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Proliferation of cheatgrass and other exotic annual grasses such as medusahead and ventenata are a major environmental concern and operational problem for roadsides in Idaho. These annual grasses are highly flammable and they shorten fire-return intervals. Flammable vegetation is particularly hazardous in roadsides because of proximity to a ready source of ignition, and fires that start on roadsides can spread into adjacent public lands and urban communities with sprawling home development, causing extensive and expensive damage and degradation to wildlife habitat, rangelands, private or public property, utilities, etc. Thus, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) has a strong interest in preventing roadside...
Experiments were conducted to assess the influences of granivores on the seed bank in sagebrush-steppe. Rodent and/or ant exclosures were established at two distances from five harvester ant mounds. Monthly soil samples were collected from the exclosures, and from open access areas at two distances to ascertain changes in the seed bank. Seed dish experiments were conducted monthly to establish a maximum seed removal rate. Rodents were trapped monthly. More seeds were recovered from rodent exclosures than from ant exclosures. Seed banks changed temporally and spatially, with more seeds recovered in September and at 6 m from mounds. Rodents removed seeds more rapidly from seed dishes than did ants. Ants removed more...
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1 Univariate, multivariate, and geostatistical techniques were used to quantify the scale and degree of soil variability around individual perennial sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana) and bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata ssp. spicata) plants. This variability was then compared to that found across the larger sagebrush-steppe site. Samples were taken every metre in a 10-m $\times$ 12-m grid and every 12.5 cm in nine nested 0.5-m $\times$ 0.5-m grids containing at least one Artemisia shrub or Pseudoroegneria tussock (362 total samples). The 11 soil properties measured were organic matter, pH, water content, live root mass, microbial respiration, net N mineralization, nitrification potential,...
Many governments mandate the blending of biofuels with fossil fuel supplies. The paper raises the possibility that some firms might choose not to respect such mandates, and cites the UK's experience, where a buyout of the obligation is possible. A simple economic framework is then used to explore some implications of mandate buyouts, including situations when buyouts and road-fuel-tax rebates are applied together. Finally, it discusses the design of buyout-mandate schemes that could release raw materials from biofuel production, following a future world food price shock.
In 2006/2007 the Adobetown Herd Management Area (HMA) was rounded up to bring the HMA to its Appropriate Management Level (AML). Given that the HMA is now at AML, a suite of projects have been identified that will improve wildhorse and livestock distribution, rangeland health, and reduce wildhorse movement outside the HMA. The majority of livestock use in this area includes winter sheep, and water development is lacking throughout the HMA. Six miles of pipeline, a number of short pipelines, troughs and supplies for several water wells are proposed. An existing network of pipelines and troughs could be rehabilitated with the purchase and installation of a large solar pump. Four spring developments and small pits...
Data includes head smut infection level (caused by the fungal pathogen, Ustilago bullata) on cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and cheatgrass cover for plots measured annually during the first four years after the 2015 Soda wildfire. Additional landscape and weather covariates that are hypothesized to influence infection and host density are included.
Factors influencing patterns of space use by pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis) are poorly understood. We studied diurnal space use by adult pygmy rabbits during multiple breeding and nonbreeding seasons at 3 sites in the Lemhi Valley, Idaho, USA, during 2004–2005. Pygmy rabbits used larger areas than predicted by allometric models and documented by some previous investigations. Sex and season strongly influenced space use by rabbits. Males used larger home ranges and core areas, more burrow systems, and more widely dispersed burrow systems than did female rabbits. We also documented significant differences among study sites in many movement parameters, which suggested that local resource distribution also...
Many governments mandate the blending of biofuels with fossil fuel supplies. The paper raises the possibility that some firms might choose not to respect such mandates, and cites the UK's experience, where a buyout of the obligation is possible. A simple economic framework is then used to explore some implications of mandate buyouts, including situations when buyouts and road-fuel-tax rebates are applied together. Finally, it discusses the design of buyout-mandate schemes that could release raw materials from biofuel production, following a future world food price shock.
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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Synopsis: This study investigates the relationships of landscape disturbance, altered prey resources, and rattlesnake populations in the Upper Snake River Plain of southeastern. Researchers used radio telemetry to track rattlesnakes while concurrently conducting habitat sampling and small mammal trapping in areas used by snakes and in random locations. Disturbed areas (by grazing and/or burning) were characterized by lower biological crust cover, shrub cover, shrub height, and shrub dispersion, as well as higher grass and bare soil cover. Disturbed areas were also characterized by lower proportions of small animal biomass, abundance, and large prey species (such as chipmunks), while the proportions Conclusions:...
Abstract (from http://www.srmjournals.org/doi/abs/10.2111/REM-D-13-00079.1): Big sagebrush, Artemisia tridentata Nuttall (Asteraceae), is the dominant plant species of large portions of semiarid western North America. However, much of historical big sagebrush vegetation has been removed or modified. Thus, regeneration is recognized as an important component for land management. Limited knowledge about key regeneration processes, however, represents an obstacle to identifying successful management practices and to gaining greater insight into the consequences of increasing disturbance frequency and global change. Therefore, our objective is to synthesize knowledge about natural big sagebrush regeneration. We identified...
Many governments mandate the blending of biofuels with fossil fuel supplies. The paper raises the possibility that some firms might choose not to respect such mandates, and cites the UK's experience, where a buyout of the obligation is possible. A simple economic framework is then used to explore some implications of mandate buyouts, including situations when buyouts and road-fuel-tax rebates are applied together. Finally, it discusses the design of buyout-mandate schemes that could release raw materials from biofuel production, following a future world food price shock.
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Data includes cover and presence (within microsites and 13 m radius plots) of three exotic annual grass, Bromus tectorum, Taeniatherum caput-medusae, and Ventenata dubia and presence (within microsites) of four perennial bunchgrass species (Agropyron cristatum, Pseudoroegneria spicata, Poa secunda, Elymus elymoides) within the first five years after the 2015 Soda wildfire. Additional landscape and weather covariates hypothesized to influence landscape resistance to invasion are included.
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Conclusions: Report identifies regional patterns of habitat disturbance, land use practices, and population trends relative to greater sage-grouse. In general, the most important landscape characteristics influencing sage-grouse populations are the proximity of leks (areas in which males perform to nesting habitat for and The report examined findings from studies that indicate several area and distance specific conservation thresholds for maintaining viable sage-grouse habitat. Thresholds/Learnings: Male sage-grouse prefer sod-forming grasses or bare ground for leks; female sage-grouse prefer dense sagebrush stands surrounding leks for nesting; gentle terrain characterized by <10% slope; <5% of existing sagebrush...
Plant phenology is recognized as important for ecological dynamics. There has been a recent advent of phenology and camera networks worldwide. The established PhenoCam Network has sites in the United States, including the western states. However, there is a paucity of published research from semi-arid regions. In this study, we demonstrate the utility of camera-based repeat digital imagery and use of R statistical phenopix package to quantify plant phenology and phenophases in four plant communities in the semi-arid cold desert region of the Great Basin. We developed an automated variable snow/night filter for removing ephemeral snow events, which allowed fitting of phenophases with a double logistic algorithm....
Juniper and pinon woodlands have been expanding throughout the Intermountain West, USA since the late 1800s. Although causal factors attributed to woodland expansion have been documented, data are lacking that describe the influence of topographic features on rates of development and structural attributes of expanding woodlands. Our primary objective was to determine the relationship between stand-level developmental and structural attributes of four expanding western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) woodlands with two topographic features commonly important to forest vegetation patterns, site exposure (an index of insolation exposure based on slope and aspect) and elevation. To accomplish this we measured tree...
Laboratory incubations of15N-amended soils from a sagebrush steppe in south-central Wyoming indicate that nutrient turnover and availability have complex patterns across the landscape and between microsites. Total and available N and P and microbial C and N were highest in topographic depressions characterized by tall shrub communities. Net and gross N mineralization rates and respiration were also highest in these areas, but microbial efficiencies expressing growth relative to respiration cost were highest in soils of exposed ridgetop sites (prostrate shrub communities). Similar patterns occurred between shrub and intershrub soils, with greater nutrient availability under shrubs, but lower microbial efficiencies...
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Selective herbicide application is a common restoration strategy to control exotic invaders that interfere with native plant recovery after wildfire. Whether spraying with preemergent or bioherbicides releases native plants from competition with exotics (“spray-and-release” strategy) and can make communities resistant to re-invasion by exotic annual grasses (e.g., cheatgrass, medusahead), without risks to non-target native plants or secondary invasion, is a major question for land managers of semiarid plant communities. We applied chemical herbicides (imazapic, rimsulfuron) and weed-suppressive bacteria (Pseudomonas fluorescens strains MB906 and D7) to three different sagebrush-steppe communities after fire. We...
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These rasters represent plant cover during each of the first five growing seasons after fire in the area burned in the 2015 Soda wildfire. Specifically included cover layers are annual herbaceous, perennial herbaceous, shrub, exotic annual grass, and bareground. Training data for each year was collected via grid-point intercept monitoring between April and August. Empirical Bayesian Kriging Regression (EBK regression) was then used to interpolate field training data and create continuous maps of cover. Accuracy for rasters was assessed via independent test data sets collected on the same landscape.
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Conclusions: The proportion of sage-grouse nests located within 3 vs 5 km suggested that a 5 km buffer around a lek encompassed the majority of nests. The results indicate that land managers should strive to maintain a 5 km buffer around known sage-grouse lek locations in order to ensure sage-grouse breeding success. Thresholds/Learnings: A 5000m buffer around sage-grouse leks encompassed the majority (64%) of sage-grouse nests. Synopsis: This study used radio-telemetry to determine nesting patterns of Greater Sage-Grouse relative to leks in a relatively contiguous sagebrush habitat in Wyoming. The proportion of nests located within 3 vs 5 km suggested that a 5 km buffer around a lek encompassed the majority of...


map background search result map search result map Geostatistical Patterns of Soil Heterogeneity Around Individual Perennial Plants Adobetown Range Area Improvements Linking landscape disturbance to the population ecology of Great Basin rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus lutosus) in the Upper Snake River Plain Conservation Assessment of Greater Sage-Grouse and Sagebrush Habitats Spatial distribution of greater sage-grouse nests in relatively contiguous sagebrush habitats. Head smut infections on cheatgrass cover in the first four years after the 2015 Soda Wildfire Post-fire vegetation cover, plant species diversity, and Ustilago bullata infection rates at Boise River Wildlife Management Area 2018-2019 Presence and cover of exotic annual and perennial grass species during five years post-fire on the Soda Wildfire Pre and post treatment (2016-2021) vegetation cover for three southwest Idaho sites treated with pre-emergent herbicides after fire Modelled functional group vegetation cover from 2016 to 2020 on the Soda Wildfire Plant cover and density and sagebrush growth in Idaho roadsides treated with herbicides and bioherbicides Post-fire vegetation cover, plant species diversity, and Ustilago bullata infection rates at Boise River Wildlife Management Area 2018-2019 Geostatistical Patterns of Soil Heterogeneity Around Individual Perennial Plants Head smut infections on cheatgrass cover in the first four years after the 2015 Soda Wildfire Presence and cover of exotic annual and perennial grass species during five years post-fire on the Soda Wildfire Modelled functional group vegetation cover from 2016 to 2020 on the Soda Wildfire Plant cover and density and sagebrush growth in Idaho roadsides treated with herbicides and bioherbicides Pre and post treatment (2016-2021) vegetation cover for three southwest Idaho sites treated with pre-emergent herbicides after fire Spatial distribution of greater sage-grouse nests in relatively contiguous sagebrush habitats. Linking landscape disturbance to the population ecology of Great Basin rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus lutosus) in the Upper Snake River Plain Conservation Assessment of Greater Sage-Grouse and Sagebrush Habitats