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Historical disturbance regimes are often considered a critical element in maintaining native plant communities. However, the response of plant communities to disturbance may be fundamentally altered as a consequence of invasive plants, climate change, or prior disturbances. The appropriateness of historical disturbance patterns under modern conditions and the interactions among disturbances are issues that ecologists must address to protect and restore native plant communities. We evaluated the response of Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis (Beetle & A. Young) S.L. Welsh plant communities to their historical disturbance regime compared to other disturbance regimes. The historical disturbance regime of these...
Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) has come to dominate millions of hectares of rangeland in the Intermountain western United States. Previous studies have hypothesized that one mechanism conferring a competitive advantage to this species is the ability to germinate rapidly at low temperatures in the fall, winter and spring and, therefore, initiate growth and establishment more rapidly than more desirable perennial bunchgrass species. In this experiment, we developed thermal-germination-response models for multiple seedlots of cheatgrass and five perennial grass species. We conducted sensitivity analysis on potential-cumulative-germination response to a 38-year simulation of field-variable conditions of seedbed temperature...
The alien grass Bromus tectorum dominates stable annual-plant communities that have replaced native shrub-perennial grass communities over much of the semi-arid western United States. We conducted field competition experiments between B. tectorum and a native grass, Elymus elymoides, on two sites to determine the effects of B. tectorum competition on perennial grasses, and the role of B. tectorum competition in the stability of B. tectorum-dominated communities. B. tectorum competition acting on seedling-stage E. elymoides plants greatly reduced first-year relative growth rates and biomass which, in turn, reduced second-year survival, biomass, and flowering. However, B. tectorum competition acting on older E. elymoides...
The spread and impacts of exotic species are unambiguous, global threats to many ecosystems. A prominent example is the suite of annual grasses in the Bromus genus (Bromus hereafter) that originate from Europe and Eurasia but have invaded or are invading large areas of the Western USA. This book brings a diverse, multidisciplinary group of authors together to synthesize current knowledge, research needs, and management implications for Bromus. Exotic plant invasions are multifaceted problems, and understanding and managing them requires the biological, ecological, sociological, and economic perspectives that are integrated in this book. Knowing how well information from one geographic or environmental setting can...
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This dataset provides an estimate of 2015 cheatgrass percent cover in the northern Great Basin at 250 meter spatial resolution. The dataset was generated by integrating eMODIS NDVI satellite data with independent variables that influence cheatgrass germination and growth into a regression-tree model. Individual pixel values range from 0 to 100 with an overall mean value of 9.85 and a standard deviation of 12.78. A mask covers areas not classified as shrub/scrub or grass/herbaceous by the 2001 National Land Cover Database. The mask also covers areas higher than 2000 meters in elevation because cheatgrass is unlikely to exist at more than 2% cover above this threshold. Cheatgrass is an invasive grass that has invaded...
Increases in net primary production (NPP) may not necessarily result in increased C sequestration since an increase in uptake can be negated by concurrent increases in ecosystem C losses via respiratory processes. Continuous measurements of net ecosystem C exchange between the atmosphere and two experimental cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) ecosystems in large dynamic flux chambers (EcoCELLs) showed net ecosystem C losses to the atmosphere in excess of 300 g C m?2 over two growing cycles. Even a doubling of net ecosystem production (NEP) after N fertilization in the second growing season did not compensate for soil C losses incurred during the fallow period. Fertilization not only increased C uptake in biomass but...
Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) has widely invaded the Great Basin, U.S.A. The sporadic natural phenomenon of complete stand failure (‘die- off’) of this invader may present opportunities to restore native plants. A recent die-off in Nevada was precision-planted with seeds of the native grasses Poa secunda (Sandberg bluegrass) and Elymus elymoides (bottlebrush squirreltail), of both local and nonlocal origin, to ask: 1) Can native species be restored in recent B. tectorum die-offs? And 2) Do local and nonlocal seeds differ in performance? Additionally, we asked how litter removal and water addition affected responses. Although emergence and growth of native seeds was lower in die-off than control plots early in year...
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Invasive annual grasses (IAGs) present a persistent challenge for the ecological management of rangelands, particularly the imperiled sagebrush biome in western North America. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae), and Ventenata spp. are spreading across sagebrush rangelands and already occupy at least 200,000 kilometers squared (km sq.) of the intermountain west. The loss and degradation of native plant communities caused by IAGs threatens the persistence of sagebrush obligate species such as the Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis). IAGs convert sagebrush landscapes to monocultures of non-native grasslands that substantially increase...
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This dataset provides an estimate of 2015 cheatgrass percent cover in the northern Great Basin at 250 meter spatial resolution. The dataset was generated by integrating eMODIS NDVI satellite data with independent variables that influence cheatgrass germination and growth into a regression-tree model. Individual pixel values range from 0 to 100 with an overall mean value of 9.85 and a standard deviation of 12.78. A mask covers areas not classified as shrub/scrub or grass/herbaceous by the 2001 National Land Cover Database. The mask also covers areas higher than 2000 meters in elevation because cheatgrass is unlikely to exist at more than 2% cover above this threshold. Cheatgrass is an invasive grass that has invaded...
Interactions between climate change and non-native invasive species may combine to increase invasion risk to native ecosystems. Changing climate creates risk as new terrain becomes climatically suitable for invasion. However, climate change may also create opportunities for ecosystem restoration on invaded lands that become climatically unsuitable for invasive species. Here, I develop a bioclimatic envelope model for cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), a non-native invasive grass in the western US, based on its invaded distribution. The bioclimatic envelope model is based on the Mahalanobis distance using the climate variables that best constrain the species distribution. Of the precipitation and temperature variables...
Biological invasions are one of the greatest threats to native species in natural ecological systems. One of the most successful invasive species is Bromus tectorum L. (cheatgrass), which is having marked impacts on native plant communities and ecosystem processes. However, we know little about the effects of this invasion on native animal species in the Intermountain West. Because ants have been used to detect ecological change associated with anthropogenic land use, they seem well suited for a preliminary evaluation of the consequences of cheatgrass-driven habitat conversion. In our study, we used pitfall traps to assess ant community assemblages in intact sagebrush and nearby cheatgrass-dominated vegetation....
Invasive-plant treatments often target a single or few species, but many landscapes are diversely invaded. Exotic annual grasses (EAGs) increase wildfires and degrade native perennial plant communities in cold-desert rangelands, and herbicides are thus sprayed to inhibit EAG germination and establishment. We asked how EAG-target and nontarget species responded to an herbicide mixture sprayed over a large, topographically diverse landscape after wildfire. We focused on how whole-community and natural EAG-pathogen treatment responses varied over years and physical properties of sites. We monitored plant cover and diversity in 41 pairs of plots located inside or outside areas (486 ha total) treated with a combined...
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This dataset provides a near-real-time estimate of 2018 herbaceous annual cover with an emphasis on annual grass (Boyte and Wylie. 2016. Near-real-time cheatgrass percent cover in the Northern Great Basin, USA, 2015. Rangelands 38:278-284.) This estimate was based on remotely sensed enhanced Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (eMODIS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data gathered through July 1, 2018. This is the second iteration of an early estimate of herbaceous annual cover for 2018 over the same geographic area. The previous dataset used eMODIS NDVI data gathered through May 1 (https://doi.org/10.5066/P9KSR9Z4). The pixel values for this most recent estimate ranged from 0 to100% with...
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The introduction of exotic plant species into the western United States has caused substantial changes to rangeland disturbance regimes and ecosystem structure and function. For example, exotic annual grass (EAG) invasion in western rangelands has increased wildfire frequency, which greatly reduces rangeland ecosystem diversity and leads to single-species dominance in many areas. Rangeland monocultures do not provide optimal carbon sequestration and other environmental processes necessary to sustain historically normal ecosystem structure, including the ecological diversity needed to support sagebrush obligates like Greater Sagegrouse, pygmy rabbit, and pronghorn. These obligates, as well as others, require contiguous,...
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The focus of the study, associated with these data, is a 540-km2 area at the low-elevation northern end of the 1460-km2 Milford Flat Fire in west-central Utah, and includes burned and adjacent unburned areas. Uncontrolled wildfire in arid and semiarid ecosystems has become an increasing concern in recent decades. Active rehabilitation of fire-affected areas is often quickly initiated to minimize long-term ecosystem damage. However, the complex soil-geomorphic-vegetation patterns and low and variable moisture conditions in these regions makes restoration challenging. To further inform these post-fire management decisions, we present results from 5-years of vegetation and sediment flux monitoring following the Milford...
Hydraulic redistribution, the movement of water from soil layers of higher water potential to layers of lower water potential through the root systems of plants, has been documented in many taxa worldwide. Hydraulic redistribution is influenced principally by physical properties of roots and soils, and it should occur whenever root systems span soil layers of different water potential. Therefore, hydraulic redistribution should occur through the root systems of plants with aboveground tissue removed or through the root systems of fully senesced plants as long as roots remain intact and hydrated. We examined our hypothesis in field and greenhouse studies with the annual grass Bromus tectorum. We used soil psychrometry...
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We used ion-exchange resin bags to investigate effects of water additions, chemical amendments, and plant presence on in situ measures of nutrient bioavailability in conjunction with a study examining soil controls of ecosystem invasion by the exotic annual grass Bromus tectorum L. At five dryland sites in southeastern Utah, USA, resin bags were buried in experimental plots randomly assigned to combinations of two watering treatments (wet and dry), four chemical-amendment treatments (KCl, MgO, CaO, and no amendment), and four plant treatments (B. tectorum alone, the perennial bunchgrass Stipa hymenoides R. & S. alone, B. tectorum and S. hymenoides together, and no plants). Resin bags were initially buried in September...
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...


map background search result map search result map Interaction of historical and nonhistorical disturbances maintains native plant communities Effects of water additions, chemical amendments, and plants on in situ measures of nutrient bioavailability in calcareous soils of southeastern Utah, USA Hydraulic Redistribution through the Root Systems of Senesced Plants Milford Flat Fire—Data Near-real-time cheatgrass percent cover in the northern Great Basin, USA--2015 Near-real-time Herbaceous Annual Cover in the Sagebrush Ecosystem, USA, July 2018 Near-real-time cheatgrass percent cover in the northern Great Basin, USA--2015 Post-fire vegetation cover, plant species diversity, and Ustilago bullata infection rates at Boise River Wildlife Management Area 2018-2019 Database of invasive annual grass spatial products for the western United States January 2010 to February 2021 Post-fire vegetation cover, plant species diversity, and Ustilago bullata infection rates at Boise River Wildlife Management Area 2018-2019 Effects of water additions, chemical amendments, and plants on in situ measures of nutrient bioavailability in calcareous soils of southeastern Utah, USA Interaction of historical and nonhistorical disturbances maintains native plant communities Near-real-time cheatgrass percent cover in the northern Great Basin, USA--2015 Near-real-time cheatgrass percent cover in the northern Great Basin, USA--2015 Near-real-time Herbaceous Annual Cover in the Sagebrush Ecosystem, USA, July 2018 Database of invasive annual grass spatial products for the western United States January 2010 to February 2021