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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Burns, Oregon » Range and Meadow Forage Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #391759

Research Project: Restoration and Conservation of Great Basin Ecosystems

Location: Range and Meadow Forage Management Research

Title: Plant recruitment in drylands varies by site, year, and seeding technique

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

Submitted to: Restoration Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/16/2022
Publication Date: 6/17/2022
Citation: Svejcar, L.N., Kerby, J.D., Svejcar, T.J., Mackey, B.E., Boyd, C.S., Baughman, O.W., Madsen, M.D., Davies, K.W. 2022. Plant recruitment in drylands varies by site, year, and seeding technique. Restoration Ecology. Article e13750. https://doi.org/10.1111/rec.13750.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/rec.13750

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 hindered by 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 where other methods are limited by topography or obstructive features in the landscape. Few studies have quantified the differences between drill and broadcast seeding through space and time We compare two-year survival of emergent Pseudoroegneria spicata (bluebunch wheatgrass) 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 the penalty of multiplicity. We found drill seeding had 2.7 times greater survival of seedlings after two years compared with broadcast seeding. However, differences were highly subject to seeding year, aspect and soil type, likely because of soil moisture and temperature variations. Drill seeding had an advantage 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.