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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...
On July 14, 2015 speaker Owen Baughman presented on his work in restoring areas of cheatgrass die-off.The phenomenon of complete stand failure (or die-off) of cheatgrass results in the absence of this invasive grass from the invaded site for one or more growing seasons. Our work seeks to determine if this phenomenon represents an opportunity for restoring native species. Results from two experiments at four Northern Nevada sites over three years are demonstrating that seeded native grasses can have higher success in recent die-offs when compared to seedings in sites that did not die-off. These promising findings indicate that restoring native diversity in highly-invaded systems can be facilitated by targeting die-offs...