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Prairie restoration at the northern edge of the Great Plains can be frustrated by previously established non-native perennial grasses. We compared the emergence of a widely introduced grass, Agropyron cristatum, and a common native grass, Bouteloua gracilis, in a 4-year-old field experiment in which the Agropyron-dominated vegetation had either been left intact or treated annually with herbicide. This was done at two levels of water supply, reflecting conditions expected in wet and dry years, to examine the effects of among-year variability in precipitation. Water addition significantly increased the emergence of both surface-sown and buried (1 cm deep) seeds. Herbicide treatment of neighbors did not increase the...
Broom snakeweed (snakeweed) is an aggressive native range-weed found throughout arid and semiarid areas of the western United States, that increases following disturbances such as overgrazing, drought, or wildfire. Ecologically based strategies that include controlling snakeweed and reestablishing desirable herbaceous species are needed to restore productivity and diversity to invaded areas. The objective of this study was to compare the ability of selected introduced and native grass species and prostrate kochia (kochia) to prevent reinvasion of snakeweed, downy brome, and annual forbs following control. This field study was replicated at two sites (Howell and Nephi, Utah) within the sagebrush-steppe biome. Snakeweed...
Alien invasions typically reduce species richness of habitats, but few studies have examined their effects on species turnover, the difference in species composition between localities. Agropyron cristatum (L.) Gaertn. (crested wheat grass) has been planted on 6?10 million ha of North American prairie, and is invading native prairie. We studied the invasion of A. cristatum into native prairie by measuring species composition along a gradient from maximum to minimum A. cristatum abundance. As A. cristatum increased, the abundance of most common native species decreased, but one appeared to be unaffected (Bouteloua gracilis (H.B.K.) Lag.), and another (Poa sandbergii Vasey) increased. The effect of A. cristatum on...