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Increasing Native Diversity of Cheatgrass-Dominated Rangeland through Assisted Succession

Robert D. Cox and Val Jo Anderson
Journal of Range Management
Vol. 57, No. 2 (Mar., 2004), pp. 203-210
DOI: 10.2307/4003920
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4003920
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Increasing Native Diversity of Cheatgrass-Dominated Rangeland through Assisted Succession
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Abstract

Increasing attention, resources and efforts are being focused on the conversion of weedy dominated rangelands back to perennial plant communities that resemble predisturbance communities in form, function and composition. A study was conducted in 1998 and replicated again in 1999 to determine whether native plants could be established through "assisted succession" - manipulating a cheatgrass-dominated area to perennial plant domination, then to native or near-native diversity. Cheatgrass dominated rangeland that had been successfully revegetated with crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum [L.] Gaertner) was seeded with native species. Another area dominated by cheatgrass, but without crested wheatgrass, was also seeded. Four seedbed preparation methods were investigated: tilling, harrowing, application of a herbicide, and no treatment. Four different seeding methods were used in the 2 areas and 4 seedbed preparation techniques: drilling, broadcasting, a broadcast-cover method, and no seed. Seeding was done in February, and data were collected in mid-summer each year. Native grasses and shrubs emerged in greater numbers on treatments established on the crested wheatgrass matrix than on those established on the cheatgrass matrix. Perhaps in general, but especially in years with normal or below average precipitation, the assisted succession approach proved successful for restoration of native sagebrush-grassland steppe from cheatgrass range. /// Los pastizales dominados por malezas anuales, como el "Cheatgrass" (Bromus tectorum L.), cada vez mas están siendo convertidos a comunidades de plantas que se asemejan en forma, función y composición, a las existentes antes del disturbio. En 1998 se condujo un estudio, que se repitió en 1999, para determinar si las plantas nativas pudieran ser establecidas a través de "sucesión asistida", esto es, manipulando un área dominada por "Cheatgrass" para que dominen las plantas perennes y alcanzar una diversidad igual o cercana a la original. Un pastizal dominado por "Cheatgrass" que había sido revegetado exitosamente con "Crested wheatgrass" (Agropyron cristatum [L.] Gaertner) se sembró con especies nativas. Otra área dominada por "Cheatgrass"pero sin "Crested wheatgrass" también fue sembrada. Se investigaron cuatro métodos de preparación de la cama de siembra: Labranza, barbecho, aplicación de un herbicida y no tratamiento. En las dos áreas se usaron cuatro métodos de siembra: siembra en hilaras, semilla esparcida al voleo, un método de semilla dispersada al voleo y cubierta y sin semilla. La siembra se efectuó en Febrero y los datos se colectaron a mediados del verano de cada año. Los zacates nativos y los arbustos emergieron en mayor número en los tratamientos establecidos en el área con "Crested wheatgrass" que los establecidos en el área con solo "Cheatgrass". Quizás en general, pero especialmente en años con precipitación normal o abajo del promedio, la "sucesión asistida" probo ser exitosa en la restauración de la estepa de pastizal "Sagebrush".

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