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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...
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...
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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The exotic annual grass Bromus tectorum has replaced thousands of hectares of native perennial vegetation in semi-arid ecosystems of the western United States. Inorganic N availability and production were compared in soil from monodominant patches of Bromus tectorum, the perennial bunchgrass Elymus elymoides, and the shrub Artemisia tridentata, in Curlew Valley, a salt-desert shrub site in Northern Utah. Bromus-dominated soil had greater %N in the top 10 cm than Artemisia or Elymus-dominated soils. As determined by spring isotope-dilution assays, gross mineralization and nitrification rates were higher in Bromus-dominated than Artemisia-dominated soils, but gross rates of NH4+ and NO3- consumption were also higher....
Few studies have examined plant–soil relationships in competitive arenas between exotic and native plants in the western United States. A pair-wise competitive design was used to evaluate plant–soil relationships between seedlings of the exotic annual grasses Bromus tectorum and Taeniatherium caput-medusae and the native perennial grasses Elymus elymoides and Pseudoroegneria spicata. Two soils were tested: an arid soil (argid) occupied by E. elymoides and presently invaded by B. tectorum and a high elevation, high organic matter, soil (aquept) where none of the tested species would typically occur. Plant growth proceeded for 85 days at which time above-ground biomass and tissue nutrient concentrations were quantified....
Biological soil crusts of arid and semiarid lands contribute significantly to ecosystem stability by means of soil stabilization, nitrogen fixation, and improved growth and establishment of vascular plant species. In this study, we examined growth and nutrient content of Bromus tectorum, Elymus elymoides, Gaillardia pulchella, and Sphaeralcea munroana grown in soil amended with one of three levels of biological soil crust material: (1) a low-fertility sand collected near Moab, Utah; (2) sand amended with a 1-cm top layer of excised soil crust; and (3) crushed crust material. In addition, all plants were inoculated with spores of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus, Glomus intraradices. Plants were harvested after...
Few studies have examined plant?soil relationships in competitive arenas between exotic and native plants in the western United States. A pair-wise competitive design was used to evaluate plant?soil relationships between seedlings of the exotic annual grasses Bromus tectorum and Taeniatherium caput-medusae and the native perennial grasses Elymus elymoides and Pseudoroegneria spicata. Two soils were tested: an arid soil (argid) occupied by E. elymoides and presently invaded by B. tectorum and a high elevation, high organic matter, soil (aquept) where none of the tested species would typically occur. Plant growth proceeded for 85 days at which time above-ground biomass and tissue nutrient concentrations were quantified....


    map background search result map search result map Inorganic N turnover and availability in annual- and perennial-dominated soils in a northern Utah shrub-steppe ecosystem Inorganic N turnover and availability in annual- and perennial-dominated soils in a northern Utah shrub-steppe ecosystem