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Historically, ecosystems in the southwestern United States derived much of their nitrogen (N) from N-fixation in biological soil crusts. Today, these regions have highly reduced crust cover, and atmospheric deposition may be the dominant source of N. This study investigates the effects of increased nitrogen deposition on nitrogen uptake, photosynthesis, and growth of the two main forage grasses on the Colorado Plateau, galleta (Hilaria jamesii [Torr.] Benth.) and Indian ricegrass (Oryzopsis hymenoides, [Roemer & J.S. Schultes] Ricker ex Piper). Plots were fertilized for 2 years with 0, 10, 20, and 40 kg nitrogen ha?1 annually, up to 4� the estimated current annual deposition rate, in 2 applications per year (spring...
A central question of invasion biology is how an exotic species invades new habitats following its initial establishment. Three hypotheses to explain this expansion are: (1) the existence of ‘general purpose’ genotypes, (2) the in situ evolution of novel genotypes, and (3) the dispersal of existing specialized genotypes into habitats for which they are pre-adapted. Bromus tectorum is a selfing exotic winter annual grass that has achieved widespread dominance in semiarid western North America and that is actively invading salt desert habitats. We examined mechanisms driving this invasion in three complementary studies. In reciprocal seeding experiments with ten populations from saline playa, salt desert shrubland,...
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....
Bromus tectorum L. is a non-native, annual grass that has invaded western North America. In SE Utah, B. tectorum generally occurs in grasslands dominated by the native perennial grass, Hilaria jamesii (Torr.) Benth. and rarely where the natives Stipa hymenoides Roem. and Schult. and S. comata Trin. & Rupr. are dominant. This patchy invasion is likely due to differences in soil chemistry. Previous laboratory experiments investigated using soil amendments that would allow B. tectorum to germinate but would reduce B. tectorum emergence without affecting H. jamesii. For this study we selected the most successful treatments (CaCl2, MgCl2, NaCl and zeolite) from a previous laboratory study and applied them in the field...
The primary hypothesis for the astonishing success of many exotics as community invaders relative to their importance in their native communities is that they have escaped the natural enemies that control their population growth ? the `natural enemies hypothesis'. However, the frequent failure of introduced biocontrols, weak consumer effects on the growth and reproduction of some invaders, and the lack of consistent strong top-down regulation in many natural ecological systems indicate that other mechanisms must be involved in the success of some exotic plants. One mechanism may be the release by the invader of chemical compounds that have harmful effects on the members of the recipient plant community (i.e., allelopathy)....
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Current invasion ecology theory predicts that disturbance will stimulate invasion by exotic plant species. Cheatgrass or Downy brome (Bromus tectorum) was surveyed in three sites near Florence, Colorado, U.S.A., immediately following Tamarisk or Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) control and restoration activities that caused disturbance. Despite predictions to the contrary, neither mowing with heavy machinery nor tilling for seedbed preparation stimulated invasion, with a trend for the opposite pattern such that highest percent cover of B. tectorum was observed in the least disturbed transects. Aerial application of imazapyr for Tamarix spp. control caused mortality of nearly all B. tectorum and other understory plant species...
Biological invasions can be substantially influenced by the genetic sampling associated with a species? introduction. As a result, we assessed the genetic and evolutionary consequences of the entry and spread of the invasive grass Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) across the United States midcontinent through an analysis of 54 populations, using enzyme electrophoresis. On average, these populations display 1.04 alleles per locus (A), 4.1% percent polymorphic loci per population (%P) and an expected mean heterozygosity (Hexp) value of 0.009. Heterozygotes, which have been rarely reported for B. tectorum in North America, occur in three populations in the midcontinent and are likely novel multilocus genotypes that arose...
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This model was constructed to model the risk of invasion by exotic plant species.Roads may directly influence exotic plant dispersal via disturbance during road construction or via alterations in soil regimes. For example, in Californian serpentine soil ecosystems exotic plant species can be found up to 1km from the nearest road , and Russian thistle (Salsola kali), an exotic forb growing along roads, is wind-dispersed over distances greater than 4km. Roads may also indirectly facilitate the dispersal of exotic grasses, such as crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum), via human seeding along road verges or in burned areas near roads as a management strategy to curb the establishment of less desirable exotic grass...
Dams create barriers to fish migration and dispersal in drainage basins, and the removal of dams is often viewed as a means of increasing habitat availability and restoring migratory routes of several fish species. However, these barriers can also isolate and protect native taxa from aggressive downstream invaders.We examined fish community composition two years prior to and two years after the removal of a pair of low-head dams from Boulder Creek,Wisconsin, U.S.A. in 2003 to determine if removal of these potential barriers affected the resident population of native brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). Despite the presence of other taxa in the downstream reaches, and in other similar streams adjacent to the Boulder...


map background search result map search result map Effects of Nitrogen Deposition on an Arid Grassland in the Colorado Plateau Cold Desert First-Year Responses of Cheatgrass Following Tamarix spp. Control and Restoration-Related Disturbances Exotic Plant Invasion Risk in the Western United States Risk of Pinyon-Juniper Invasion into Shrubland Habitats Effects of Nitrogen Deposition on an Arid Grassland in the Colorado Plateau Cold Desert First-Year Responses of Cheatgrass Following Tamarix spp. Control and Restoration-Related Disturbances Risk of Pinyon-Juniper Invasion into Shrubland Habitats Exotic Plant Invasion Risk in the Western United States