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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) 2002


Weed Restoration Rangelands

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Research, Education & Economics Information System (REEIS)


Identification : NEV052KP

Pays : Etats Unis

Durée : Jul 1, 2002 à Jun 30, 2008

Domaine : Soil, Plant, Water, Nutrient Relationships ; Management and Control of Forest and Range Fires ; Natural Resource and Environmental Economics ; Management of Range Resources ; Desert and semidesert shrub land and shinnery ;


The overall goal of our project is to identify the necessary concepts and management strategies to control the spreading dominance of cheatgrass and other weeds on Great Basin rangelands and to restore native species and increase biodiversity. Our primary focus will be cheatgrass because it is the most widespread and damaging invasive weed on Great Basin rangelands. Supporting objectives are : 1. Conduct a series of common experiments across the Great Basin that are designed to test management techniques for controlling cheatgrass and other weeds, establishing native plant communities, and restoring ecosystem structure and function while reducing the high cost of current restoration efforts. 2. Provide a sound ecological understanding of why cheatgrass control and native species restoration techniques succeed or fail. 3. Develop conceptual and economic bases for choosing appropriate management techniques for the range of conditions that exist within the Great Basin. 4. Use active partnerships among governmental agencies, universities, cooperative extension, and land managers to convey knowledge of the processes, techniques, and results to ranchers and other rangeland professionals. 5. Use partnerships with educators to increase student and public awareness of invasive species issues and to develop educational tools that convey solutions to invasive species and native plant restoration problems. Project Methods

To achieve our objectives, we will implement 3 core experiments that include a series of ecological process studies (i.e. population ecology, community ecology, etc.) and are complemented by economic assessments, educational development, and outreach initiatives. The 3 experiments will be replicated across a 4-state area that encompasses the range of environmental conditions typical for rangelands prone to cheatgrass invasion. The first experiment is a competition screening trial that utilizes the state-threshold ecological concept and will identify promising plant varieties that can be used to enhance the transition from cheatgrass dominance to a diverse, native plant community. The second experiment is designed to examine mechanisms of competition between cheatgrass and native plant species and the role of inorganic nitrogen in controlling cheatgrass establishment and influencing competitive interactions. Specific objectives of this experiment are : 1) determine if competitive interactions between native species and cheatgrass change with available soil N ; and 2) understand the mechanisms that explain variations in cheatgrass competitive ability. The third experiment investigates the effectiveness of 3 different restoration treatments. Two of the restoration techniques (a prescribed fire and a prescribed grazing treatment) are targeted at reducing the cheatgrass seed bank, whereas the third investigates if more competitive native species (identified in the first experiment) further enhance cheatgrass control. Concomitant with the ecological investigations in these experiments, a least-cost economic analysis will determine the economic feasibility of different restoration strategies. In addition, we will develop a extension and educational program that : 1) produces practical, informational publications and handbooks for private and public land managers ; 2) integrates invasive species and restoration issues into K-12 core curricula ; 3)incorporates course materials plus research and management experiences for college undergraduates ; and 4) provides training workshops for teachers, resource specialists, and media representatives.

Présentation : USDA

Page publiée le 5 décembre 2015, mise à jour le 30 octobre 2017