Basin Rangelands Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #350511

Title: Cheatgrass control and seeding: lessons learned

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

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/3/2017
Publication Date: 1/12/2018
Citation: Clements, D.D., Harmon, D.N., Blank, R.R. 2018. Cheatgrass control and seeding: lessons learned. Eastern Nevada Land Coalition. 13:6.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), native to central Eurasia, is a highly invasive annual grass that has invaded millions of hectares of rangelands throughout the Intermountain West. Cheatgrass has revolutionized secondary succession by providing a fine-textured, early-maturing fuel that increases the chance, rate, spread, and season of wildfires. Research estimates the presence of cheatgrass has reduced the interval between wildfires from an estimated 60–110 years down to 5-10 years. This paper provides information as to the importance of active weed control practices using effective herbicides, which yielded as much as 95.4-98.7% control of cheatgrass, as well as mechanical treatments that decreased cheatgrass seed bank densities by 72-83%. Using natural wildfire occurrences with proper seeding methodologies and selected seed species can result in improved effectiveness in rehabilitating cheatgrass infested rangelands. An integrated approach of controlling cheatgrass seed bank and above-ground densities using natural events as well as mechanical and chemical treatments can yield very favorable results, especially when in conjunction with proper seeding methodologies. The ability of resource and land managers to apply these techniques in rangeland restoration/rehabilitation efforts can vastly improve the future of degraded Great Basin plant communities by decreasing cheatgrass fuel loads and associated catastrophic wildfires.