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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #371002

Research Project: Optimizing Water Use Efficiency for Environmentally Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems in Semi-Arid Regions

Location: Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research

Title: Native seed viability and cover crop considerations for rangeland restoration

item SLOTHOWER, BRIANNA - Texas A&M University
item FALK, TONY - Texas A&M University
item RIDEOUT-HANZAK, S - Texas A&M University
item Acosta-Martinez, Veronica
item WEST, D - Texas A&M University

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2020
Publication Date: 2/14/2020
Citation: Slothower, B.M., Falk, T., Rideout-Hanzak, S., Acosta Martinez, V., West, D.B. 2020. Native seed viability and cover crop considerations for rangeland restoration. Meeting Abstract. Presentation. Corpus Christi, TX, February 13-15, 2020.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Rangelands cover a large portion of earth’s land surface. Over half of rangelands are degraded from natural and anthropogenic causes. Because disturbance can occur at any time, it is crucial to know how to manage land after disturbance. In a previous study utilizing cover crops and native grasses, the cover crop reduced exotic grass biomass but had no effect of native grass biomass. This study will evaluate interactions between cover crops and seeded native grasses by monitoring plant density, biomass and soil microbial communities for two growing seasons on a recently installed pipeline in southern Texas. Additionally, a seed burial trial will be conducted to evaluate viability of seeds that differ in their successional status and diaspore morphology. Finally, a staggered seeding trial will be used to test effects of limited diversity and high fitness on restoration success. The study will (1) expand our knowledge of how cover crops affect the establishment of native seed mixes when cover crops and permanent seed mixes are planted simultaneously or separately, and (2) quantify the long-term viability of seeds that represent different seral stages in rangelands. Ultimately, we hope to improve our understanding of the best practices for restoration of rangelands after disturbance.