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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Reno, Nevada » Great Basin Rangelands Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #409994

Research Project: Management and Restoration of Rangeland Ecosystems

Location: Great Basin Rangelands Research

Title: USDA-ARS Great Basin Rangelands Research Unit Restoration - plant materials research program

item Harmon, Daniel - Dan
item Clements, Darin - Charlie

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2023
Publication Date: 1/29/2024
Citation: Harmon, D.N., Clements, D.D. 2024. USDA-ARS Great Basin Rangelands Research Unit Restoration - plant materials research program. Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts. 77:62.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In order to combat the immense and continuing habitat loss that is occurring on western rangelands due to annual grass invasion and associated increase in wildfires, successful rangeland seeding efforts are essential. In the past few decades, estimates indicate more than an 8-fold increase in annual grass dominated habitats in the Great Basin. To mitigate the desirable perennial vegetation resource loss, plants often must be seeded if an existing perennial plant seed bank is lacking. One of the greatest challenges to seeding success is variable annual weather along with weed competition, especially from cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) which limits soil resources. Large scale public land managers often lack the resources to test and determine the optimal plant materials for each variable habitat and for highly variable annual weather and weed competition densities. The USDA-ARS Great Basin Rangelands Research Unit (GBRRU) has a long history of testing plant materials and developing applied land management techniques to advise land managers on best seeding practices. Every year, the GBRRU seeds numerous plant materials in experimental designs for evaluation at multiple sites throughout the northern Nevada region of the Great Basin. By testing plant materials under differing annual weather conditions and weed competition levels, GBRRU has developed general best seeding guidelines that have been implemented by stakeholders such as the Nevada Department of Wildlife, the Bureau of Land Management, and Nevada Gold Mines LLC for arid and semi-arid rangeland rehabilitation efforts. We will present examples of plant material evaluation and technology transfer for large scale efforts.