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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Burns, Oregon » Range and Meadow Forage Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #383517

Research Project: Restoration and Conservation of Great Basin Ecosystems

Location: Range and Meadow Forage Management Research

Title: Drill-seeding compared to broadcast-seeding improves a native bunchgrass establishment across multiple sites and years

Author
item SVEJCAR, LAUREN
item KERBY, JAY - THE NATURE CONSERVANCY
item MACKEY, BRUCE
item Boyd, Chad
item SVEJCAR, TONY - RETIRED ARS EMPLOYEE
item BAUGHMAN, OWEN - THE NATURE CONSERVANCY
item MADSEN, MATTHEW - BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY
item Davies, Kirk

Submitted to: Society for Ecological Restoration Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/26/2021
Publication Date: 7/22/2021
Citation: Svejcar, L.N., Kerby, J., Mackey, B.E., Boyd, C.S., Svejcar, T., Baughman, O., Madsen, M., Davies, K.W. 2021. Drill-seeding compared to broadcast-seeding improves a native bunchgrass establishment across multiple sites and years [abstract]. Society for Ecological Restoration Symposium.June 21-24. S-4.

Interpretive Summary: Drill seeding is perceived as an optimal seeding strategy in many dryland ecosystems, but broadcast seeding is more commonly used as a seeding method due to physical and logistical constraints. Few studies have quantified the differences between drill and broadcast seeding across spatiotemporal variation. We compare two-year survival of emergent Pseudoroegneria spicata (bunchgrass) seedlings in the sagebrush steppe biome for drill versus broadcast seeding methods across three seeding years, three landscape aspects and two soil types using a 95% confidence interval approach to avoid penalty of multiplicity. We found drill seeding had 2.7 times greater survival of seedlings compared with broadcast seeding, but seedling survival was highly dependent on spatiotemporal context. The results of this study demonstrate a need for restoration plans that account for spatiotemporal variation in seeding success.

Technical Abstract: Restoration in dryland ecosystems is renowned for low establishment of seeded species. As such, evaluations of current seeding methods are critical to understanding limitations and barriers to seeding success. Drill seeding is perceived as an optimal seeding strategy in many dryland ecosystems, but broadcast seeding is more commonly used as a seeding method due to physical and logistical constraints. For example, broadcast seeding may be conducted by aerial drops that are uninhibited by topography or obstructive features in the landscape, whereas drill seeding equipment may be constrained to specific slopes. Few studies have quantified the differences between drill and broadcast seeding across spatiotemporal variation. We compare two-year survival of emergent Pseudoroegneria spicata (bunchgrass) seedlings in the sagebrush steppe biome for drill versus broadcast seeding methods across three seeding years, three landscape aspects and two soil types using a 95% confidence interval approach to avoid penalty of multiplicity. We found drill seeding had 2.7 times greater survival of seedlings compared with broadcast seeding. However, differences were highly subject to seeding year, aspect and soil type. Drill seeding had an obvious expression of benefit on clay soils with flat and north aspects (10.1 and 4.6 times greater for drill than broadcast seeding, respectively). In most conditions, drill seeding had greater survival than broadcast seeding, though in 2014 on south aspects broadcast seeding had 2.7 times greater survival than drill seeding. The results of this study demonstrate a need for restoration plans that account for spatiotemporal variation in seeding success.