Location: Great Basin Rangelands ResearchTitle: Establishing native perennial grasses in restoration efforts
Submitted to: Society of Range Management
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/2/2021
Publication Date: 6/10/2021
Citation: Clements, D.D., Harmon, D.N. 2021. Establishing native perennial grasses in restoration efforts. Society of Range Management.
Technical Abstract: The accidental and subsequent invasion of cheatgrass throughout the Intermountain west has resulted in the conversion of millions of acres of former big sagebrush/bunchgrass communities to annual grass (cheatgrass) dominance. In 2015, 2016 and 2017 we initiated experiments using pre-emergent herbicides to significantly reduce cheatgrass densities, therefor reducing cheatgrass competition for seedlings of seeded species. Study plots were seeded in the fall of the year, fallowed for 1-year and seeded the following fall. The pre-emergent herbicide, Landmark XP, successfully decreased above-ground cheatgrass densities by more than 98%. Introduced, native and introduced/native seed mixes were tested on herbicide treated plots as well as non-treated plots. Native perennial grasses performed very well in year-1, 3.3/ft², but declined in performance in year-2 and year-3, 1.3 and 0.4/ft², respectfully. Introduced seed mix performance was 3.3, 2.6 and 2.0 for year 1, 2 and 3, respectfully, while the introduced/native seed mix performance was 2.4, 2.6 and 2.0/ft² over the same 3 experimental years. Native perennial grass performance was negatively affected when the study site received less than 10 inches of annual precipitation.