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Sample records for cheatgrass bromus tectorum

  1. Multitemporal spectral analysis for cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) classification.

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, Nagendra; Glenn, Nancy F

    2009-07-01

    Operational satellite remote sensing data can provide the temporal repeatability necessary to capture phenological differences among species. This study develops a multitemporal stacking method coupled with spectral analysis for extracting information from Landsat imagery to provide species-level information. Temporal stacking can, in an approximate mathematical sense, effectively increase the 'spectral' resolution of the system by adding spectral bands of several multitemporal images. As a demonstration, multitemporal linear spectral unmixing is used to successfully delineate cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) from soil and surrounding vegetation (77% overall accuracy). This invasive plant is an ideal target for exploring multitemporal methods because of its phenological differences with other vegetation in early spring and, to a lesser degree, in late summer. The techniques developed in this work are directly applicable for other targets with temporally unique spectral differences.

  2. Genetic variation and local adaptation at a cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) invasion edge in western Nevada.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is an invasive weed in western North America primarily found growing at elevations less than 2200 m. We asked whether cheatgrass is capable of becoming adapted to high elevations at a population near a high elevation invasion edge, using a combination of methods, includi...

  3. Fire effects on the mobilization and uptake of nitrogen by cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.), an invasive annual grass, is displacing native species and causing increased fire frequency in the Great Basin of the southwestern United States. Growth and nitrogen uptake patterns by cheatgrass were examined in a greenhouse study using soils from sites with the sa...

  4. Evidence that invasion by cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) increases soil nitrogen availability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Certain exotic plant species are known to engineer soil processes and thereby facilitate their competitive stature and invasiveness. In a well-characterized winterfat (Krascheninnikovia lanata) community in the Honey Lake Valley of northeastern CA, we tested if cheatgrass invasion (Bromus tectorum L...

  5. The Effect of Herbaceous Species Removal, Fire, and Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) on Soil Water Availability in Sagebrush Steppe.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Over the past several decades, cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) has been continually expanding in the sagebrush steppe ecosystem. There has been very little research that examines why cheatgrass is able to invade these communities. To determine the effects of herbaceous vegetation removal and fire on av...

  6. Bromus Tectorum (Cheatgrass): Monitoring An Invasion For 10 Years

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In a Krascheninnikovia lanata (winterfat) community in the Honey Lake Valley of northeastern, CA we have monitored the effect of B. tectorum (a Eurasian exotic annual grass) invasion on surface soil properties. In 1990 a transect of 13 plots, 50 m apart was established, at which time only plots 1-5 ...

  7. Native Perennial Grasses Show Evolutionary Response to Bromus tectorum (Cheatgrass) Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Goergen, Erin M.; Leger, Elizabeth A.; Espeland, Erin K.

    2011-01-01

    Invasive species can change selective pressures on native plants by altering biotic and abiotic conditions in invaded habitats. Although invasions can lead to native species extirpation, they may also induce rapid evolutionary changes in remnant native plants. We investigated whether adult plants of five native perennial grasses exhibited trait shifts consistent with evolution in response to invasion by the introduced annual grass Bromus tectorum L. (cheatgrass), and asked how much variation there was among species and populations in the ability to grow successfully with the invader. Three hundred and twenty adult plants were collected from invaded and uninvaded communities from four locations near Reno, Nevada, USA. Each plant was divided in two and transplanted into the greenhouse. One clone was grown with B. tectorum while the other was grown alone, and we measured tolerance (ability to maintain size) and the ability to reduce size of B. tectorum for each plant. Plants from invaded populations consistently had earlier phenology than those from uninvaded populations, and in two out of four sites, invaded populations were more tolerant of B. tectorum competition than uninvaded populations. Poa secunda and one population of E. multisetus had the strongest suppressive effect on B. tectorum, and these two species were the only ones that flowered in competition with B. tectorum. Our study indicates that response to B. tectorum is a function of both location and species identity, with some, but not all, populations of native grasses showing trait shifts consistent with evolution in response to B. tectorum invasion within the Great Basin. PMID:21479185

  8. Establishment of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L. ) on spent oil shale from the Paraho process

    SciTech Connect

    George, M.R.; McKell, C.M.; Richardson, S.G.

    1981-04-01

    Experiments were conducted in a greenhouse with the following obtectives: (i) to study the emergence and seedling growth of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) in soil and in Paraho spent oil shale that was either leached, treated with sulfuric acid, covered with soil, or mixed with soil, and (ii) to study emergence and seedling growth of cheatgrass on spent shale that was fertilized with ammonium nitrate and triple superphosphate. The Ec/sub e/ of the spent shale was 14 mmhos/cm, the pH was 9 and the shale was low in plant available N and P. The soil from Federal oil shale lease tract U-a near Bonanza, Utah was a coarse textured alluvium with low moisture retention. Cheatgrass planted on soil alone and shale covered with soil had the highest emergence rates (75 to 86%) and produced the greatest total biomass (8.55 to 13.4 g). Seedling emergence rates on leached and unleached spent shale were 44% and 36%, respectively, and total biomass was < 1 g on either treatment. Seedlings failed to emerge on sulfuric acid-treated spent shale. The addition of sulfuric acid to spent shale increased the EC/sub e/ of the shale to over 21 mmhos/cm. Leached and unleached spent shale was fertilized with N at rates of 0, 28, and 56 kg/ha and P at rates of 0, 24.4, and 48.8 kg/ha. The total biomass for any fertilizer treatment was < 1 g. We conclude that covering shale disposal piles with topsoil may improve the site for successful invasion by a colonizing species such as cheatgrass.

  9. Relative Abundance of and Composition within Fungal Orders Differ between Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)-Associated Soils

    PubMed Central

    Weber, Carolyn F.; King, Gary M.; Aho, Ken

    2015-01-01

    Nonnative Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) is decimating sagebrush steppe, one of the largest ecosystems in the Western United States, and is causing regional-scale shifts in the predominant plant-fungal interactions. Sagebrush, a native perennial, hosts arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), whereas cheatgrass, a winter annual, is a relatively poor host of AMF. This shift is likely intertwined with decreased carbon (C)-sequestration in cheatgrass-invaded soils and alterations in overall soil fungal community composition and structure, but the latter remain unresolved. We examined soil fungal communities using high throughput amplicon sequencing (ribosomal large subunit gene) in the 0–4 cm and 4–8 cm depth intervals of six cores from cheatgrass- and six cores from sagebrush-dominated soils. Sagebrush core surfaces (0–4 cm) contained higher nitrogen and total C than cheatgrass core surfaces; these differences mirrored the presence of glomalin related soil proteins (GRSP), which has been associated with AMF activity and increased C-sequestration. Fungal richness was not significantly affected by vegetation type, depth or an interaction of the two factors. However, the relative abundance of seven taxonomic orders was significantly affected by vegetation type or the interaction between vegetation type and depth. Teloschistales, Spizellomycetales, Pezizales and Cantharellales were more abundant in sagebrush libraries and contain mycorrhizal, lichenized and basal lineages of fungi. Only two orders (Coniochaetales and Sordariales), which contain numerous economically important pathogens and opportunistic saprotrophs, were more abundant in cheatgrass libraries. Pleosporales, Agaricales, Helotiales and Hypocreales were most abundant across all libraries, but the number of genera detected within these orders was as much as 29 times lower in cheatgrass relative to sagebrush libraries. These compositional differences between fungal communities associated with cheatgrass- and

  10. Relative abundance of and composition within fungal orders differ between cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and sagebrush (Artemisia tridentate)-associated soils.

    PubMed

    Weber, Carolyn F; King, Gary M; Aho, Ken

    2015-01-01

    Nonnative Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) is decimating sagebrush steppe, one of the largest ecosystems in the Western United States, and is causing regional-scale shifts in the predominant plant-fungal interactions. Sagebrush, a native perennial, hosts arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), whereas cheatgrass, a winter annual, is a relatively poor host of AMF. This shift is likely intertwined with decreased carbon (C)-sequestration in cheatgrass-invaded soils and alterations in overall soil fungal community composition and structure, but the latter remain unresolved. We examined soil fungal communities using high throughput amplicon sequencing (ribosomal large subunit gene) in the 0-4 cm and 4-8 cm depth intervals of six cores from cheatgrass- and six cores from sagebrush-dominated soils. Sagebrush core surfaces (0-4 cm) contained higher nitrogen and total C than cheatgrass core surfaces; these differences mirrored the presence of glomalin related soil proteins (GRSP), which has been associated with AMF activity and increased C-sequestration. Fungal richness was not significantly affected by vegetation type, depth or an interaction of the two factors. However, the relative abundance of seven taxonomic orders was significantly affected by vegetation type or the interaction between vegetation type and depth. Teloschistales, Spizellomycetales, Pezizales and Cantharellales were more abundant in sagebrush libraries and contain mycorrhizal, lichenized and basal lineages of fungi. Only two orders (Coniochaetales and Sordariales), which contain numerous economically important pathogens and opportunistic saprotrophs, were more abundant in cheatgrass libraries. Pleosporales, Agaricales, Helotiales and Hypocreales were most abundant across all libraries, but the number of genera detected within these orders was as much as 29 times lower in cheatgrass relative to sagebrush libraries. These compositional differences between fungal communities associated with cheatgrass- and

  11. Relative abundance of and composition within fungal orders differ between cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)-associated soils.

    PubMed

    Wiber, Carolyn F; King, Gary M; Aho, Ken

    2015-01-01

    Nonnative Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) is decimating sagebrush steppe, one of the largest ecosystems in the Western United States, and is causing regional-scale shifts in the predominant plant-fungal interactions. Sagebrush, a native perennial, hosts arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), whereas cheatgrass, a winter annual, is a relatively poor host of AMF. This shift is likely intertwined with decreased carbon (C)-sequestration in cheatgrass-invaded soils and alterations in overall soil fungal community composition and structure, but the latter remain unresolved. We examined soil fungal communities using high throughput amplicon sequencing (ribosomal large subunit gene) in the 0-4 cm and 4-8 cm depth intervals of six cores from cheatgrass- and six cores from sagebrush-dominated soils. Sagebrush core surfaces (0-4 cm) contained higher nitrogen and total C than cheatgrass core surfaces; these differences mirrored the presence of glomalin related soil proteins (GRSP), which has been associated with AMF activity and increased C-sequestration. Fungal richness was not significantly affected by vegetation type, depth or an interaction of the two factors. However, the relative abundance of seven taxonomic orders was significantly affected by vegetation type or the interaction between vegetation type and depth. Teloschistales, Spizellomycetales, Pezizales and Cantharellales were more abundant in sagebrush libraries and contain mycorrhizal, lichenized and basal lineages of fungi. Only two orders (Coniochaetales and Sordariales), which contain numerous economically important pathogens and opportunistic saprotrophs, were more abundant in cheatgrass libraries. Pleosporales, Agaricales, Helotiales and Hypocreales were most abundant across all libraries, but the number of genera detected within these orders was as much as 29 times lower in cheatgrass relative to sagebrush libraries. These compositional differences between fungal communities associated with cheatgrass- and

  12. Assessing Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) genetic diversity and population structure using RAPD and microsatellite molecular markers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two molecular marker systems, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and microsatellites, were used to evaluate population diversity and differentiation in four northern Nevada Bromus tectorum populations. We found 16 RAPD primers that yielded 165 strong repeatable bands. Of those bands, 60 (35.8%...

  13. A comparision of cumulative-germination response of cheatgrass (Bromus Tectorum L.) and five perennial bunchgrass species to simulated field-temperature regimes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  14. Bromus tectorum: Variation in Seed Dormancy Among Populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is an exotic invasive annual grass that has invaded millions of hectares of rangelands throughout the west. The introduction and invasion of cheatgrass has increased the chance, rate and spread of wildfires. Cheatgrass truncates secondary succession as it outcompetes nat...

  15. NITROGEN ENHANCES THE COMPETITIVE ABILITY OF CHEATGRASS(BROMUS TECTORUM) RELATIVE TO NATIVE GRASSES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasion by cheatgrass and the associated high fire frequency can displace native plant communities. Previous native plant restoration projects have met with limited success. Manipulating soil resources may be one component of influencing the success of restoration efforts. We conducted two ...

  16. Effects of repeated burning of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) dominated ecosystems on litter, soil and plant nitrogen: Implications for restoration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Provide electronically in Word. Background/Question/Methods Restoration of cheatgrass-dominated rangelands depends on controlling cheatgrass while simultaneously providing conditions necessary for native species establishment. Growth and reproduction of cheatgrass is highly responsive to available s...

  17. Effects of repeated burning of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) dominated ecosystems on plant density, biomass and seed production: Implications for restoration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Restoration of sagebrush ecosystems dominated by cheatgrass depends on both controlling the invader and providing the conditions for native species establishment. Reducing available soil nitrogen (N) decreases cheatgrass growth and reproduction and native species opportunities for establishment. A m...

  18. Forecasting Bromus tectorum and fire threat: site soil type versus population traits

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), is an exotic invasive annual grass that increases the chance, rate, spread and season of wildfires. Cheatgrass truncates secondary succession by out-competing native perennial seedlings for limited moisture and resources. Habitats that historically burned every 60-110...

  19. Suppression of Bromus tectorum L. by established perennial grasses: mechanisms-Part One

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bromus tectorum L. (cheatgrass) is an Eurasian annual grass that has invaded ecosystems throughout the Intermountain west of the United States. Our purpose was to examine mechanisms by which established perennial grasses suppress the growth of B. tectorum. Using rhizotrons, the experiment was conduc...

  20. BIOGEOCHEMISTRY OF PLANT INVASION: A CASE STUDY WITH BROMUS TECTORUM L.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The exotic invasive annual grass Bromus tectorum L. (cheatgrass) is problematic in the intermountain region of the western United States, often replacing native shrub/perennial grass communities with near monocultures. Limited data exists on the affect of B. tectorum invasion on biogeochemical cycli...

  1. Effect of Competition with Perennial Grasses on the Growth and Nutrient Concentrations of Bromus tectorum L.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We investigated the effect of established perennial plants on growth of the invasive annual grass Bromus tectorum L. (cheatgrass, downy brome). Seeds of B. tectorum were planted between two established plants (competition) and individually (no competition) in separate (4 replicates) rhizotrons (30 c...

  2. Plant-Soil Relationships of Bromus tectorum L.: Interactions among Labile Carbon Additions, Soil Invasion Status, and Fertilizer.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasion of western North America by the annual exotic grass Bromus tectorum L. (cheatgrass) has been an ecological disaster. High soil bioavailability of nitrogen is a contributing factor in the invasive potential of B. tectorum. Application of labile carbon sources to the soil can immobilize soil ...

  3. The effect of annual precipitation on Agropyron cristatum suppression of bromus tectorum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ability of established crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) to suppress cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is well documented. Many studies that examine the competition between these two species usually do so at the seedling phase. We do not consider decreased performance between two seedlings as ...

  4. Bromus tectorum L. invasion: Changes in soil properties and rates of bioturbation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass, downy brome), an exotic annual grass of Eurasian origin, has replaced native Artemisia/bunchgrass communities on millions of hectares throughout the Intermountain West. Using Jenny’s (1941) framework that specific vegetation can differentially affect soil development; we...

  5. Defoliation effects on Bromus tectorum seed production: Implications for grazing

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hempy-Mayer, K.; Pyke, D.A.

    2008-01-01

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) is an invasive annual grass that creates near-homogenous stands in areas throughout the Intermountain sagebrush steppe and challenges successful native plant restoration in these areas. A clipping experiment carried out at two cheatgrass-dominated sites in eastern Oregon (Lincoln Bench and Succor Creek) evaluated defoliation as a potential control method for cheatgrass and a seeding preparation method for native plant reseeding projects. Treatments involved clipping plants at two heights (tall = 7.6 cm, and short = 2.5 cm), two phenological stages (boot and purple), and two frequencies (once and twice), although purple-stage treatments were clipped only once. Treatments at each site were replicated in a randomized complete block design that included a control with no defoliation. End-of-season seed density (seeds??m-2) was estimated by sampling viable seeds from plants, litter, and soil of each treatment. Undipped control plants produced an average of approximately 13 000 and 20 000 seeds??m-2 at Lincoln Bench and Succor Creek, respectively. Plants clipped short at the boot stage and again 2 wk later had among the lowest mean seed densities at both sites, and were considered the most successful treatments (Lincoln Bench: F 6,45 = 47.07, P < 0.0001; Succor Creek: F6,40 = 19.60, P < 0.0001). The 95% confidence intervals for seed densities were 123-324 seeds??m-2 from the Lincoln Bench treatment, and 769-2256 seeds??m-2 from the Succor Creek treatment. Literature suggests a maximum acceptable cheatgrass seed density of approximately 330 seeds??m-2 for successful native plant restoration through reseeding. Thus, although this study helped pinpoint optimal defoliation parameters for cheatgrass control, it also called into question the potential for livestock grazing to be an effective seed-bed preparation technique in native plant reseeding projects in cheatgrass-dominated areas.

  6. Environmental and climatic variables as potential drivers of post-fire cover of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) in seeded and unseeded semiarid ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shinneman, D.J.; Baker, W.L.

    2009-01-01

    Cheatgrass, a non-native annual grass, dominates millions of hectares in semiarid ecosystems of the Intermountain West (USA). Post-fire invasions can reduce native species diversity and alter ecological processes. To curb cheatgrass invasion, land managers often seed recently burned areas with perennial competitor species. We sampled vegetation within burned (19 years post-fire) and nearby unburned (representing pre-fire) pionjuniper (Pinus edulisJuniperus osteosperma) woodland and sagebrush (Artemisia sp.) in western Colorado to analyze variables that might explain cheatgrass cover after fire. A multiple regression model suggests higher cheatgrass cover after fire with: (1) sagebrush v. pionjuniper; (2) higher pre-fire cover of annual forbs; (3) increased time since fire; (4) lower pre-fire cover of biological soil crust; and (5) lower precipitation the year before fire. Time since fire, which coincided with higher precipitation, accounts for most of the variability in cheatgrass cover. No significant difference was found in mean cheatgrass cover between seeded and unseeded plots over time. However, negative relationships with pre-fire biological soil crust cover and native species richness suggest livestock-degraded areas are more susceptible to post-fire invasion. Proactive strategies for combating cheatgrass should include finding effective native competitors and restoring livestock-degraded areas. ?? 2009 IAWF.

  7. A mutualistic interaction between a fungivorous nematode and a fungus within the endophytic community of Bromus tectorum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In its invaded range in western North America, Bromus tectorum can host more than 100 sequence-based phylotypes of endophytic fungi of which an individual cheatgrass plant hosts a subset. In general, research suggests that recruitment of a particular subset of endophytes by an individual plant will...

  8. Rehabilitation of cheatgrass infested rangelands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The introduction and subsequent invasion of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) has altered native plant communities and the wildlife species that depend on these communities. Cheatgrass has truncated secondary succession by outcompeting native plant species for limited resources, thus building persistent...

  9. Cheatgrass invasion and wildlife habitat

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The introduction and subsequent invasion of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) has altered native plant communities and the wildlife species that depend on these communities. Cheatgrass has truncated secondary succession by outcompeting native plant species for limited resources, thus building persistent...

  10. Rehabilitation of cheatgrass-infested rangelands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The introduction and subsequent invasion of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) has altered native plant communities and the wildlife species that depend on these communities. Cheatgrass has truncated secondary succession by outcompeting native plant species for limited resources, thus building persistent...

  11. Conditions favouring Bromus tectorum dominance of endangered sagebrush steppe ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reisner, Michael D.; Grace, James B.; Pyke, David A.; Doescher, Paul S.

    2013-01-01

    4. Synthesis and applications. Grazing exacerbates Bromus tectorum dominance in one of North America's most endangered ecosystems by adversely impacting key mechanisms mediating resistance to invasion. If the goal is to conserve and restore resistance of these systems, managers should consider maintaining or restoring: (i) high bunchgrass cover and structure characterized by spatially dispersed bunchgrasses and small gaps between them; (ii) a diverse assemblage of bunchgrass species to maximize competitive interactions with B. tectorum in time and space; and (iii) biological soil crusts to limit B. tectorum establishment. Passive restoration by reducing cumulative cattle grazing may be one of the most effective means of achieving these three goals.

  12. Rehabilitation of cheatgrass infested rangelands: an integrated approach

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) invasion has astronomically altered native plant communities throughout the Intermountain West. Cheatgrass has truncated secondary succession by outcompeting native plant species for limited resources, thus building persistent seed banks to take advantage of conditions ...

  13. Effects of precipitation change and neighboring plants on population dynamics of Bromus tectorum.

    PubMed

    Prevéy, Janet S; Seastedt, Timothy R

    2015-11-01

    Shifting precipitation patterns resulting from global climate change will influence the success of invasive plant species. In the Front Range of Colorado, Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) and other non-native winter annuals have invaded grassland communities and are becoming more abundant. As the global climate warms, more precipitation may fall as rain rather than snow in winter, and an increase in winter rain could benefit early-growing winter annuals, such as B. tectorum, to the detriment of native species. In this study we measured the effects of simulated changes in seasonal precipitation and presence of other plant species on population growth of B. tectorum in a grassland ecosystem near Boulder, Colorado, USA. We also performed elasticity analyses to identify life transitions that were most sensitive to precipitation differences. In both study years, population growth rates were highest for B. tectorum growing in treatments receiving supplemental winter precipitation and lowest for those receiving the summer drought treatment. Survival of seedlings to flowering and seed production contributed most to population growth in all treatments. Biomass of neighboring native plants was positively correlated with reduced population growth rates of B. tectorum. However, exotic plant biomass had no effect on population growth rates. This study demonstrates how interacting effects of climate change and presence of native plants can influence the population growth of an invasive species. Overall, our results suggest that B. tectorum will become more invasive in grasslands if the seasonality of precipitation shifts towards wetter winters and allows B. tectorum to grow when competition from native species is low. PMID:26227366

  14. Drought survival and perennial grass success in the face of cheatgrass invasion: germination, emergence, seedling die-off and reproduction

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) dominance and competitiveness is often attributed to early (fall) germination. We hypothesize that cheatgrass germinates earlier compared to three commonly used restoration/rehabilitation perennial grass species [‘Hycrest’ crested wheatgrass( Agropyron desertorum ssp. c...

  15. Using High-Resolution Future Climate Scenarios to Forecast Bromus tectorum Invasion in Rocky Mountain National Park

    PubMed Central

    West, Amanda M.; Kumar, Sunil; Wakie, Tewodros; Brown, Cynthia S.; Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Laituri, Melinda; Bromberg, Jim

    2015-01-01

    National Parks are hallmarks of ecosystem preservation in the United States. The introduction of alien invasive plant species threatens protection of these areas. Bromus tectorum L. (commonly called downy brome or cheatgrass), which is found in Rocky Mountain National Park (hereafter, the Park), Colorado, USA, has been implicated in early spring competition with native grasses, decreased soil nitrogen, altered nutrient and hydrologic regimes, and increased fire intensity. We estimated the potential distribution of B. tectorum in the Park based on occurrence records (n = 211), current and future climate, and distance to roads and trails. An ensemble of six future climate scenarios indicated the habitable area of B. tectorum may increase from approximately 5.5% currently to 20.4% of the Park by the year 2050. Using ordination methods we evaluated the climatic space occupied by B. tectorum in the Park and how this space may shift given future climate change. Modeling climate change at a small extent (1,076 km2) and at a fine spatial resolution (90 m) is a novel approach in species distribution modeling, and may provide inference for microclimates not captured in coarse-scale models. Maps from our models serve as high-resolution hypotheses that can be improved over time by land managers to set priorities for surveys and removal of invasive species such as B. tectorum. PMID:25695255

  16. Using high-resolution future climate scenarios to forecast Bromus tectorum invasion in Rocky Mountain National Park.

    PubMed

    West, Amanda M; Kumar, Sunil; Wakie, Tewodros; Brown, Cynthia S; Stohlgren, Thomas J; Laituri, Melinda; Bromberg, Jim

    2015-01-01

    National Parks are hallmarks of ecosystem preservation in the United States. The introduction of alien invasive plant species threatens protection of these areas. Bromus tectorum L. (commonly called downy brome or cheatgrass), which is found in Rocky Mountain National Park (hereafter, the Park), Colorado, USA, has been implicated in early spring competition with native grasses, decreased soil nitrogen, altered nutrient and hydrologic regimes, and increased fire intensity. We estimated the potential distribution of B. tectorum in the Park based on occurrence records (n = 211), current and future climate, and distance to roads and trails. An ensemble of six future climate scenarios indicated the habitable area of B. tectorum may increase from approximately 5.5% currently to 20.4% of the Park by the year 2050. Using ordination methods we evaluated the climatic space occupied by B. tectorum in the Park and how this space may shift given future climate change. Modeling climate change at a small extent (1,076 km2) and at a fine spatial resolution (90 m) is a novel approach in species distribution modeling, and may provide inference for microclimates not captured in coarse-scale models. Maps from our models serve as high-resolution hypotheses that can be improved over time by land managers to set priorities for surveys and removal of invasive species such as B. tectorum. PMID:25695255

  17. Positive effects of native shrubs on Bromus tectorum demography.

    PubMed

    Griffith, Alden B

    2010-01-01

    There is increasing recognition that overall interactions among plant species are often the net result of both positive and negative effects. However, the positive influence of other plants has rarely been examined using detailed demographic methods, which are useful for partitioning net effects at the population level into positive and/or negative effects on individual vital rates. This study examines the influence of microhabitats created by the native shrubs Artemisia tridentata and Purshia tridentata on the demography of the invasive annual grass Bromus tectorum in the Great Basin Desert, California, USA. Shrub understory environments differed significantly from intershrub space and were characterized by higher soil fertility and less extreme microclimates. There existed a strong spatial association between B. tectorum and the shrubs across four years, with more than double the density of B. tectorum in shrub microhabitats compared to intershrub space. Periodic matrix models were used to calculate population growth (lamda) and reproductive potential (RP, expected lifetime fecundity of seedlings) of B. tectorum in different microhabitats over two years. Modeled population growth was significantly increased in shrub microhabitats in the first of two years. This was primarily due to increased seedling establishment in Artemisia microhabitats, rather than effects during the growing season. In the following year, B. tectorum individuals in shrub microhabitats had a significantly greater reproductive potential than those in intershrub microhabitats, indicating shrub facilitation during the growing season. Loop analysis revealed an interacting effect of year and microhabitat on B. tectorum life history pathway elasticity values, demonstrating a fundamental influence of spatiotemporal factors on which life history pathways are important and/or possible. Life table response experiment (LTRE) analysis showed that increased survival and growth rates positively contributed

  18. Cheatgrass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorm) was first introduced into the Intermountain west in the early 1900's. Cheatgrass truncates secondary succession by out competing native perennial grass seedlings for limited resources and then providing an early maturing, fine textured fuel that increases the chance, rat...

  19. Cheatgrass Response to Simulated Grazing

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    At the very time of this writing we are looking out at a plume of smoke from a cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) fueled wildfire. These cheatgrass fueled wildfires are an annual event here in Nevada as well as other arid western states, and thus the topic seems fitting to write about. This annual burni...

  20. Perennial grass establishment following cheatgrass control using herbicides

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The introduction and subsequent invasion of Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) onto Intermountain rangelands has resulted in increased frequencies of wildfires and severely altered native plant communities. These destructive wildfires have negatively impacted wildlife and grazing resources as well as har...

  1. Imazapic, rimsulfuron, and sulfometuron methyl effectiveness at controlling cheatgrass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The introduction and subsequent invasion of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) onto Intermountain rangelands has resulted in increased frequencies of wildfires and severely altered native plant communities. These destructive wildfires have negatively impacted wildlife and grazing resources. The ability o...

  2. Soil sterilization alters interactions between the native grass Bouteloua gracilis and invasive Bromus tectorum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aims: The invasive grass Bromus tectorum negatively impacts grassland communities throughout the western U.S. We asked whether soil biota growing in association with a native grass (Bouteloua gracilis) increase growth and competitive ability of Bromus, and whether responses vary between soils collec...

  3. Soil amendment effects on the exotic annual grass Bromus tectorum L. and facilitation of its growth by the native perennial grass Hilaria jamesii (Torr.) Benth

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.; Sherrod, S.K.

    2009-01-01

    Greenhouse experiments were undertaken to identify soil factors that curtail growth of the exotic annual grass Bromus tectorum L. (cheatgrass) without significantly inhibiting growth of native perennial grasses (here represented by Hilaria jamesii [Torr.] Benth). We grew B. tectorum and H. jamesii alone (monoculture pots) and together (combination pots) in soil treatments that manipulated levels of soil phosphorus, potassium, and sodium. Hilaria jamesii showed no decline when its aboveground biomass in any of the applied treatments was compared to the control in either the monoculture or combination pots. Monoculture pots of B. tectorum showed a decline in aboveground biomass with the addition of Na2HPO4 and K2HPO4. Interestingly, in pots where H. jamesii was present, the negative effect of these treatments was ameliorated. Whereas the presence of B. tectorum generally decreased the aboveground biomass of H. jamesii (comparing aboveground biomass in monoculture versus combination pots), the presence of H. jamesii resulted in an enhancement of B. tectorum aboveground biomass by up to 900%. We hypothesize that B. tectorum was able to obtain resources from H. jamesii, an action that benefited B. tectorum while generally harming H. jamesii. Possible ways resources may be gained by B. tectorum from native perennial grasses include (1) B. tectorum is protected from salt stress by native plants or associated soil biota; (2) when B. tectorum is grown with H. jamesii, the native soil biota is altered in a way that favors B. tectorum growth, including B. tectorum tapping into the mycorrhizal network of native plants and obtaining resources from them; (3) B. tectorum can take advantage of root exudates from native plants, including water and nutrients released by natives via hydraulic redistribution; and (4) B. tectorum is able to utilize some combination of the above mechanisms. In summary, land managers may find adding soil treatments can temporarily suppress B. tectorum

  4. Phenology of cheatgrass and associated exotic weeds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), is an exotic, highly invasive annual grass that has dramatically changed the aspect and ecological functions of vast areas of formerly big sagebrush/bunchgrass and salt desert rangelands in the Intermountain west. Cheatgrass increases the chance of ignition, rate of spr...

  5. Cheatgrass germination at three seed maturity stages from five plant communities in northwestern Nevada

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The invasive exotic plant cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), has invaded numerous plant communities throughout the Intermountain West. Our goal was to test whether cheatgrass seed in different phenotypic stages and site characteristics differ in germination. Cheatgrass seed from sites dominated by Wyom...

  6. The development of water stress in Bromus tectorum and Poa secunda in the field

    SciTech Connect

    Link, S.O.; Downs, J.L.; Gee, G.W.

    1987-03-01

    Field observations of the phenological development, root and shoot characteristics, and water relations with increasing water stress of Bromus tectorum and Poa secunda were compared. The phenological development of B. tectorum was 3 to 4 weeks behind that of P. secunda. The root/shoot ratio of B. tectorum was 4 to 5 times less than that of P secunda. The greatest rooting depth was 45 cm for B. tectorum and 35 cm for P. secunda. Most of the root mass was found in the top 10 cm of soil for both species. Water stress developed sooner and to a greater degree in P. secunda than in B. tectorum. Xylem water potential was lower in P. secunda than in B. tectorum and the difference increased through the season. Pre-dawn xylem water potential was highly correlated with maximal stomatal conductance in P. secunda. Hydraulic conductance was greater in B. tectorum than in P. secunda, and decreased as water stress increased through the season. Stomatal conductance and transpiration were greater for B. tectorum than for P. secunda. Midday stomatal closure occurred later in the season and to a lesser degree for B. tectorum than for P. secunda. 31 refs., 7 figs., 1 tab.

  7. Soil nitrogen enhances the competitive ability of Bromus tectorum relative to native grasses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasion by Bromus tectorum and the associated high fire frequency can displace native plant communities. Previous native plant restoration projects have met with limited success. Manipulating soil resources may be one way of influencing the success of restoration efforts. We conducted two greenh...

  8. Do soil characteristics or microhabitat determine field emergence and success of Bromus tectorum?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Newingham, B.A.; Vidiella, P.; Belnap, J.

    2007-01-01

    In southeastern Utah, Bromus tectorum occurs where Hilaria jamesii is dominant and rarely where Stipa hymenoides/S. comata dominate. To determine whether this distribution is due to soil characteristics or microhabitat, we transplanted H. jamesii soil to a Stipa site and vice versa during a severe drought (2001) and a wetter year (2002). Additionally, we planted B. tectorum under H. jamesii and Stipa canopies, with or without H. jamesii litter, and with or without herbivory. Bromus tectorum emergence and biomass in reciprocal transplants were similar at both sites; there were no site differences for all microhabitat treatments. Being under a plant canopy increased emergence in 2001 and decreased survival during 2002. Herbivory decreased emergence in 2001 and decreased survival during 2002. Litter increased emergence only under the canopy in 2001 but did not affect survival in 2002. Survival in 2001 was so low that biomass was unattainable; no microhabitat treatments affected biomass in 2002. We found that soil characteristics and microhabitat affected B. tectorum similarly in H. jamesii and Stipa patches, suggesting that these factors do not explain the association between B. tectorum and H. jamesii. However, these relationships may change during wet years when B. tectorum invasions most often occur. ?? 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. The effect of discing to reduce cheatgrass competition following wildfires

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wildfires in the Intermountain West are and annual event. The introduction and subsequent invasion of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) onto millions of acres of rangelands throughout the West has resulted in devastating wildfires. Cheatgrass truncates secondary succession by out competing native peren...

  10. Integrated approach to cheatgrass suppression on Great Basin Rangelands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), native to central Eurasia, is a highly invasive annual grass that has invaded millions of hectares of rangelands throughout the Intermountain West. Cheatgrass has revolutionized secondary succession by providing a fine-textured, early-maturing fuel that increases the c...

  11. The use of plant material testing to successfully suppress cheatgrass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is an exotic and invasive annual grass that was accidentally introduced to western North America in the late 19th century. Cheatgrass provides an early maturing, fine-textured fuel that increases the chance, rate, spread and season of wildfires. With each passing wildfi...

  12. Integrated approach to cheatgrass suppression on great basin rangelands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), native to central Eurasia, is a highly invasive annual grass that has invaded millions of hectares of rangelands throughout the Intermountain West. Cheatgrass has revolutionized secondary succession by providing a fine-textured, early-maturing fuel that increases the c...

  13. Interactions with soils conditioned by different vegetation: a potential explanation of bromus tectorum L. invasion into salt-deserts?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasion by Bromus tectorum L. may condition the soil and increase nutrient availability. We hypothesized that nutrient poor soils of the arid Honey Lake Valley of northeastern California U.S.A., similar in physical and chemical properties, but conditioned by either B. tectorum, Krascheninniko...

  14. Interactions with soils conditioned by different vegetation: A potential explanation of Bromus tectorum L. invasion into salt-deserts?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasion by Bromus tectorum L. may condition the soil and increase nutrient availability. We hypothesized that nutrient poor soils of the arid Honey Lake Valley of northeastern California U.S.A., similar in physical and chemical properties, but conditioned by either B. tectorum, Krascheninniko...

  15. Global change effects on Bromus tectorum L. (Poaceae) at its high-elevation range margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Concilio, Amy L.; Loik, Michael E.; Belnap, Jayne

    2013-01-01

    Global change is likely to affect invasive species distribution, especially at range margins. In the eastern Sierra Nevada, California, USA, the invasive annual grass, Bromus tectorum, is patchily distributed and its impacts have been minimal compared with other areas of the Intermountain West. We used a series of in situ field manipulations to determine how B. tectorum might respond to changing climatic conditions and increased nitrogen deposition at the high-elevation edge of its invaded range. Over 3 years, we used snow fences to simulate changes in snowpack, irrigation to simulate increased frequency and magnitude of springtime precipitation, and added nitrogen (N) at three levels (0, 5, and 10 g m-2) to natural patches of B. tectorum growing under the two dominant shrubs, Artemisia tridentata and Purshia tridentata, and in intershrub spaces (INTR). We found that B. tectorum seedling density in April was lower following deeper snowpack possibly due to delayed emergence, yet there was no change in spikelet production or biomass accumulation at the time of harvest. Additional spring rain events increased B. tectorum biomass and spikelet production in INTR plots only. Plants were primarily limited by water in 2009, but colimited by N and water in 2011, possibly due to differences in antecedent moisture conditions at the time of treatments. The threshold at which N had an effect varied with magnitude of water additions. Frequency of rain events was more influential than magnitude in driving B. tectorum growth and fecundity responses. Our results suggest that predicted shifts from snow to rain could facilitate expansion of B. tectorum at high elevation depending on timing of rain events and level of N deposition. We found evidence for P-limitation at this site and an increase in P-availability with N additions, suggesting that stoichiometric relationships may also influence B. tectorum spread.

  16. Eco-evolutionary responses of Bromus tectorum to climate change: implications for biological invasions

    PubMed Central

    Zelikova, Tamara J; Hufbauer, Ruth A; Reed, Sasha C; Wertin, Timothy; Fettig, Christa; Belnap, Jayne

    2013-01-01

    How plant populations, communities, and ecosystems respond to climate change is a critical focus in ecology today. The responses of introduced species may be especially rapid. Current models that incorporate temperature and precipitation suggest that future Bromus tectorum invasion risk is low for the Colorado Plateau. With a field warming experiment at two sites in southeastern Utah, we tested this prediction over 4 years, measuring B. tectorum phenology, biomass, and reproduction. In a complimentary greenhouse study, we assessed whether changes in field B. tectorum biomass and reproductive output influence offspring performance. We found that following a wet winter and early spring, the timing of spring growth initiation, flowering, and summer senescence all advanced in warmed plots at both field sites and the shift in phenology was progressively larger with greater warming. Earlier green-up and development was associated with increases in B. tectorum biomass and reproductive output, likely due early spring growth, when soil moisture was not limiting, and a lengthened growing season. Seeds collected from plants grown in warmed plots had higher biomass and germination rates and lower mortality than seeds from ambient plots. However, in the following two dry years, we observed no differences in phenology between warmed and ambient plots. In addition, warming had a generally negative effect on B. tectorum biomass and reproduction in dry years and this negative effect was significant in the plots that received the highest warming treatment. In contrast to models that predict negative responses of B. tectorum to warmer climate on the Colorado Plateau, the effects of warming were more nuanced, relied on background climate, and differed between the two field sites. Our results highlight the importance of considering the interacting effects of temperature, precipitation, and site-specific characteristics such as soil texture, on plant demography and have direct

  17. Eco-evolutionary responses of Bromus tectorum to climate change: implications for biological invasions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zelikova, Tamara J.; Hufbauer, Ruth A.; Reed, Sasha C.; Wertin, Timothy M.; Fettig, Christa; Belnap, Jayne

    2013-01-01

    How plant populations, communities, and ecosystems respond to climate change is a critical focus in ecology today. The responses of introduced species may be especially rapid. Current models that incorporate temperature and precipitation suggest that future Bromus tectorum invasion risk is low for the Colorado Plateau. With a field warming experiment at two sites in southeastern Utah, we tested this prediction over 4 years, measuring B. tectorum phenology, biomass, and reproduction. In a complimentary greenhouse study, we assessed whether changes in field B. tectorum biomass and reproductive output influence offspring performance. We found that following a wet winter and early spring, the timing of spring growth initiation, flowering, and summer senescence all advanced in warmed plots at both field sites and the shift in phenology was progressively larger with greater warming. Earlier green-up and development was associated with increases in B. tectorum biomass and reproductive output, likely due early spring growth, when soil moisture was not limiting, and a lengthened growing season. Seeds collected from plants grown in warmed plots had higher biomass and germination rates and lower mortality than seeds from ambient plots. However, in the following two dry years, we observed no differences in phenology between warmed and ambient plots. In addition, warming had a generally negative effect on B. tectorum biomass and reproduction in dry years and this negative effect was significant in the plots that received the highest warming treatment. In contrast to models that predict negative responses of B. tectorum to warmer climate on the Colorado Plateau, the effects of warming were more nuanced, relied on background climate, and differed between the two field sites. Our results highlight the importance of considering the interacting effects of temperature, precipitation, and site-specific characteristics such as soil texture, on plant demography and have direct

  18. Morphological and physiological traits account for similar nitrate uptake by crested wheatgrass and cheatgrass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Millions of hectares throughout the Intermountain West are either dominated or threatened by the invasive annual grass Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass). This invasion is largely linked to disturbance and few regions appear immune. Disturbance liberates resources in a community and cheatgrass appears e...

  19. SOIL MORPHOLOGY AND ORGANIC MATTER DYNAMICS UNDER CHEATGRASS AND SAGEBRUSH-STEPPE PLANT COMMUNITIES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Widespread cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L) invasion represents a major shift in species dominance that may alter ecosystem processes across much of the western U.S. To investigate differences following such conversion, soil morphology and organic matter under cheatgrass-dominated and native shrub-st...

  20. Plant material testing and cheatgrass suppression: a 10 year old case study

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is an exotic and invasive annual grass that was accidentally introduced to western North America in the late 19th century. Cheatgrass soon spread across millions of hectares of Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis)/ bunchgrass rangelands througho...

  1. Inter- and intra-specific interactions in germination and seedling establishment of cheatgrass and Russian wildrye

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) growth has been shown to be affected by soil type and soil borne pathogens. In this experiment, I test if competitive relationships between B. tectorum and Russian wild rye (Psathryrostachys juncea (Fisch.) Nevski) are different in three soil types. Soils were collect...

  2. Cheatgrass is favored by warming but not CO2 enrichment in a semi-arid grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Global change impacts may be compounded by invasive species with strong community and ecosystem impacts. Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) increases fire frequency and reduces biological diversity across millions of hectares in western North America. Here we show that B. tectorum recruitment, growth and ...

  3. Rehabilitation of cheatgrass-infested rangelands: concepts

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The introduction and subsequent invasion of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) onto millions of acres of Intermountain West rangelands has caused astronomical changes to numerous ecosystems and the multiple uses that depend on healthy and functional ecosystems. This is the first part, of a 3-part series ...

  4. Suppression of annual Bromus tectorum by perennial Agropyon cristatum: roles of soil N availability and biological soil space

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Worldwide, exotic invasive grasses have caused numerous ecosystem perturbations. Rangelands of the western United States have experienced increases in the size and frequency of wildfires largely due to invasion by the annual grass Bromus tectorum. Rehabilitation of invaded rangelands is difficult; b...

  5. Control of Downy brome (Bromus tectorum) and Medusahead (Teaniatherum caput-medusae) with Rangeland Herbicides in Northeastern California.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Downy brome (Bromus tectorum) and medusahead ((Teaniatherum caput-medusae) are the two most problematic invasive annual grasses in the western United States. In this study we evaluated the effect of three fall and one spring application of herbicide as well as herbicide combinations on the control ...

  6. Interacting Agricultural Pests and Their Effect on Crop Yield: Application of a Bayesian Decision Theory Approach to the Joint Management of Bromus tectorum and Cephus cinctus

    PubMed Central

    Keren, Ilai N.; Menalled, Fabian D.; Weaver, David K.; Robison-Cox, James F.

    2015-01-01

    Worldwide, the landscape homogeneity of extensive monocultures that characterizes conventional agriculture has resulted in the development of specialized and interacting multitrophic pest complexes. While integrated pest management emphasizes the need to consider the ecological context where multiple species coexist, management recommendations are often based on single-species tactics. This approach may not provide satisfactory solutions when confronted with the complex interactions occurring between organisms at the same or different trophic levels. Replacement of the single-species management model with more sophisticated, multi-species programs requires an understanding of the direct and indirect interactions occurring between the crop and all categories of pests. We evaluated a modeling framework to make multi-pest management decisions taking into account direct and indirect interactions among species belonging to different trophic levels. We adopted a Bayesian decision theory approach in combination with path analysis to evaluate interactions between Bromus tectorum (downy brome, cheatgrass) and Cephus cinctus (wheat stem sawfly) in wheat (Triticum aestivum) systems. We assessed their joint responses to weed management tactics, seeding rates, and cultivar tolerance to insect stem boring or competition. Our results indicated that C. cinctus oviposition behavior varied as a function of B. tectorum pressure. Crop responses were more readily explained by the joint effects of management tactics on both categories of pests and their interactions than just by the direct impact of any particular management scheme on yield. In accordance, a C. cinctus tolerant variety should be planted at a low seeding rate under high insect pressure. However as B. tectorum levels increase, the C. cinctus tolerant variety should be replaced by a competitive and drought tolerant cultivar at high seeding rates despite C. cinctus infestation. This study exemplifies the necessity of

  7. Rehabilitation and Cheatgrass Suppression Following Great Basin Wildfires

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The occurrence of wildfires in Great Basin environments has become an annual event. The introduction and subsequent invasion of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) plays a very large role in the frequency and size of these wildfires. With each passing wildfire season, more and more habitats are converted...

  8. Effects of maternal environment on cheatgrass seed dormancy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    One of the greatest advantages cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) has is building large seed banks. Seed banks can persist during self dominance, post fire, post herbicidal control and healthy plant communities. There are numerous reasons a seed does not germinate, primarily being a lack of moisture. Howe...

  9. Evidence that invasion by cheatgrass alters soil nitrogen availability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Certain exotic plant species are known to engineer soil processes and thereby facilitate their competitive stature and invasiveness. In a well-characterized winterfat (Krascheninnikovia lanata) community in the Honey Lake Valley of northeastern CA, we tested if cheatgrass invasion (Bromus tectorum L...

  10. Cheatgrass suppression following wildfires in Wyoming big sagebrush communities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The introduction and subsequent invasion of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) onto millions of hectares of rangelands throughout the Intermountain West has had devastating effects on a variety of plant communities by promoting a fine textured, early maturing fuel that increases the chance, rate and sprea...

  11. Prediction of cheatgrass field germination potential using wet thermal accumulation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasion and dominance of weedy species is facilitated or constrained by environmental and ecological factors that affect resource availability during critical life stages. We compared the relative effects of season, annual weather, site, and disturbance on potential cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.)...

  12. Bromus tectorum invasion alters nitrogen dynamics in an undisturbed arid grassland ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sperry, L.J.; Belnap, J.; Evans, R.D.

    2006-01-01

    The nonnative annual grass Bromus tectorum has successfully replaced native vegetation in many arid and semiarid ecosystems. Initial introductions accompanied grazing and agriculture, making it difficult to separate the effects of invasion from physical disturbance. This study examined N dynamics in two recently invaded, undisturbed vegetation associations (C3 and C4). The response of these communities was compared to an invaded/disturbed grassland. The invaded/disturbed communities had higher surface NH4+ input in spring, whereas there were no differences for surface input of NO3-. Soil inorganic N was dominated by NH4+, but invaded sites had greater subsurface soil NO3-. Invaded sites had greater total soil N at the surface four years post-invasion in undisturbed communities, but total N was lower in the invaded/disturbed communities. Soil ??15N increased with depth in the noninvaded and recently invaded communities, whereas the invaded/disturbed communities exhibited the opposite pattern. Enriched foliar ??15N values suggest that Bromus assimilated subsurface NO3-, whereas the native grasses were restricted to surface N. A Rayleigh distillation model accurately described decomposition patterns in the noninvaded communities where soil N loss is accompanied by increasing soil ??15N; however, the invaded/disturbed communities exhibited the opposite pattern, suggesting redistribution of N within the soil profile. This study suggests that invasion has altered the mechanisms driving nitrogen dynamics. Bromus litter decomposition and soil NO3- concentrations were greater in the invaded communities during periods of ample precipitation, and NO3- leached from the surface litter, where it was assimilated by Bromus. The primary source of N input in these communities is a biological soil crust that is removed with disturbance, and the lack of N input by the biological soil crust did not balance N loss, resulting in reduced total N in the invaded/disturbed communities

  13. Suppression of annual Bromus tectorum by perennial Agropyron cristatum: roles of soil nitrogen availability and biological soil space

    PubMed Central

    Blank, Robert R.; Morgan, Tye; Allen, Fay

    2015-01-01

    Worldwide, exotic invasive grasses have caused numerous ecosystem perturbations. Rangelands of the western USA have experienced increases in the size and frequency of wildfires largely due to invasion by the annual grass Bromus tectorum. Rehabilitation of invaded rangelands is difficult; but long-term success is predicated on establishing healthy and dense perennial grass communities, which suppress B. tectorum. This paper reports on two experiments to increase our understanding of soil factors involved in suppression. Water was not limiting in this study. Growth of B. tectorum in soil conditioned by and competing with the exotic perennial Agropyron cristatum was far less relative to its growth without competition. When competing with A. cristatum, replacing a portion of conditioned soil with fresh soil before sowing of B. tectorum did not significantly increase its growth. The ability of conditioned soil to suppress B. tectorum was lost when it was separated from growing A. cristatum. Soil that suppressed B. tectorum growth was characterized by low mineral nitrogen (N) availability and a high molar ratio of NO2− in the solution-phase pool of NO2−+NO3−. Moreover, resin availability of NO2−+NO3− explained 66 % of the variability in B. tectorum above-ground mass, attesting to the importance of A. cristatum growth in reducing N availability to B. tectorum. Trials in which B. tectorum was suppressed the most were characterized by very high shoot/root mass ratios and roots that have less root hair growth relative to non-suppressed counterparts, suggesting co-opting of biological soil space by the perennial grass as another suppressive mechanism. Greater understanding of the role of biological soil space could be used to breed and select plant materials with traits that are more suppressive to invasive annual grasses. PMID:25603967

  14. Effects of resource availability and propagule supply on native species recruitment in sagebrush ecosystems invaded by Bromus tectorum

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mazzola, Monica B.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Blank, Robert R.; Pyke, David A.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Allcock, Kimberly G.; Doescher, Paul S.; Nowak, Robert S.

    2011-01-01

    Resource availability and propagule supply are major factors influencing establishment and persistence of both native and invasive species. Increased soil nitrogen (N) availability and high propagule inputs contribute to the ability of annual invasive grasses to dominate disturbed ecosystems. Nitrogen reduction through carbon (C) additions can potentially immobilize soil N and reduce the competitiveness of annual invasive grasses. Native perennial species are more tolerant of resource limiting conditions and may benefit if N reduction decreases the competitive advantage of annual invaders and if sufficient propagules are available for their establishment. Bromus tectorum, an exotic annual grass in the sagebrush steppe of western North America, is rapidly displacing native plant species and causing widespread changes in ecosystem processes. We tested whether nitrogen reduction would negatively affect B. tectorum while creating an opportunity for establishment of native perennial species. A C source, sucrose, was added to the soil, and then plots were seeded with different densities of both B. tectorum (0, 150, 300, 600, and 1,200 viable seeds m-2) and native species (0, 150, 300, and 600 viable seeds m-2). Adding sucrose had short-term (1 year) negative effects on available nitrogen and B. tectorum density, biomass and seed numbers, but did not increase establishment of native species. Increasing propagule availability increased both B. tectorum and native species establishment. Effects of B. tectorum on native species were density dependent and native establishment increased as B. tectorum propagule availability decreased. Survival of native seedlings was low indicating that recruitment is governed by the seedling stage.

  15. Comparison of postfire soil water repellency amelioration strategies on bluebunch wheatgrass and cheatgrass survival

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil water repellency may significantly limit site recovery following wildfire. This study was designed to compare survival and growth of the native plant species bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata (Pursh) A. Löve) to the invasive annual weed cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.), and to compar...

  16. Historical wildfires do not promote cheatgrass invasion in a western Great Plains steppe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant invasion and wildfire are often tightly linked. In western North America, positive feedbacks between wildfire and Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) invasion have contributed to plant community conversion across millions of hectares of land. Impacts of this conversion include reduced biodiversity, w...

  17. Effects of Nitrogen Availability and Cheatgrass Competition on the Establishment of Vavilov Siberian Wheatgrass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) is the most widespread invasive weed in the sagebrush ecosystems of North America. Restoration of perennial vegetation is difficult and land managers have often used introduced bunchgrasses to restore these degraded communities. Our objective was to evaluate the poten...

  18. Postdispersal Infection and Disease Development of Pyrenophora semeniperda in Bromus tectorum Seeds.

    PubMed

    Finch-Boekweg, Heather; Gardner, John S; Allen, Phil S; Geary, Brad

    2016-03-01

    The Ascomycete fungus, Pyrenophora semeniperda, attacks a broad range of cool-season grasses. While leaf and predispersal infection of seeds (i.e., florets containing caryopses) have been previously characterized, little is known about the pathogenesis of mature seeds following dispersal. In this study, we examined infection and disease development of P. semeniperda on dormant seeds of Bromus tectorum. Inoculated seeds were hydrated at 20°C for up to 28 days. Disease development was characterized using scanning electron and light microscopy. P. semeniperda conidia germinated on the seed surface within 5 to 8 h. Hyphae grew on the seed surface and produced extracellular mucilage that eventually covered the seed. Appressoria formed on the ends of hyphae and penetrated through the lemma and palea, stomatal openings, and broken trichomes. The fungus then catabolized the endosperm, resulting in a visible cavity by 8 days. Pathogenesis of the embryo was associated with progressive loss of cell integrity and proliferation of mycelium. Beginning at approximately day 11, one to several stromata (approximately 150 μm in diameter and up to 4 mm in length) emerged through the lemma and palea. Degradation of embryo tissue was completed near 14 days. Conidiophores produced conidia between 21 and 28 days and often exhibited "Y-shaped" branching. This characterization of disease development corrects previous reports which concluded that P. semeniperda is only a weak seed pathogen with infection limited to the outermost seed tissues. In addition, the time required for disease development explains why infected dormant or slow-germinating seeds are most likely to experience mortality. PMID:26645644

  19. Distributional changes and range predictions of downy brome (Bromus tectorum) in Rocky Mountain National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bromberg, J.E.; Kumar, S.; Brown, C.S.; Stohlgren, T.J.

    2011-01-01

    Downy brome (Bromus tectorum L.), an invasive winter annual grass, may be increasing in extent and abundance at high elevations in the western United States. This would pose a great threat to high-elevation plant communities and resources. However, data to track this species in high-elevation environments are limited. To address changes in the distribution and abundance of downy brome and the factors most associated with its occurrence, we used field sampling and statistical methods, and niche modeling. In 2007, we resampled plots from two vegetation surveys in Rocky Mountain National Park for presence and cover of downy brome. One survey was established in 1993 and had been resampled in 1999. The other survey was established in 1996 and had not been resampled until our study. Although not all comparisons between years demonstrated significant changes in downy brome abundance, its mean cover increased nearly fivefold from 1993 (0.7%) to 2007 (3.6%) in one of the two vegetation surveys (P = 0.06). Although the average cover of downy brome within the second survey appeared to be increasing from 1996 to 2007, this slight change from 0.5% to 1.2% was not statistically significant (P = 0.24). Downy brome was present in 50% more plots in 1999 than in 1993 (P = 0.02) in the first survey. In the second survey, downy brome was present in 30% more plots in 2007 than in 1996 (P = 0.08). Maxent, a species-environmental matching model, was generally able to predict occurrences of downy brome, as new locations were in the ranges predicted by earlier generated models. The model found that distance to roads, elevation, and vegetation community influenced the predictions most. The strong response of downy brome to interannual environmental variability makes detecting change challenging, especially with small sample sizes. However, our results suggest that the area in which downy brome occurs is likely increasing in Rocky Mountain National Park through increased frequency and cover

  20. A comparison of Bromus tectorum growth and mycorrhizal colonization in salt desert versus sagebrush habitat

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cheatgrass has recently invaded marginal low elevation salt desert habitats across the Great Basin, USA. We tested the hypothesis that cheatgrass seed produced in populations from the more stressful salt desert versus upland sagebrush habitats should grow differently in salt desert soils compared to...

  1. The role of resource limitation in restoration of sagebrush ecosystems dominated by cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Success of invasive annual grasses is often linked to increases in resources, and restoration ecologists have suggested that decreasing nitrogen (N) availability and restoring more conservative N cycles with lower N turnover should decrease the competitive advantage of these invaders and facilitate ...

  2. Native perennial grasses show evolutionary response to Bromus tectorum (Cheatgrass) invasion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive species can change selective pressures on native species by altering biotic and abiotic conditions in invaded habitats. Although invasions can lead to native species extirpation, they may also induce rapid evolutionary changes in remnant native plants. We investigated whether adult plants o...

  3. Mapping and spatial-temporal modeling of Bromus tectorum invasion in central Utah

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Zhenyu

    Cheatgrass, or Downy Brome, is an exotic winter annual weed native to the Mediterranean region. Since its introduction to the U.S., it has become a significant weed and aggressive invader of sagebrush, pinion-juniper, and other shrub communities, where it can completely out-compete native grasses and shrubs. In this research, remotely sensed data combined with field collected data are used to investigate the distribution of the cheatgrass in Central Utah, to characterize the trend of the NDVI time-series of cheatgrass, and to construct a spatially explicit population-based model to simulate the spatial-temporal dynamics of the cheatgrass. This research proposes a method for mapping the canopy closure of invasive species using remotely sensed data acquired at different dates. Different invasive species have their own distinguished phenologies and the satellite images in different dates could be used to capture the phenology. The results of cheatgrass abundance prediction have a good fit with the field data for both linear regression and regression tree models, although the regression tree model has better performance than the linear regression model. To characterize the trend of NDVI time-series of cheatgrass, a novel smoothing algorithm named RMMEH is presented in this research to overcome some drawbacks of many other algorithms. By comparing the performance of RMMEH in smoothing a 16-day composite of the MODIS NDVI time-series with that of two other methods, which are the 4253EH, twice and the MVI, we have found that RMMEH not only keeps the original valid NDVI points, but also effectively removes the spurious spikes. The reconstructed NDVI time-series of different land covers are of higher quality and have smoother temporal trend. To simulate the spatial-temporal dynamics of cheatgrass, a spatially explicit population-based model is built applying remotely sensed data. The comparison between the model output and the ground truth of cheatgrass closure demonstrates

  4. Comparative effects of glyphosate and atrazine in chloroplast ultrastructure of wheat and downy brome. [Triticum aestivum; Bromus tectorum

    SciTech Connect

    Auge, R.M.; Gealy, D.R.; Ogg, A.G.; Franceschi, V.R.

    1987-04-01

    Developing and mature leaves of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L. var. Daws) and the weed species downy brome (Bromus tectorum L.) were subjected to 10 mM (foliar application) and 1 mM (root application) herbicide solutions. Glyphosate (N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine) and atrazine (2-chloro-4-(ethyl-amino)-6-(isopropylamino)-s-triazine) were prepared in a carrier composed of 5% soybean oil concentrate, 35% acetone and 60% water. Penetration experiments with /sup 3/H-labelled herbicides assessed what percentage of herbicide entered leaves, and microautoradiography was used to determine qualitatively how much herbicide was present in the sections viewed with TEM. Tissue was excised at 4, 18, 62 and 200 hours, and then either freeze-substituted or fixed chemically. Ultrastructural effects of each herbicide on chloroplasts from leaves of newly-germinated seedlings and of well-tillered plants are depicted and discussed. Temporal differences in response of chloroplasts to each herbicide are noted.

  5. Direct effects of soil amendments on field emergence and growth of the invasive annual grass Bromus tectorum L. and the native perennial grass Hilaria jamesii (Torr.) Benth

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Newingham, B.A.; Belnap, J.

    2006-01-01

    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 in two different years at B. tectorum-dominated field sites. All amendments except the lowest level of CaCl2 and zeolite negatively affected B. tectorum emergence and/or biomass. No amendments negatively affected the biomass of H. jamesii but NaCl reduced emergence. Amendment effectiveness depended on year of application and the length of time since application. The medium concentration of zeolite had the strongest negative effect on B. tectorum with little effect on H. jamesii. We conducted a laboratory experiment to determine why zeolite was effective and found it released large amounts of Na+, adsorbed Ca2+, and increased Zn2+, Fe2+, Mn2+, Cu2+, exchangeable Mg2+, exchangeable K, and NH 4+ in the soil. Our results suggest several possible amendments to control B. tectorum. However, variability in effectiveness due to abiotic factors such as precipitation and soil type must be accounted for when establishing management plans. ?? Springer 2006.

  6. Effects of growth regulator herbicide on downy brome (Bromus tectorum) seed production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Previous research showed growth regulator herbicides, such as picloram and aminopyralid, have a sterilizing effect on Japanese brome (Bromus japonicus Thunb.) that can reduce this invasive annual grass’s seed production nearly 100%. This suggests growth regulators might be used to control invasive ...

  7. Effects of Bromus tectorum invasion on microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling in two adjacent undisturbed arid grassland communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schaeffer, Sean M.; Ziegler, Susan E.; Belnap, Jayne; Evans, R.D.

    2012-01-01

    Soil nitrogen (N) is an important component in maintaining ecosystem stability, and the introduction of non-native plants can alter N cycling by changing litter quality and quantity, nutrient uptake patterns, and soil food webs. Our goal was to determine the effects of Bromus tectorum (C3) invasion on soil microbial N cycling in adjacent non-invaded and invaded C3 and C4 native arid grasslands. We monitored resin-extractable N, plant and soil δ13C and δ15N, gross rates of inorganic N mineralization and consumption, and the quantity and isotopic composition of microbial phospholipid biomarkers. In invaded C3 communities, labile soil organic N and gross and net rates of soil N transformations increased, indicating an increase in overall microbial N cycling. In invaded C4 communities labile soil N stayed constant, but gross N flux rates increased. The δ13C of phospholipid biomarkers in invaded C4 communities showed that some portion of the soil bacterial population preferentially decomposed invader C3-derived litter over that from the native C4 species. Invasion in C4 grasslands also significantly decreased the proportion of fungal to bacterial phospholipid biomarkers. Different processes are occurring in response to B. tectorum invasion in each of these two native grasslands that: 1) alter the size of soil N pools, and/or 2) the activity of the microbial community. Both processes provide mechanisms for altering long-term N dynamics in these ecosystems and highlight how multiple mechanisms can lead to similar effects on ecosystem function, which may be important for the construction of future biogeochemical process models.

  8. Mapping and monitoring cheatgrass dieoff in rangelands of the Northern Great Basin, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boyte, Stephen P.; Wylie, Bruce K.; Major, Donald J.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) dynamics in the Northern Great Basin rangelands, USA, is necessary to effectively manage the region’s lands. This study’s goal was to map and monitor cheatgrass performance to identify where and when cheatgrass dieoff occurred in the Northern Great Basin and to discover how this phenomenon was affected by climatic, topographic, and edaphic variables. We also examined how fire affected cheatgrass performance. Land managers and scientists are concerned by cheatgrass dieoff because it can increase land degradation, and its causes and effects are not fully known. To better understand the scope of cheatgrass dieoff, we developed multiple ecological models that integrated remote sensing data with geophysical and biophysical data. The models’ R2 ranged from 0.71 to 0.88, and their root mean squared errors (RMSEs) ranged from 3.07 to 6.95. Validation of dieoff data showed that 41% of pixels within independently developed dieoff polygons were accurately classified as dieoff, whereas 2% of pixels outside of dieoff polygons were classified as dieoff. Site potential, a long-term spatial average of cheatgrass cover, dominated the development of the cheatgrass performance model. Fire negatively affected cheatgrass performance 1 year postfire, but by the second year postfire performance exceeded prefire levels. The landscape-scale monitoring study presented in this paper helps increase knowledge about recent rangeland dynamics, including where cheatgrass dieoffs occurred and how cheatgrass responded to fire. This knowledge can help direct further investigation and/or guide land management activities that can capitalize on, or mitigate the effects of, cheatgrass dieoff.

  9. Effect of repeated burning on plant and soil carbon and nitrogen in cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) dominated ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background and Aims Fire has profound effects on ecosystem properties, but few studies have addressed the effect of repeated burns on soil nutrients, and none have been conducted in cold desert ecosystems where invasion by exotic annual grasses is resulting in greater fire frequency. In a 5 year stu...

  10. Cheatgrass percent cover change: Comparing recent estimates to climate change − Driven predictions in the Northern Great Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boyte, Stephen P.; Wylie, Bruce K.; Major, Donald J.

    2016-01-01

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) is a highly invasive species in the Northern Great Basin that helps decrease fire return intervals. Fire fragments the shrub steppe and reduces its capacity to provide forage for livestock and wildlife and habitat critical to sagebrush obligates. Of particular interest is the greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), an obligate whose populations have declined so severely due, in part, to increases in cheatgrass and fires that it was considered for inclusion as an endangered species. Remote sensing technologies and satellite archives help scientists monitor terrestrial vegetation globally, including cheatgrass in the Northern Great Basin. Along with geospatial analysis and advanced spatial modeling, these data and technologies can identify areas susceptible to increased cheatgrass cover and compare these with greater sage grouse priority areas for conservation (PAC). Future climate models forecast a warmer and wetter climate for the Northern Great Basin, which likely will force changing cheatgrass dynamics. Therefore, we examine potential climate-caused changes to cheatgrass. Our results indicate that future cheatgrass percent cover will remain stable over more than 80% of the study area when compared with recent estimates, and higher overall cheatgrass cover will occur with slightly more spatial variability. The land area projected to increase or decrease in cheatgrass cover equals 18% and 1%, respectively, making an increase in fire disturbances in greater sage grouse habitat likely. Relative susceptibility measures, created by integrating cheatgrass percent cover and temporal standard deviation datasets, show that potential increases in future cheatgrass cover match future projections. This discovery indicates that some greater sage grouse PACs for conservation could be at heightened risk of fire disturbance. Multiple factors will affect future cheatgrass cover including changes in precipitation timing and totals and

  11. Impact of prescribed fire and other factors on cheatgrass persistence in a Sierra Nevada ponderosa pine forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, J.E.; McGinnis, T.W.

    2007-01-01

    Following the reintroduction of fire Bromus tectorum has invaded the low elevation ponderosa pine forests in parts of Kings Canyon National Park, California. We used prescribed burns, other field manipulations, germination studies, and structural equation modelling, to investigate how fire and other factors affect the persistence of cheatgrass in these forests. Our studies show that altering burning season to coincide with seed maturation is not likely to control cheatgrass because sparse fuel loads generate low fire intensity. Increasing time between prescribed fires may inhibit cheatgrass by increasing surface fuels (both herbaceous and litter), which directly inhibit cheatgrass establishment, and by creating higher intensity fires capable of killing a much greater fraction of the seed bank. Using structural equation modelling, postfire cheatgrass dominance was shown to be most strongly controlled by the prefire cheatgrass seedbank; other factors include soil moisture, fire intensity, soil N, and duration of direct sunlight. Current fire management goals in western conifer forests are focused on restoring historical fire regimes; however, these frequent fire regimes may enhance alien plant invasion in some forest types. Where feasible, fire managers should consider the option of an appropriate compromise between reducing serious fire hazards and exacerbating alien plant invasions. ?? IAWF 2007.

  12. Cheatgrass and Grazing Rangelands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Charles Elliot Fleming was one of the first scientists to work on the western range. In 1946 he published a series of questions concerning grazing of the exotic annual cheatgrass (Bromus tectorm), which had invaded millions of acres of the western rangelands. The introduction and subsequent invasi...

  13. Crested wheatgrass-cheatgrass seedling competition in a mixed-density design

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Francis, Mark G.; Pyke, David A.

    1996-01-01

    Plant competition experiments have historically used designs that are difficult to interpret due to confounding problems. Recently, designs based on a 'response function' approach have been proposed and tested in various plant mixture settings. For this study, 3 species were used that are important in current revegetation practices in the Intermountain West. 'Nordan' (Agropyron desertorum [Fish. ex Link] Shult.) and 'Hycrest' (A. cristatum [L.] Gaertn. x desertorum) crested wheatgrass are commonly-used revegetation species on rangelands susceptible to cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) invasion, although little quantitative data exist that compare their competitive abilities. We evaluated the competitive ability of Hycrest and Nordan seedlings in 2-species mixtures with cheatgrass in a greenhouse study. Linear and nonlinear models were developed for a range of densities (130- 520 seeds m-2) for each species to predict median above-ground biomass and tiller numbers and to further test the usefulness of this design for evaluating species to rehabilitate rangelands. In both experiments, increasing Hycrest and Nordan densities reduced their own biomass and tiller production while increasing Hycrest densities reduced cheatgrass biomass and tiller production. Nordan did not affect cheatgrass biomass and tiller production. However, increasing cheatgrass densities reduced Hycrest and Nordan biomass and tiller production, and its own biomass and tiller production. The competition index i.e. substitution rate, indicated that Hycrest seedlings were better competitors with cheatgrass than Nordan, although in all mixtures, cheatgrass plants were the superior competitors. Further field research using this design, where environmental inputs are less optimal and diverse, is needed to validate these results and to further evaluate the use of this approach in examining effects of intra- and interspecific competition.

  14. Despite spillover, a shared pathogen promotes native plant persistence in a cheatgrass-invaded grassland.

    PubMed

    Mordecai, Erin A

    2013-12-01

    How pathogen spillover influences host community diversity and composition is poorly understood. Spillover occurs when transmission from a reservoir host species drives infection in another host species. In cheatgrass-invaded grasslands in the western United States, a fungal seed pathogen, black fingers of death (Pyrenophora semeniperda), spills over from exotic cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) to native perennial bunchgrasses such as squirreltail (Elymus elymoides). Previous theoretical work based on this system predicts that pathogens that spill over can favor either host coexistence, the exclusion of either host species, or priority effects, depending on species-specific transmission rates and pathogen tolerance. Here, these model predictions were tested by parameterizing a population growth model with field data from Skull Valley, Utah, USA. The model suggests that, across the observed range of demographic variation, the pathogen is most likely to provide a net benefit to squirreltail and a net cost to cheatgrass, though both effects are relatively weak. Although cheatgrass (the reservoir host) is more tolerant, squirreltail is far less susceptible to infection, and its long-lived adult stage buffers population growth against seed losses to the pathogen. This work shows that, despite pathogen spillover, the shared pathogen promotes native grass persistence by reducing exotic grass competition. Counterintuitively, the reservoir host does not necessarily benefit from the presence of the pathogen, and may even suffer greater costs than the nonreservoir host. Understanding the consequences of shared pathogens for host communities requires weighing species differences in susceptibility, transmission, and tolerance using quantitative models. PMID:24597221

  15. Biotic soil crusts in relation to topography, cheatgrass, and fire in the Columbia Basin, Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ponzetti, Jeanne; McCune, B.; Pyke, David A.

    2007-01-01

    We studied lichen and bryophyte soil crust communities in a large public grazing allotment within a sagebrush steppe ecosystem in which the biotic soil crusts are largely intact. The allotment had been rested from grazing for 12 years, but experienced an extensive series of wildfires. In the 350, 4 ?? 0.5 m plots, stratified by topographic position, we found 60 species or species groups that can be distinguished in the field with a hand lens, averaging 11.5 species groups per plot. Lichen and bryophyte soil crust communities differed among topographic positions. Draws were the most disturbed, apparently from water erosion in a narrow channel and mass wasting from the steepened sides. Presumably because of this disturbance, draws had the lowest average species richness of all the topographic strata we examined. Biotic crust species richness and cover were inversely related to cover of the invasive annual, cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), and positively related to cover of native bunchgrasses. Integrity of the biotic crust was more strongly related to cheatgrass than to fire. In general, we observed good recovery of crusts following fire, but only in those areas dominated by perennial bunchgrasses. We interpret the resilience of the biotic crust, in this case, to the low abundance of cheatgrass, low amounts of soil disturbance and high moss cover. These fires have not resulted in an explosion of the cheatgrass population, perhaps because of the historically low levels of livestock grazing.

  16. Cheatgrass is favored by warming but not CO2 enrichment in a semi-arid grassland.

    PubMed

    Blumenthal, Dana M; Kray, Julie A; Ortmans, William; Ziska, Lewis H; Pendall, Elise

    2016-09-01

    Elevated CO2 and warming may alter terrestrial ecosystems by promoting invasive plants with strong community and ecosystem impacts. Invasive plant responses to elevated CO2 and warming are difficult to predict, however, because of the many mechanisms involved, including modification of phenology, physiology, and cycling of nitrogen and water. Understanding the relative and interactive importance of these processes requires multifactor experiments under realistic field conditions. Here, we test how free-air CO2 enrichment (to 600 ppmv) and infrared warming (+1.5 °C day/3 °C night) influence a functionally and phenologically distinct invasive plant in semi-arid mixed-grass prairie. Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass), a fast-growing Eurasian winter annual grass, increases fire frequency and reduces biological diversity across millions of hectares in western North America. Across 2 years, we found that warming more than tripled B. tectorum biomass and seed production, due to a combination of increased recruitment and increased growth. These results were observed with and without competition from native species, under wet and dry conditions (corresponding with tenfold differences in B. tectorum biomass), and despite the fact that warming reduced soil water. In contrast, elevated CO2 had little effect on B. tectorum invasion or soil water, while reducing soil and plant nitrogen (N). We conclude that (1) warming may expand B. tectorum's phenological niche, allowing it to more successfully colonize the extensive, invasion-resistant northern mixed-grass prairie, and (2) in ecosystems where elevated CO2 decreases N availability, CO2 may have limited effects on B. tectorum and other nitrophilic invasive species. PMID:27090757

  17. Competitive seedlings and inherited traits: a test of rapid evolution of Elymus multisetus (big squirreltail) in response to cheatgrass invasion

    PubMed Central

    Rowe, Courtney L J; Leger, Elizabeth A

    2011-01-01

    Widespread invasion by Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) in the Intermountain West has drastically altered native plant communities. We investigated whether Elymus multisetus (big squirreltail) is evolving in response to invasion and what traits contribute to increased performance. Seedlings from invaded areas exhibited significantly greater tolerance to B. tectorum competition and a greater ability to suppress B. tectorum biomass than seedlings from adjacent uninvaded areas. To identify potentially adaptive traits, we examined which phenological and phenotypic traits were correlated with seedling performance within the uninvaded area, determined their genetic variation by measuring sibling resemblance, and asked whether trait distribution had shifted in invaded areas. Increased tolerance to competition was correlated with early seedling root to shoot ratio, root fork number, and fine root length. Root forks differed among families, but none of these traits differed significantly across invasion status. Additionally, we surveyed more broadly for traits that varied between invaded and uninvaded areas. Elymus multisetus plants collected from invaded areas were smaller, allocated more biomass to roots, and produced a higher percentage of fine roots than plants from uninvaded areas. The ability of native populations to evolve in response to invasion has significant implications for the management and restoration of B. tectorum-invaded communities. PMID:25567997

  18. Assessing resilience and state-transition models with historical records of cheatgrass Bromus tectorum invasion in North American sagebrush-steppe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    1. Resilience-based approaches are increasingly being called upon to inform ecosystem management, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions. This requires management frameworks that can assess ecosystem dynamics, both within and between alternative states, at relevant time scales. 2. We analysed l...

  19. Soil Seed Bank Responses to Postfire Herbicide and Native Seeding Treatments Designed to Control Bromus tectorum in a Pinyon–Juniper Woodland at Zion National Park, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, Matthew L.; Hondo Brisbin, graduate student; Andrea Thode, Associate Professor; Karen Weber, graduate student

    2013-01-01

    The continued threat of an invasive, annual brome (Bromus) species in the western United States has created the need for integrated approaches to postfire restoration. Additionally, the high germination rate, high seed production, and seed bank carryover of annual bromes points to the need to assay soil seed banks as part of monitoring programs. We sampled the soil seed bank to help assess the effectiveness of treatments utilizing the herbicide Plateau® (imazapic) and a perennial native seed mix to control annual Bromus species and enhance perennial native plant establishment following a wildfire in Zion National Park, Utah. This study is one of few that have monitored the effects of imazapic and native seeding on a soil seed bank community and the only one that we know of that has done so in a pinyon–juniper woodland. The study made use of untreated, replicated controls, which is not common for seed bank studies. One year posttreatment, Bromus was significantly reduced in plots sprayed with herbicide. By the second year posttreatment, the effects of imazapic were less evident and convergence with the controls was evident. Emergence of seeded species was low for the duration of the study. Dry conditions and possible interactions with imazapic probably contributed to the lack of emergence of seeded native species. The perennial grass sand dropseed outperformed the other species included in the seed mix. We also examined how the treatments affected the soil seed bank community as a whole. We found evidence that the herbicide was reducing several native annual forbs and one nonnative annual forb. However, overall effects on the community were not significant. The results of our study were similar to what others have found in that imazapic is effective in providing a short-term reduction in Bromus density, although it can impact emergence of nontarget species.

  20. Stress-gradient hypothesis explains susceptibility to Bromus tectorum invasion and community stability in North America's semi-arid Artemisia tridentata wyomingensis ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reisner, Michael D.; Doescher, Paul S.; Pyke, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Results/Conclusions: Cattle herbivory, a novel disturbance and selective force, was a significant component of two overlapping stress gradients most strongly associated with observed shifts in interactions. Facilitation and competition were strongest and most frequent at the highest and lowest stress levels along both gradients, respectively. Contrasting ecological optima among native and non-native beneficiaries led to strikingly different patterns of interactions. The four native bunchgrasses with the strongest competitive response abilities exhibited the strongest facilitation at their upper limits of stress tolerance, while the two non-natives exhibited the strongest competition at the highest stress levels, which coincided with their maximum abundance. Artemisia facilitation enhanced stability at intermediate stress levels by providing a refuge for native bunchgrasses, which in turn reduced the magnitude of B. tectorum invasion. However, facilitation was a destabilizing force at the highest stress levels when native bunchgrasses became obligate beneficiaries dependent on facilitation for their persistence. B. tectorum dominated these communities, and the next fire may convert them to annual grasslands.

  1. Nitrogen limitation, 15N tracer retention, and growth response in intact and Bromus tectorum-invaded Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Witwicki, Dana L.; Doescher, Paul S.; Pyke, David A.; DeCrappeo, Nicole M.; Perakis, Steven S.

    2012-01-01

    Annual grass invasion into shrub-dominated ecosystems is associated with changes in nutrient cycling that may alter nitrogen (N) limitation and retention. Carbon (C) applications that reduce plant-available N have been suggested to give native perennial vegetation a competitive advantage over exotic annual grasses, but plant community and N retention responses to C addition remain poorly understood in these ecosystems. The main objectives of this study were to (1) evaluate the degree of N limitation of plant biomass in intact versus B. tectorum-invaded sagebrush communities, (2) determine if plant N limitation patterns are reflected in the strength of tracer 15N retention over two growing seasons, and (3) assess if the strength of plant N limitation predicts the efficacy of carbon additions intended to reduce soil N availability and plant growth. Labile C additions reduced biomass of exotic annual species; however, growth of native A. tridentata shrubs also declined. Exotic annual and native perennial plant communities had divergent responses to added N, with B. tectorum displaying greater ability to use added N to rapidly increase aboveground biomass, and native perennials increasing their tissue N concentration but showing little growth response. Few differences in N pools between the annual and native communities were detected. In contrast to expectations, however, more 15N was retained over two growing seasons in the invaded annual grass than in the native shrub community. Our data suggest that N cycling in converted exotic annual grasslands of the northern Intermountain West, USA, may retain N more strongly than previously thought.

  2. Root interaction between Bromud tectorum and Poa pratensis: a three-dimensional analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Bookman, P.A.; Mack, R.N.

    1982-06-01

    The spatial distribution of roots of two alien grasses, Bromus tectorum and Poa pratensis, grown singly and in a mixture, was examined using a double-labelling radioisotope technique. Interactions between the root systems of these plants led to a restricted B. tectorum rooting volume in P. pratensis neighborhoods greater than or equal to30-d-old. The roots of B. tectorum failed to develop laterally. The altered B. tectorum root systems may contribute to its inability to persist in established P. pratensis swards.

  3. Using Current and Historic Climate Data and Bayesian Belief Networks to Predict Optimum Satellite Image Acquisition Periods for Detecting Cheatgrass on the Snake River Plain, Idaho

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rope, R. C.; Ames, D. P.; Jerry, T. D.; Cherry, S. J.

    2005-12-01

    Invasive plant species, such as Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass), cost the United States over $36 billion per year and have encroached upon over 100 million acres while impacting range site productivity, disturbing wildlife habitat, altering the wildland fire regime and frequencies, and reducing biodiversity. Because of these adverse impacts, federal, tribal, state, and county land managers are faced with the challenge of prevention, early detection, management, and monitoring of invasive plants. Often these managers rely on the analysis of remotely sensed imagery as part of their management plan. However, it's difficult to predict specific phenological events that allow for the spectral discrimination of invasive species using only remotely sensed imagery. To address this issue tools are being developed to model and view optimal periods to collect high spatial and/or spectral resolution remotely sensed data for refined detection and mapping of invasive species and for use as a decision support tool for land managers. These tools involve the integration of historic and current climate data (cumulative growing days and precipitation) satellite imagery (MODIS) and Bayesian Belief Networks, and a web ArcIMS application to distribute the information. The general approach is to issue an initial forecast early in the year based on the previous years' data. As the year progresses, air temperature, precipitation and newly acquired low resolution MODIS satellite imagery will be used to update the prediction. Updating will be accomplished using a Bayesian Belief Network model that indicates the probabilistic relationships between prior years' conditions and those of the current year. These tools have specific application in providing a means for which land managers can efficiently and effectively detect, map, and monitor invasive plant species, specifically cheatgrass, in western rangelands. This information can then be integrated into management studies and plans to help land

  4. Germination Characteristics Of Some Great Basin Native Annual Forb Species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Great Basin native plant communities are being replaced by the annual invasive cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum). Cheatgrass exhibits a germination syndrome that is characteristic of facultative winter annuals. Although perennials dominate these communities, native annuals are present in many sites. Germ...

  5. Herbicide efficacy and perennial grass establishment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) invasion has astronomically altered native plant communities throughout the Intermountain West. Cheatgrass truncates secondary succession by outcompeting native plant species for limited resources, thus building persistent seed banks to take advantage of conditions that...

  6. Rehabilitation of degraded rangelands: lessons learned

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The introduction and subsequent invasion of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) has had astronomical effects to Great Basin rangelands. Cheatgrass has truncated secondary succession by outcompeting native plant species for limited resources, thus building persistent seed banks that take advantage of condi...

  7. Ecosystem impacts of exotic annual invaders in the Genus Bromus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Germino, Matthew J.; Belnap, Jayne; Stark, John M.; Allen, Edith B.; Rau, Benjamin M.

    2016-01-01

    An understanding of the impacts of exotic plant species on ecosystems is necessary to justify and guide efforts to limit their spread, restore natives, and plan for conservation. Invasive annual grasses such as Bromus tectorum, B. rubens, B. hordeaceus, and B. diandrus (hereafter collectively referred to as Bromus) transform the structure and function of ecosystems they dominate. Experiments that prove cause-and-effect impacts of Bromus are rare, yet inferences can be gleaned from the combination of Bromus-ecosystem associations, ecosystem condition before/after invasion, and an understanding of underlying mechanisms. Bromus typically establishes in bare soil patches and can eventually replace perennials such as woody species or bunchgrasses, creating a homogeneous annual cover. Plant productivity and cover are less stable across seasons and years when Bromus dominates, due to a greater response to annual climate variability. Bromus’ “flash” of growth followed by senescence early in the growing season, combined with shallow rooting and annual habit, may lead to incomplete use of deep soil water, reduced C sequestration, and accelerated nutrient cycling. Litter produced by Bromus alters nearly all aspects of ecosystems and notably increases wildfire occurrence. Where Bromus has become dominant, it can decrease soil stability by rendering soils bare for months following fire or episodic, pathogen-induced stand failure. Bromus-invaded communities have lower species diversity, and associated species tend to be generalists adapted to unstable and variable habitats. Changes in litter, fire, and soil properties appear to feedback to reinforce Bromus’ dominance in a pattern that portends desertification.

  8. Studies on the reproductive biology of downy brome (Bromus tectorum)

    SciTech Connect

    Richardson, J.M.

    1986-01-01

    The ability of downy brome to successfully infest crop lands is partially due to its prolific nature. To better understand its reproductive biology, studies investigating (1) effects of temperature and photoperiod on flowering, (2) prevention of downy brome seed information with herbicides, and (3) effects of drought on reproduction, were conducted. Seedling vernalization was more effective than seed vernalization in promoting downy brome flowering. Vernalizing imbibed downy brome caryopses at 3 C for 0 to 30 days did not induce rapid flowering. Downy brome seedlings were exposed to six photoperiod/temperature treatments. After transfer to long days, plants from the short da/3 C treatment flowered within 30 days. DPX-Y6202 and fluazifop-butyl were tested for their ability to prevent seed formation in downy brome. Fluazifop-butyl prevented seed formation over a wider range of application rates and growth stages than did DPX-Y6202. Seed production was prevented most readily by herbicide applications made early in the reproductive cycle. Translocation of radiolabel was greater with /sup 14/C-fluazifop-butyl than with /sup 14/C-DPX-Y6202, particularly into developing spikelets. Microautoradiographic techniques were used to identify mechanisms involved in the prevention of downy brome seed formation by these herbicides. Tissue localization of both herbicides was similar. The highest concentration of radiolabel was found in developing pollen grains, suggesting that the herbicides prevented seed formation by interrupting pollen development or function. Water stress reduced apparent photosynthesis and increased diffusive resistance of flag leaves.

  9. Germination prediction from soil moisture and temperature in the Great Basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Preventing cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) dominance associated with frequent wildfires may depend on successful establishment of desirable species sown in rehabilitation and fuel control projects. Ranking potential species success to develop more performance-based species selection for revegetatio...

  10. Germination prediction from soil moisture and temperature data across the Great Basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Preventing cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) dominance associated with frequent wildfires depends, in part, on successful establishment of desirable species sown in fire rehabilitation and fuel control projects. We tested the effects of fire, herbicide applications, and mechanical treatments on predicte...

  11. Big sagebrush transplanting success in crested wheatgrass stands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The conversion of formerly big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentate ssp. wyomingensis)/bunchgrass communities to annual grass dominance, primarily cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), in Wyoming big sagebrush ecosystems has sparked the increasing demand to establish big sagebrush on disturbed rangelands. The e...

  12. Postfire seeding and plant community recovery in the Great Basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As wildland fire frequency increases around the globe, increased understanding of plant community recovery in burned landscapes is needed to improve effectiveness of rehabilitation efforts. We measured establishment of seeded species, colonization of Bromus tectorum L. (cheatgrass), and recovery of ...

  13. Nitrogen uptake by perennial and invasive annual grass seedlings: Nitrogen form effects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Infestation by exotic annual cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) and medusahead wildrye (Taeniatherum caput-medusae ssp. asperum [Simk.] Meldris) have decreased productivity and biological diversity and increased the frequency of rangeland wildfire in the Intermountain West. On disturbed sites, squirrel...

  14. Cheatgrass Dead Zones in Northern Nevada

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Reports of areas of cheatgrass die-off are becoming more frequent. In 2009, we investigated cheatgrass die-off in north-central Nevada. Dead zones ranged from several to hundreds of acres in size and were largely unvegetated and covered by cheatgrass litter with a distinct gray cast. We collected re...

  15. Hard traits of three Bromus species in their source area explain their current invasive success

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenesi, Annamária; Rédei, Tamás; Botta-Dukát, Zoltán

    2011-09-01

    We address two highly essential question using three Eurasian Bromus species with different invasion success in North America as model organisms: (1) why some species become invasive and others do not, and (2) which traits can confer pre-adaptation for species to become invasive elsewhere. While the morphology and phenology of the chosen bromes ( Bromus tectorum, Bromus sterilis and Bromus squarrosus) are highly similar, we measured complex traits often associated with invasive success: phenotypic plasticity, competitive ability and generalist-specialist character. We performed common-garden experiments, community- and landscape-level surveys in areas of co-occurrence in Central Europe (Hungary) that could have served as donor region for American introductions. According to our results, the three bromes are unequally equipped with trait that could enhance invasiveness. B. tectorum possesses several traits that may be especially relevant: it has uniquely high phenotypic plasticity, as demonstrated in a nitrogen addition experiment, and it is a habitat generalist, thriving in a wide range of habitats, from semi-natural to degraded ones, and having the widest co-occurrence based niche-breadth. The strength of B. sterilis lies in its ability to use resources unexploited by other species. It can become dominant, but only in one non-natural habitat type, namely the understorey of the highly allelopathic stands of the invasive Robinia pseudoacacia. B. squarrosus is a habitat specialist with low competitive ability, always occurring with low coverage. This ranking of the species' abilities can explain the current spreading success of the three bromes on the North American continent, and highlight the high potential of prehistoric invaders (European archaeophytes) to become invasive elsewhere.

  16. Evaluating perennial grass competition as a management tool

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Evaluation of plant competition is highly dependent on life stage and cycle. One of the largest problems that Great Basin rangelands face is the competitive nature of the exotic and invasive annual grass, cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum). Advantages of cheatgrass are often attributed to large seed produ...

  17. Increased Seedling Vigor in 'Hycrest II' Crested Wheatgrass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    "Hycrest II' crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum L.) (Reg. No. CV-__, PI______). It has been estimated that cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) has displaced around 10 million ha of perennial vegetation within the Great Basin. The control of cheatgrass without replacement by desirable perennial sp...

  18. Assessment of horse creek conservation seeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Millions of acres of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)/bunchgrass communities have been invaded by the exotic and invasive annual, cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and require pro-active management to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires. The introduction of cheatgrass has increased the chance, ...

  19. Perennial grass dominance: creating a resilient plant community in an exotic annual grass invaded rangeland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Millions of hectares of western rangelands have been invaded by the exotic and invasive annual grass, cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum). Cheatgrass provides a fine-textured, early maturing fuel that has increased the chance, rate, spread and season of wildfire to public and private lands throughout the ...

  20. Downy Brome: evidence for soil engineering

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bromus tectorum L. (downy brome, cheatgrass) is an invasive Eurasian grass largely responsible for landscape level conversion of sagebrush/bunchgrass communities to annual grass dominance. We tested the hypothesis that B. tectorum alters or “engineers” the soil to favor its growth. The hypothesis wa...

  1. Transition from sagebrush steppe to annual grass (Bromus tectorum): influence on belowground carbon and nitrogen

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vegetation changes associated with climate shifts and anthropogenic disturbance have major impacts on biogeochemical cycling. Much of the interior western United States currently is dominated by sagebrush (Artemisia tridentate Nutt.) ecosystems. At low to intermediate elevations, sagebrush ecosystem...

  2. Bromus tectorum and native grass establishment under drought and warming in sagebrush steppe after fire

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fire and climate change are two important drivers of desert plant communities. Changes in precipitation and temperature due to climate change will create novel environmental conditions that will likely affect post-fire plant establishment, invasions, and eventually alter plant community assemblages....

  3. Soil engineering facilitates Downy brome (Bromus tectorum L.) growth - A case study

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Some exotic plants are able to engineer new host soils and engender characteristics that potentially increase their growth. We hypothesized that this positive feedback may be a facet in the competitiveness of the exotic annual grass downy brome. Using rhizotrons in the greenhouse, we compared the gr...

  4. Post-fire Downy Brome (Bromus tectorum) invasion at high elevation in Wyoming

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The invasive annual grass downy brome is the most ubiquitous weed in sagebrush systems of western North America. The center of invasion has largely been the Great Basin region, but there is an increasing abundance and distribution in the Rocky Mountain States. We evaluated post-fire vegetation chang...

  5. Effects of soil amendments on germination and emergence of downy brome (Bromus tectorum) and Hilaria jamesii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.; Sherrod, S.K.; Miller, M.E.

    2003-01-01

    Downy brome is an introduced Mediterranean annual grass that now dominates millions of hectares of western U.S. rangelands. The presence of this grass has eliminated many native species and accelerated wildfire cycles. The objective of this study was to identify soil additives that allowed germination but inhibited emergence of downy brome, while not affecting germination or emergence of the native perennial grass Hilaria jamesii. On the basis of data from previous studies, we focused on additives that altered the availability of soil nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Most water-soluble treatments inhibited downy brome germination and emergence. We attribute the inhibitory effects of these treatments to excessive salinity and ion-specific effects of the additives themselves. An exception to this was oxalic acid, which showed no effect. Most water-insoluble treatments had no effect in soils with high P but did have an effect in soils with low P. Zeolite was effective regardless of P level, probably due to the high amounts of Na+ it added to the soil solution. Most treatments at higher concentrations resulted in lower downy brome emergence rates in soils currently dominated by downy brome than in uninvaded (but theoretically invadable) Hilaria soils. This difference is possibly attributable to inherent differences in labile soil P. In Stifa soils, where Stipa spp. grow, but which are generally considered to be uninvadable by downy brome, additions of high amounts of N resulted in lower emergence. This may have been an effect of NH4+ interference with uptake of K or other cations or toxicity of high N. We also saw a positive relationship between downy brome emergence and pH in Stipa soils. Hilaria development parameters were not as susceptible to the treatments, regardless of concentration, as downy brome. Our results suggest that there are additions that may be effective management tools for inhibiting downy brome in calcareous soils, including (1) high salt applications, (2) K-reducing additions (e.g., Mg), and (3) P-reducing additions.

  6. Variable Impacts of Imazapic on Downy Brome (Bromus Tectorum) and Seeded Species in Two Rangeland Communities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the Great Basin desert of North America, over 20 million acres of land have been invaded by downy brome. A common control measure includes herbicide use combined with seeding of desirable species. The herbicide imazapic is registerred for use on rangelands and provides effective short-term cont...

  7. Suppression of cheatgrass by established perennial grasses: I. mechanisms

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cheatgrass is often considered a competitive species. In a greenhouse experiment using rhizotrons, we tested the effect of established perennial grasses (Indian ricegrass, creeping wildrye, and Snake River wheatgrass) on the growth of cheatgrass. The soil was a sandy loam A horizon of a Xeric Haploc...

  8. The effect of sucrose application on soil nutrient availability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil nutrient availability is a principal factor constraining the invasiveness of exotic weeds such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.). The soil microbial community is generally C limited; thus, providing a labile C source can cause microbes to proliferate and immobilize soil nutrients, particularly...

  9. Wildlife Habitat Improvement Using Range Improvement Practices

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wildfires in the Intermountain West are and annual event. The introduction and subsequent invasion of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) onto millions of hectares of rangelands throughout the West has resulted in devastating wildfires. With each passing wildfire season more and more critical wildlife habi...

  10. Hydrologic and erosion responses to wildfire along the rangeland-xeric forest continuum in the western US: a review and model of hydrologic vulnerability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The recent increased wildfire activity across the rangeland-xeric forest continuum in the western United States presents landscape-scale consequences relative to runoff and erosion. Concomitant cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) invasions, plant community transitions, and a warming climate in recent de...

  11. EXPERIENCING THE SUCCESS AND FAILURES OF RANGELAND RESTORATION/REVEGETATION

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Anyone who has ever attempted to restore (native species) or revegetate (introduced species) disturbed arid rangelands knows the frustration inherent in such efforts. Exotic species such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae) significantly add to the complicatio...

  12. Monitoring invasive species using 1-mm GSD geocoded aerial surveys: a cost effective means of getting details, locations, and sample numbers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Half a century ago Aldo Leopold observed, “It is impossible fully to protect cheat country from fire...,” and chided, “We tilt windmills in behalf of conservation in convention halls... but on the back forty we disclaim even owning a lance.” “Lances” effective against cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.)...

  13. Revegetation potential of Great Basin native annuals and perennial grasses: Does facilitation occur?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Revegetation of degraded Great Basin rangelands is a challenging task. In an already unforgiving environment the addition of exotic invasive annual weeds, such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) have added to this challenge. Increasing interest in plant facilitation research has suggested using nati...

  14. Suppressing downy brome following wildfires

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Downy brome (Bromus tectorum), more widely known as cheatgrass, has invaded millions of hectares of rangelands throughout the Intermountain West. Downy brome provides an early maturing, fine-textured fuel that has increased the chance, rate, season and spread of wildfires. In July 2006, a wildfire b...

  15. Evaluation of regionally-collected sideoats grama and big galleta grass for wildfire revegetation in the Eastern Upper Mojave Desert

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increased wildfires in the western U.S. are due to the cyclic accumulation and burning of invasive annual plants such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and red brome (B. rubens), which reduces native rangeland species and results in servere economic losses and land degradation. Fire was not prevalent...

  16. Supplemental description of Paraphelenchus acontioides Taylor and Pillai, (Tylenchida: Paraphelenchidae), with ribosomal DNA trees and a morphometric compendium of female Paraphelenchus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nematodes were isolated from surface-sterilized stems of cheatgrass, Bromus tectorum L. (Poaceae) in Colorado, grown on Fusarium (Hypocreaceae) fungus culture, and identified as Paraphelenchus acontioides Taylor and Pillai, 1967. Morphometrics and micrographic morphology of this species are given t...

  17. Weed-suppressive bacteria to reduce annual grass weeds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.), medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae [L.] Nevski) and jointed goatgrass (Aegilops cylindrica L.) are exotic, annual grasses that negatively affect cereal production in cropland; reduce protein-rich forage for cattle; choke out native plants in the shrub-steppe habi...

  18. Evaluation of regionally-collected sideoats grams and big galleta grass for wildfire revegetation in the Eastern Upper Mojave Desert

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increased wildfires in the western U.S. are due to the cyclic accumulation and burning of invasive annual plants such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and red brome (B. rubens), which reduces native rangeland species and results in severe economic losses and land degradation. Fire was not prevalent ...

  19. Characteristics that determine a successful squirreltail (Elymus elymoides)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The successful rehabilitation of degraded cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) dominated Wyoming Big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata spp. Wyomingensis) communities hinge on the establishment of long-lived perennial grasses. While we have been successful with using introduced perennial grasses (i.e. Siberian...

  20. The effects of precipitation and soil type on three invasive annual grasses in the western United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sagebrush-steppe ecosystems in the Great Basin are highly susceptible to annual grass invasion. Large regions are covered by Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass), but there has been a recent upsurge in the abundance and distribution of Taeniatherum caput-medusae (medusahead) and Ventenata dubia (ventenata)....

  1. Integrated management of downy brome in winter wheat

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Downy brome (Bromus tectorum L.), also known as cheatgrass, was introduced into North America from the Mediterranean area of Europe. It was first identified in the eastern United States in 1861, and by 1914 this invasive weed had spread throughout the continent. Downy brome is adapted to climates wi...

  2. The effects of downy brome invasion on mule deer habitat

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Downy brome (Bromus tectorum), also widely known as cheatgrass, is a highly invasive exotic weed that has spread over millions of hectares of rangelands throughout the Intermountain West. Native to Eurasia, this early maturing annual provides a fine textured fuel that increases the chance, rate, sea...

  3. Breeding Strategies for the Development of Native Grasses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vast areas of semiarid rangelands in western USA are severely degraded and infested with troublesome weeds such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) and medusahead rye (Taeniatherum asperum (Sim.) Nevski). Re-seeding with appropriate plant materials that are adapted to the site and competitive enough...

  4. The tri-soil experiment: do plants discriminate among vegetation soil types?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We tested if rooting mass and root nutrient uptake of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) or creeping wildrye (Leymus triticoides) were influenced by vegetation soil type. Three soil types (A horizons), similar in gross physical and chemical properties, were freshly-collected. The soils varied in the veget...

  5. Conservation seeding and diverse seed species performance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The rehabilitation of degraded big sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) communities infested with cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and other competitive weeds is a daunting task facing resource managers and land owners. In an effort to improve wildlife and livestock forage on degraded rangelands, the USDA-ARS-Gr...

  6. Ecology, genetics, and biological control of invasive annual grasses in the Great Basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Several annual grass species native to Eurasia, including cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), red brome (B. rubens), and medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae) have become invasive in the western USA. These invasive species degrade rangelands by compromising forage, outcompeting native flora, and exacerb...

  7. The importance of persistent monitoring of great basin rangeland rehabilitation efforts

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    It has long been acknowledged the drastic change in fire cycles of the Great Basin rangelands due to cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) invasion (Billings 1952, Young and Evans 1974, Wright 1980). An annual grass fire cycle now exists with return intervals less than 5 years compared to historical 60 to110...

  8. Lignans from the rhizomes of Iris tectorum.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chun-Lei; Wang, Yan; Liu, Yan-Fei; Liang, Dong; Hao, Zhi-You; Luo, Huan; Chen, Ruo-Yun; Yu, De-Quan

    2016-01-01

    Chemical examination of the ethanol extract of rhizomes of Iris tectorum led to the isolation and characterization of three new lignans, (7R,7'R,8S,8'S)-5'-methoxy-neo-olivil (1a), (7S,7'S,8R,8'R) -5'-methoxy-neo-olivil (1b), (7S,7'R,8S,8'S)-neo-olivil (2a), (7R,7'S,8R,8'R)-neo-olivil (2b), (7R,7'R,8S,8'S,7''S,8''S)-threo-neo-olivil-4'-O-8-guaiacylglycerol ether (3), together with six known ones (4-9). Among them, compounds 1 and 2 were found to be racemic mixtures, respectively, which were verified by chiral HPLC analysis, compound 3 was a new sesquineolignan. The structures were elucidated on the basis of extensive spectroscopic analysis. To our knowledge, this is the first report of lignan constituents isolated from I. tectorum. All compounds were evaluated for their cytotoxicity against five human tumor cell lines and none of them displayed significant toxicity in tested cell lines at a concentration of 10 μM. PMID:26625840

  9. Plant community resistance to invasion by Bromus species – the roles of community attributes, Bromus Interactions with plant communities, and Bromus traits

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chambers, Jeanne; Germino, Matthew; Belnap, Jayne; Brown, Cynthia; Schupp, Eugene W.; St. Clair, Samuel B

    2016-01-01

    The factors that determine plant community resistance to exotic annual Bromus species (Bromushereafter) are diverse and context specific. They are influenced by the environmental characteristics and attributes of the community, the traits of Bromus species, and the direct and indirect interactions of Bromus with the plant community. Environmental factors, in particular ambient and soil temperatures, have significant effects on the ability of Bromus to establish and spread. Seasonality of precipitation relative to temperature influences plant community resistance toBromus through effects on soil water storage, timing of water and nutrient availability, and dominant plant life forms. Differences among plant communities in how well soil resource use by the plant community matches resource supply rates can influence the magnitude of resource fluctuations due to either climate or disturbance and thus the opportunities for invasion. The spatial and temporal patterns of resource availability and acquisition of growth resources by Bromus versus native species strongly influence resistance to invasion. Traits of Bromus that confer a “priority advantage” for resource use in many communities include early-season germination and high growth and reproductive rates. Resistance to Bromus can be overwhelmed by high propagule supply, low innate seed dormancy, and large, if short-lived, seed banks. Biological crusts can inhibit germination and establishment of invasive annual plants, including several annual Bromus species, but are effective only in the absence of disturbance. Herbivores can have negative direct effects on Bromus, but positive indirect effects through decreases in competitors. Management strategies can be improved through increased understanding of community resistance to exotic annual Bromus species.

  10. Simulating effects of cheatgrass invasion on native bunchgrass productivity under different precipitation scenarios

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Preventing the spread of cheatgrass is a high priority for natural resource managers in the western United States. Cheatgrass invasion is deleterious in numerous ways, including diminishing local biodiversity, increasing fire risks, and lowering carrying capacity. Because management is expensive, ...

  11. Small mammals of a bitterbrush-cheatgrass community

    SciTech Connect

    Gano, K.A.; Rickard, W.H.

    1982-01-01

    Small mammals were live-trapped in burned and unburned segments of a bitterbrush-cheatgrass community during the years 1974-1979. Results indicate that the shrub-dominated unburned area supports about three times as many small mammals as the cheatgrass-dominated burned area. Species composition was similar in both areas with the exception of one ground squirrel (Spermophilus townsendii) captured on the unburned area. Other species caught were the Great Basin pocket mouse (Perognathus parvus), deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), northern grasshopper mouse (Onychomys leucogaster), and the western harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys megalotis).

  12. Effects of resource availability and propagule supply on native species recruitment in sagebrush ecosystems invaded by Bromus tectorum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Resource availability and propagule supply are major factors influencing establishment and persistence of both native and invasive species. Increased soil nitrogen availability and high propagule inputs contribute to the ability of annual invasive grasses to dominate disturbed ecosystems. Nitrogen r...

  13. Control of Downy brome (Bromus tectorum) and Medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae) With Rangeland Herbicides in Northeastern California

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Downy brome and medusahead are the most problematic invasive annual grasses in rangelands of the western United States. In this study, we evaluated the effect of three fall-applied, and one spring-applied, herbicides or combinations on the control of these two invasive grasses in a sagebrush communi...

  14. Pre-fire grazing by cattle increases postfire resistance to exotic annual grass (Bromus tectorum) invasion and dominance for decades

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    1. Fire, herbivory and their interaction influence plant community dynamics. However, little is known about the influence of pre-fire herbivory on post-fire plant community response, particularly long-term resilience to post-fire exotic plant invasion in areas that historically experienced limited ...

  15. Seeding Cool-Season Grasses to Suppress Broom Snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae), Downy Brome (Bromus tectorum), and Weedy Forbs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Broom snakeweed is an aggressive native range weed found throughout semi-arid areas of the western U.S., and increases following disturbances such as overgrazing, drought, or wildfires. Ecologically based strategies that include controlling snakeweed and reestablishing desirable herbaceous species a...

  16. Resilience to stress and disturbance, and resistance to Bromus tectorum l. invasion in cold desert shrublands of western North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chambers, Jeanne C.; Bradley, Bethany A.; Brown, Cynthia S.; D'Antonio, Carla; Germino, Matthew J.; Grace, James B.; Hardegree, Stuart P.; Miller, Richard F.; Pyke, David A.

    2013-01-01

    Alien grass invasions in arid and semi-arid ecosystems are resulting in grass–fire cycles and ecosystem-level transformations that severely diminish ecosystem services. Our capacity to address the rapid and complex changes occurring in these ecosystems can be enhanced by developing an understanding of the environmental factors and ecosystem attributes that determine resilience of native ecosystems to stress and disturbance, and resistance to invasion. Cold desert shrublands occur over strong environmental gradients and exhibit significant differences in resilience and resistance. They provide an excellent opportunity to increase our understanding of these concepts. Herein, we examine a series of linked questions about (a) ecosystem attributes that determine resilience and resistance along environmental gradients, (b) effects of disturbances like livestock grazing and altered fire regimes and of stressors like rapid climate change, rising CO2, and N deposition on resilience and resistance, and (c) interacting effects of resilience and resistance on ecosystems with different environmental conditions. We conclude by providing strategies for the use of resilience and resistance concepts in a management context. At ecological site scales, state and transition models are used to illustrate how differences in resilience and resistance influence potential alternative vegetation states, transitions among states, and thresholds. At landscape scales management strategies based on resilience and resistance—protection, prevention, restoration, and monitoring and adaptive management—are used to determine priority management areas and appropriate actions.

  17. Do cheatgrass, snake river wheatgrass, and crested wheatgrass sense different availabilities of N and P in soils conditioned by a cheatgrass invasion?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Long-term invasion by cheatgrass often increases availability of soil N and P thereby fostering increased competitive ability. We designed an experiment to test if cheatgrass (exotic annual), Snake River wheatgrass (native perennial), and crested wheatgrass (exotic perennial) all benefit from this e...

  18. Conversion of sagebrush shrublands to exotic annual grasslands negatively impacts small mammal communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ostoja, S.M.; Schupp, E.W.

    2009-01-01

    Aim The exotic annual cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is fast replacing sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) communities throughout the Great Basin Desert and nearby regions in the Western United States, impacting native plant communities and altering fire regimes, which contributes to the long-term persistence of this weedy species. The effect of this conversion on native faunal communities remains largely unexamined. We assess the impact of conversion from native perennial to exotic annual plant communities on desert rodent communities. Location Wyoming big sagebrush shrublands and nearby sites previously converted to cheatgrass-dominated annual grasslands in the Great Basin Desert, Utah, USA. Methods At two sites in Tooele County, Utah, USA, we investigated with Sherman live trapping whether intact sagebrush vegetation and nearby converted Bromus tectorum-dominated vegetation differed in rodent abundance, diversity and community composition. Results Rodent abundance and species richness were considerably greater in sagebrush plots than in cheatgrass-dominated plots. Nine species were captured in sagebrush plots; five of these were also trapped in cheatgrass plots, all at lower abundances than in the sagebrush. In contrast, cheatgrass-dominated plots had no species that were not found in sagebrush. In addition, the site that had been converted to cheatgrass longer had lower abundances of rodents than the site more recently converted to cheatgrass-dominated plots. Despite large differences in abundances and species richness, Simpson's D diversity and Shannon-Wiener diversity and Brillouin evenness indices did not differ between sagebrush and cheatgrass-dominated plots. Main conclusions This survey of rodent communities in native sagebrush and in converted cheatgrass-dominated vegetation suggests that the abundances and community composition of rodents may be shifting, potentially at the larger spatial scale of the entire Great Basin, where cheatgrass continues to invade

  19. Innovative techniques for weakening cheatgrass-wildfire feedbacks in the Colorado Plateau and the Great Basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Millions of hectares in the western United States have been negatively impacted by cheatgrass invasion, which transforms high-function ecosystems providing many ecosystem services into low-functioning areas. Once invasion begins, cheatgrass litter fuels increased wildfire frequency and extent, and w...

  20. Simulating Effects of Cheatgrass Invasion on Native Bunchgrass Productivity Under Different Precipitation Scenarios

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Preventing the spread of cheatgrass is a high priority for natural resource managers in the western United States. Cheatgrass invasion is deleterious in numerous ways, including diminishing local biodiversity, increasing fire risks, and lowering carrying capacity. Because management is expensive, it...

  1. The fitness costs of delayed germination and diminutive growth response of cheatgrass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The competitive ability of cheatgrass is often attributed to rapid early season germination. Our previous research has observed germination occurring from October through June near the Reno, Nevada ARS research location. In a controlled experiment we allowed cheatgrass to germinate naturally (Octo...

  2. Self-revegetation of disturbed ground in the deserts of Nevada and Washington

    SciTech Connect

    Rickard, W.H.; Sauer, R.H.

    1982-01-01

    Plant cover established without purposeful soil preparation or seeding was measured on ground disturbed by plowing in Washington and by aboveground nuclear explosions in Nevada. After a time lapse of three decades in Washington and two decades in Nevada, fewer species were self-established on the disturbed ground than the nearby undisturbed ground. Alien annual plants were the dominants on the disturbed ground. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) dominated abandoned fields in Washington, and filaree (Erodium cicutarium) dominated disturbed ground in Nevada. Perennial grasses and shrubs appeared to be more successful as invaders in Nevada than in Washington. This distinction is attributed to the superior competitive ability of cheatgrass in Washington.

  3. Hydrothermal emergence model for ripgut brome (Bromus diandrus)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A model that describes the emergence of ripgut brome (Bromus diandrus) was developed using a two-season data set from a no-tilled field in northeastern Spain. The relationship between cumulative emergence and hydrothermal time (HTT) was described by a sigmoid growth function (Chapman equation). HTT ...

  4. The invasive annual cheatgrass releases more nitrogen than crested wheatgrass through root exudation and senescence.

    PubMed

    Morris, Kendalynn A; Stark, John M; Bugbee, Bruce; Norton, Jeanette M

    2016-08-01

    Plant-soil feedbacks are an important aspect of invasive species success. One type of feedback is alteration of soil nutrient cycling. Cheatgrass invasion in the western USA is associated with increases in plant-available nitrogen (N), but the mechanism for this has not been elucidated. We labeled cheatgrass and crested wheatgrass, a common perennial grass in western rangelands, with (15)N-urea to determine if differences in root exudates and turnover could be a mechanism for increases in soil N. Mesocosms containing plants were either kept moist, or dried out during the final 10 days to determine the role of senescence in root N release. Soil N transformation rates were determined using (15)N pool dilution. After 75 days of growth, cheatgrass accumulated 30 % more total soil N and organic carbon than crested wheatgrass. Cheatgrass roots released twice as much N as crested wheatgrass roots (0.11 vs. 0.05 mg N kg(-1) soil day(-1)) in both soil moisture treatments. This occurred despite lower root abundance (7.0 vs. 17.3 g dry root kg(-1) soil) and N concentration (6.0 vs. 7.6 g N kg(-1) root) in cheatgrass vs. crested wheatgrass. We propose that increases in soil N pool sizes and transformation rates under cheatgrass are caused by higher rates of root exudation or release of organic matter containing relatively large amounts of labile N. Our results provide the first evidence for the underlying mechanism by which the invasive annual cheatgrass increases N availability and establishes positive plant-soil feedbacks that promote its success in western rangelands. PMID:26796411

  5. Negative Effects of an Exotic Grass Invasion on Small-Mammal Communities

    PubMed Central

    Freeman, Eric D.; Sharp, Tiffanny R.; Larsen, Randy T.; Knight, Robert N.; Slater, Steven J.; McMillan, Brock R.

    2014-01-01

    Exotic invasive species can directly and indirectly influence natural ecological communities. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is non-native to the western United States and has invaded large areas of the Great Basin. Changes to the structure and composition of plant communities invaded by cheatgrass likely have effects at higher trophic levels. As a keystone guild in North American deserts, granivorous small mammals drive and maintain plant diversity. Our objective was to assess potential effects of invasion by cheatgrass on small-mammal communities. We sampled small-mammal and plant communities at 70 sites (Great Basin, Utah). We assessed abundance and diversity of the small-mammal community, diversity of the plant community, and the percentage of cheatgrass cover and shrub species. Abundance and diversity of the small-mammal community decreased with increasing abundance of cheatgrass. Similarly, cover of cheatgrass remained a significant predictor of small-mammal abundance even after accounting for the loss of the shrub layer and plant diversity, suggesting that there are direct and indirect effects of cheatgrass. The change in the small-mammal communities associated with invasion of cheatgrass likely has effects through higher and lower trophic levels and has the potential to cause major changes in ecosystem structure and function. PMID:25269073

  6. Negative effects of an exotic grass invasion on small-mammal communities.

    PubMed

    Freeman, Eric D; Sharp, Tiffanny R; Larsen, Randy T; Knight, Robert N; Slater, Steven J; McMillan, Brock R

    2014-01-01

    Exotic invasive species can directly and indirectly influence natural ecological communities. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is non-native to the western United States and has invaded large areas of the Great Basin. Changes to the structure and composition of plant communities invaded by cheatgrass likely have effects at higher trophic levels. As a keystone guild in North American deserts, granivorous small mammals drive and maintain plant diversity. Our objective was to assess potential effects of invasion by cheatgrass on small-mammal communities. We sampled small-mammal and plant communities at 70 sites (Great Basin, Utah). We assessed abundance and diversity of the small-mammal community, diversity of the plant community, and the percentage of cheatgrass cover and shrub species. Abundance and diversity of the small-mammal community decreased with increasing abundance of cheatgrass. Similarly, cover of cheatgrass remained a significant predictor of small-mammal abundance even after accounting for the loss of the shrub layer and plant diversity, suggesting that there are direct and indirect effects of cheatgrass. The change in the small-mammal communities associated with invasion of cheatgrass likely has effects through higher and lower trophic levels and has the potential to cause major changes in ecosystem structure and function. PMID:25269073

  7. Increased Primary Production from an Exotic Invader Does Not Subsidize Native Rodents.

    PubMed

    Lucero, Jacob E; Allen, Phil S; McMillan, Brock R

    2015-01-01

    Invasive plants have tremendous potential to enrich native food webs by subsidizing net primary productivity. Here, we explored how a potential food subsidy, seeds produced by the aggressive invader cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), is utilized by an important guild of native consumers--granivorous small mammals--in the Great Basin Desert, USA. In a series of field experiments we examined 1) how cheatgrass invasion affects the density and biomass of seed rain at the ecosystem-level; 2) how seed resources from cheatgrass numerically affect granivorous small mammals; and 3) how the food preferences of native granivores might mediate the trophic integration of cheatgrass seeds. Relative to native productivity, cheatgrass invasion increased the density and biomass of seed rain by over 2000% (P < 0.01) and 3500% (P < 0.01), respectively. However, granivorous small mammals in native communities showed no positive response in abundance, richness, or diversity to experimental additions of cheatgrass seeds over one year. This lack of response correlated with a distinct preference for seeds from native grasses over seeds from cheatgrass. Our experiments demonstrate that increased primary productivity associated with exotic plant invasions may not necessarily subsidize consumers at higher trophic levels. In this context, cheatgrass invasion could disrupt native food webs by providing less-preferred resources that fail to enrich higher trophic levels. PMID:26244345

  8. Increased Primary Production from an Exotic Invader Does Not Subsidize Native Rodents

    PubMed Central

    Lucero, Jacob E.; Allen, Phil S.; McMillan, Brock R.

    2015-01-01

    Invasive plants have tremendous potential to enrich native food webs by subsidizing net primary productivity. Here, we explored how a potential food subsidy, seeds produced by the aggressive invader cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), is utilized by an important guild of native consumers – granivorous small mammals – in the Great Basin Desert, USA. In a series of field experiments we examined 1) how cheatgrass invasion affects the density and biomass of seed rain at the ecosystem-level; 2) how seed resources from cheatgrass numerically affect granivorous small mammals; and 3) how the food preferences of native granivores might mediate the trophic integration of cheatgrass seeds. Relative to native productivity, cheatgrass invasion increased the density and biomass of seed rain by over 2000% (P < 0.01) and 3500% (P < 0.01), respectively. However, granivorous small mammals in native communities showed no positive response in abundance, richness, or diversity to experimental additions of cheatgrass seeds over one year. This lack of response correlated with a distinct preference for seeds from native grasses over seeds from cheatgrass. Our experiments demonstrate that increased primary productivity associated with exotic plant invasions may not necessarily subsidize consumers at higher trophic levels. In this context, cheatgrass invasion could disrupt native food webs by providing less-preferred resources that fail to enrich higher trophic levels. PMID:26244345

  9. Cheatgrass invasion “engineers” the soil to facilitate its growth

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We tested the hypothesis that, over-time, cheatgrass occupation of a site, “engineers” the soil such that it is more favorable to its own growth. Testing was done in a greenhouse using rhizotrons (30 x 6 x 100 cm). Eight replicates each were filled with either freshly-collected soil occupied by wint...

  10. Evaluation of Radical Scavenging Activity of Sempervivum tectorum and Corylus avellana Extracts with Different Phenolic Composition.

    PubMed

    Alberti, Ágnes; Riethmüller, Eszter; Béni, Szabolcs; Kéry, Ágnes

    2016-04-01

    Semnpervivum tectorum L. and Corylus avellana L. are traditional herbal remedies exhibiting antioxidant activity and representing diverse phenolic composition. The aim of this study was to reveal the contribution of certain compounds to total radical scavenging activity by studying S. tectorum and C. avellana extracts prepared with solvents of different selectivity for diverse classes of phenolics. Antioxidant activity of S. tectorum and C. avellana samples was determined in the ABTS and DPPH radical scavenging assays, and phenolic composition was evaluated by high-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-ESI-MS/MS). Correlations between antioxidant activity and phenolic content of houseleek extracts have been revealed. Significant differences regarding antioxidant activity have been shown between S. tectorum 80% (v/v) methanol extract and its fractions. Additionally, synergism among the constituents present together in the whole extract was assumed. Significantly higher radical scavenging activity of hazel extracts has been attributed to the differences in phenolic composition compared with houseleek extracts. PMID:27396195

  11. The integration of geophysical and enhanced Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Normalized Difference Vegetation Index data into a rule-based, piecewise regression-tree model to estimate cheatgrass beginning of spring growth

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boyte, Stephen P.; Wylie, Bruce K.; Major, Donald J.; Brown, Jesslyn F.

    2015-01-01

    Cheatgrass exhibits spatial and temporal phenological variability across the Great Basin as described by ecological models formed using remote sensing and other spatial data-sets. We developed a rule-based, piecewise regression-tree model trained on 99 points that used three data-sets – latitude, elevation, and start of season time based on remote sensing input data – to estimate cheatgrass beginning of spring growth (BOSG) in the northern Great Basin. The model was then applied to map the location and timing of cheatgrass spring growth for the entire area. The model was strong (R2 = 0.85) and predicted an average cheatgrass BOSG across the study area of 29 March–4 April. Of early cheatgrass BOSG areas, 65% occurred at elevations below 1452 m. The highest proportion of cheatgrass BOSG occurred between mid-April and late May. Predicted cheatgrass BOSG in this study matched well with previous Great Basin cheatgrass green-up studies.

  12. Comparisons among species composition, leaf area, and water relations in three shrub-steppe plant communities

    SciTech Connect

    Link, S.O.; Kirkham, R.R.; Thiede, M.E.; Downs, J.L.; Gee, G.W.

    1987-03-01

    Observations were made on plant communities dominated by Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass site), Artemisia tridentata (sagebrush site), and Grayia spinosa (hopsage site). Leaf area on a ground area basis of sagebrush was nor significantly different between the sagebrush and hopsage sites; however, the leaf area of hopsage was one-quarter that of sagebrush at the hopsage site. Pre-dawn xylem water potential of sagebrush was -2.91 MPa, while that of hopsage was -4.79 MPa. Stomatal conductance and transpiration rate of sagebrush and hopsage were nearly the same. 11 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.

  13. Detecting Cheatgrass on the Colorado Plateau using Landsat data: A tutorial for the DESI software

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kokaly, Raymond F.

    2011-01-01

    Invasive plant species disrupt native ecosystems and cause economic harm to public lands. In this report, an example of applying the Detection of Early Season Invasives software to mapping cheatgrass infestations is given. A discussion of each step of the DESI process is given, including selection of Landsat images. Tutorial data, covering a semi-arid area in southern Utah, are distributed with this report. Tips on deriving the inputs required to run DESI are provided. An approach for evaluating and adjusting detection parameters by examining interim products of DESI is discussed.

  14. Karyotype and C-Banding Patterns of Mitotic Chromosomes in Meadow Bromegrass (Bromus riparius Rehm)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chromosomes of meadow bromegrass, Bromus riparius, are mainly median and similar in morphology. C-bands were located at telomeric regions of the chromosomes. Majority of the chromosomes had telomeric bands either in one or both arms. Approximately 10 chromosomes had no C-bands. Karyotype of meadow b...

  15. SEASONALITY OF ANNUAL PLANT ESTABLISHMENT INFLUENCES THE INTERACTIONBETWEEN THE NON-NATIVE ANNUAL GRASS BROMUS MADRITENSIS SSP. RUBENS AND MOJAVE DESERT PERENNIALS

    SciTech Connect

    L A. DEFALCO; G. C. FERNANDEZ; R. S. NOWAK

    2004-01-01

    Competition between native and non-native species can change the composition and structure of plant communities, but in deserts the timing of non-native plant establishment can modulate their impacts to native species. In a field experiment, we varied densities of the non-native annual grass Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens around individuals of three native perennials--Larrea iridentata, Achnatherum hymenoides, and Pleuraphis rigida--in either winter or spring. Additional plots were prepared for the Same perennial species and seasons, but with a mixture of native annual species. Relative growth rates of perennial shoots (RGRs) declined with increasing Bromus biomass when Bromus that was established in winter had 2-3 mo of growth and high water use before perennial growth began. However, this high water use did not significantly reduce water potentials for the perennials, suggesting Bromus that established earlier depleted other soil resources, such as N, otherwise used by perennial plants. Spring-established Bromus had low biomass even at higher densities and did not effectively reduce RGRs, resulting in an overall lower impact to perennials than when Bromus was established in winter. Similarly, growth and reproduction of perennials with mixed annuals as neighbors did not differ from those with Bromus neighbors of equivalent biomass, but densities of these annuals did not support the high biomass necessary to reduce perennial growth. Thus, impacts of native Mojave Desert annuals to perennials are expected to be lower than those of Bromus because seed dormancy and narrow requirements for seedling survivorship produce densities and biomass lower than those achieved by Bromus. In comparing the effects of Bromus among perennial species, the impact of increased Bromus biomass on RGR was lower for Larrea than for the two perennial grasses, probably because Lurrea maintains low growth rates throughout the year, even after Bromus has completed its life cycle. This contrasts

  16. The Jasper Ridge elevated CO{sub 2} experiment: Root acid phosphatase activity in Bromus hordeaceus and Avena barbata remains unchanged under elevated [CO{sub 2}

    SciTech Connect

    Cardon, Z.G.; Jackson, R.

    1995-06-01

    Root acid phosphatase activity increases phosphate available to plants by cleaving phosphate esters in soil organic matter. Because of increased plant growth potential under elevated [CO{sub 2}], we hypothesized that high [CO{sub 2}]-grown plants might exhibit higher phosphatase activity than low [CO{sub 2}]-grown plants. We assayed phosphatase activity in two species grown on two substrates (Bromus on serpentine soil and Bromus and Avena on sandstone soil) under high and low [CO{sub 2}] and under several nutrient treatments. Phosphatase activity was expressed per gram fresh weight of roots. Phosphatase activity of Bromus roots (on sandstone) was first assayed in treatments where only P and K, or only N, were added to soil. Bromus roots in this case showed strong induction of phosphatase activity when N only had been added to soil, indicating that Bromus regulated its phosphatase activity in response to phosphate availability. Both Bromus and Avena growing in sandstone, and Bromus growing in serpentine, showed enhanced phosphatase activity at high nutrient (N, P, and K) levels over that at low nutrient levels, but no differences between phosphatase activity were apparent between [CO{sub 2}] treatments. The increased phosphatase activity at high N, P, and K may indicate enhanced {open_quotes}growth demand{close_quotes} (reflected in higher biomass) in both Avena and Bromus. In contrast, though Bromus {open_quotes}growth demand{close_quotes} (biomass) increased under high [CO{sub 2}] on sandstone, phosphatase activity did not increase.

  17. [Cartography and geographical spread of the adventitious species of brome (Bromus spp.) among cereals in the Sais area of Morocco].

    PubMed

    Hamal, A; Benbella, M; Rzozi, S B; Bouhache, M; Msatef, Y

    2001-01-01

    Bromus spp is causing serious problems in wheat in the Sais area. However, the damage of this weed varies from one region to another according to the agro-climatic conditions and crop systems. The characterization of the infestation level in each situation is a prerequisite to develop a control strategy adapted to each environment. This study was undertaken in order to determine the infestation level and geographical spread of the weedy brome (Bromus spp) on wheat in Sais following crop systems and pedo-climatic conditions. The results obtained during two consecutive years (1998-99 and 1999-2000) revealed that ripgut brome (Bromus rigidus Roth.) was the most dominant species in wheat fields in the surveyed regions, followed by B. rubens L., B. sterilis L., B. madritensis L. and B. mollus L. Among, 18 regions and 100 infested wheat fields, 16.67% of fields were slightly infested (Plant density of Bromus (Dbr < 90 plants/m2, 61.11% were moderately infested (90 < Dbr < 290 plants/m2) and 22.22% were highly infested (Dbr > 400 plants/m2). The maximum relative frequency was obtained with Bromus rigidus (47.15%) and the coverage was 40.43%. But, for B.rubens, B. madritensis and B. sterilis, the relative frequencies were respectively 31.42; 26 and 15% and their coverages were respectively 28.9, 20.4 and 12.5%. PMID:12425101

  18. Polycycloiridals A-D, Four Iridal-Type Triterpenoids with an α-Terpineol Moiety from Iris tectorum.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chun-Lei; Liu, Yan-Fei; Wang, Yan; Liang, Dong; Jiang, Zhi-Bo; Li, Li; Hao, Zhi-You; Luo, Huan; Shi, Guo-Ru; Chen, Ruo-Yun; Cao, Zheng-Yu; Yu, De-Quan

    2015-11-20

    Polycycloiridals A-D, four novel iridals with an unprecedented α-terpineol moiety resulting from cyclization of the homofarnesylside chain, were isolated from the ethanol extract of rhizomes of Iris tectorum. Their structures were elucidated on the basis of comprehensive spectroscopic analysis. The absolute configuration of 1 was determined by the modified Mosher's method and comparison of experimental and calculated electronic circular dichroism (ECD) spectrum. A possible biosynthetic pathway was postulated. PMID:26555865

  19. Mapping genetic variation and seed zones for Bromus carinatus in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon, USA.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genecology studies using regression models to develop plant adaptation zones are useful to ensure that germplasm selected for revegetation is environmentally adapted. In this study, genecology studies were completed on Mt. Brome (Bromus carinatus Hook. & Arn ) using 148 populations collected in the...

  20. A regional analysis of drivers and impacts of land cover change and long-term land cover trends in the Great Basin, United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradley, Bethany Adella

    An improved understanding of land use/land cover change at local and regional scales is important in an increasingly human-dominated biosphere. The land surface provides resources necessary for human survival (e.g., cropland, water, raw materials) as well as providing other services such as habitat for native species, carbon storage, and nutrient cycling. A goal of land change science is to identify where land cover change is taking place, understand how land use may affect that change, and determine what the consequences of change may be. In the Great Basin Desert of the Western U.S., an important form of land cover change is invasion by non-native cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum). Cheatgrass invasion destroys native shrub ecosystems, leading to a loss of biodiversity, loss of viable rangeland and increased fire frequency. In this work, I show how remote sensing can be used to detect the regional and local extents of cheatgrass invasion. Remote sensing results are then used to assess the spatial patterns of cheatgrass invasion over time to determine how land use might have affected invasion. Further, I consider the long-term impacts of cheatgrass invasion on biodiversity and carbon storage in the Great Basin. In addition to an analysis of cheatgrass, this thesis presents a new methodology for time series modeling, which can be used to better interpret annual and inter-annual vegetation community phenology. I apply this modeling methodology to all land cover in the Great Basin to assess long-term land cover trends and localized anomalous response within the range of land cover classes present. By investigating regional land cover change I am able to provide more detailed analysis of the drivers of change for land managers while working at a scale relevant to studies of global environmental change.

  1. Effects of mating system on adaptive potential for leaf morphology in Crepis tectorum (Asteraceae)

    PubMed Central

    Andersson, Stefan; Ofori, Jones K.

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims A shift from outcrossing to selfing is thought to reduce the long-term survival of populations by decreasing the genetic variation necessary for adaptation to novel ecological conditions. However, theory also predicts an increase in adaptive potential as more of the existing variation becomes expressed as homozygous genotypes. So far, relatively few studies have examined how a transition to selfing simultaneously affects means, variances and covariances for characters that might be under stabilizing selection for a spatially varying optimum, e.g. characters describing leaf morphology. Methods Experimental crosses within an initially self-sterile population of Crepis tectorum were performed to produce an outbred and inbred progeny population to assess how a shift to selfing affects the adaptive potential for measures of leaf morphology, with special emphasis on the degree of leaf dissection, a major target of diversifying selection within the study species. Key Results Three consecutive generations of selfing had a minor impact on survival, the total number of heads produced and the mean leaf phenotype, but caused a proportional increase in the genetic (co)variance matrix for foliar characters. For the degree of leaf dissection, the lowest 50th percentile of the inbred progeny population showed a disproportionate increase in the genetic variance, consistent with the recessive nature of the weakly lobed phenotype observed in interpopulation crosses. Comparison of inbreeding response with large-scale patterns of variation indicates a potential for selection in a (recently) inbred population to drive a large evolutionary reduction in degree of leaf dissection by increasing the frequency of particular sibling lines. Conclusions The results point to a positive role for inbreeding in phenotypic evolution, at least during or immediately after a rapid shift in mating system. PMID:23912696

  2. Allelopathic effect of Bromus spp. and Lolium spp. shoot extracts on some crops.

    PubMed

    Lehoczky, E; Nelima, M Okumu; Szabó, R; Szalai, A; Nagy, P

    2011-01-01

    Allelopathy is an untapped resource for weed control in crops that could give good possibilities for environmentally sound, integrated crop production. Allelopathy is defined as the direct or indirect harmful or beneficial effects of one plant on another through the production of chemical compounds, called allelochemicals, which escape into the environment. Allelochemicals can be produced by weeds and affect crops, and the reverse is also true. Allelopathic interactions include weed-weed, weed-crop, and crop-crop. Allelopathy offers potential for selective biological weed control for instance weed-suppressing crops and the use of plant residues in cropping systems, allelopathic rotational crops, or companion plants with allelopathic potential. Bromus species occur in many habitats in temperate regions of the world, including America, Eurasia, Australia, and Africa. The genus Lolium is one of the most important forage grasses. The weed species usually grow in the same production zones as wheat and are considered weeds since they parasitize wheat fields. Some of the weed species in these two genus have been reported to have allelopathic effect. One of the methods that has been successful in studying allelopathic activity are bioassays. Laboratory experiments were conducted to determine allelopathic effect of watery shoot extracts of four weed species of the Poaceae family, namely Bromus rigidus, Bromus diandrus, Lolium multiflorum and Lolium temulentum on germination and growth of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), corn (Zea mays L), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), bean (Phaseolus sp.) and sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) and on each other. The experiment was carried out during the period March 2010 to October 2010. Twenty five seeds were put into one Petri-dish on filter paper, adding 15ml of extract to each in four repeats. The germination took place in a Binder-type thermostat in the dark. The timing of germination was

  3. Integrated control and assessment of knapweed and cheatgrass on Department of Defense installations. 2007 Annual Report/Final Report SI-1145

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We conducted field studies to control alien invasive weeds (cheatgrasses and knapweeds) at 3 military bases for 2 to 6 years. Four methods to accelerate natural plant succession were tested: 1) reducing the target weed population using biological control or burning, 2) reducing soil nitrogen availab...

  4. Feeding preference for and impact on an invasive weed (Crepis tectorum L.) by a native, generalist insect herbivore, Melanoplus borealis (Orthoptera: Acrididae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crepis tectorum L., narrow leaf hawksbeard, was first collected in Alaska in 1974 and by 2004 was a common weed in agricultural fields. Introduction and establishment of a new plant species in a region represents a potential new resource for herbivores, as well as a new competitor for plant species ...

  5. Are Mojave Desert annual species equal? Resource acquisition and allocation for the invasive grass Bromus madritensis subsp. rubens (Poaceae) and two native species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeFalco, L.A.; Bryla, D.R.; Smith-Longozo, V.; Nowak, R.S.

    2003-01-01

    Abundance of invasive plants is often attributed to their ability ot outcompete native species. We compared resource acquisition and allocation of the invasive annual grass Bromus madritensis subsp. rubens with that of two native Mojave Desert annuals, Vulpia octoflora and Descurainia pinnata, in a glasshouse experiment. Each species was grown in monoculture at two densities and two levels of N availability to compare how these annuals capture resources and to understand their relative sensitivities to environmental change. During >4 mo of growth, Bromus used water more rapidly and had greater biomass and N content than the natives, partly because of its greater root-surface area and its exploitation of deep soils. Bromus also had greater N uptake, net assimilation and transpiration rates, and canopy area than Vulpia. Resource use by Bromus was less sensitive to changes in N availability or density than were the natives. The two native species in this study produced numerous small seeds that tended to remain dormant, thus ensuring escape of offspring from unfavorable germination conditions; Bromus produced fewer but larger seeds that readily germinated. Collectively, these traits give Bromus the potential to rapidly establish in diverse habitats of the Mojave Desert, thereby gaining an advantage over coexisting native species.

  6. Exotic plant colonization and occupancy within riparian areas of the Interior Columbia River and Upper Missouri River basins, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Al-Chokhachy, Robert K.; Ray, Andrew M.; Roper, Brett B.; Archer, Eric

    2013-01-01

    Exotic plant invasions into riparia often result in shifts in vegetative composition, altered stream function, and cascading effects to biota at multiple scales. Characterizing the distribution patterns of exotic plants is an important step in directing targeted research to identify mechanisms of invasion and potential management strategies. In this study, we employed occupancy models to examine the associations of landscape, climate, and disturbance attributes with the colonization and occupancy patterns for spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe L.), Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense L., Scop.), and cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) in the riparia of headwater streams (n = 1,091) in the Interior Columbia River and Upper Missouri River Basins. We found relatively low occupancy rates for cheatgrass (0.06, SE = 0.02) and spotted knapweed (0.04, SE = 0.01), but moderate occupancy of Canada thistle (0.28, SE = 0.05); colonization rates were low across all species (<0.01). We found the distributions of spotted knapweed, Canada thistle, and cheatgrass to exhibit significant associations with both ambient climate conditions and anthropogenic and natural disturbances. We attribute the low to moderate occupancy and colonization rates to the relatively remote locations of our sample sites within headwater streams and urge consideration of means to prevent further invasions.

  7. UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE (UAV) HYPERSPECTRAL REMOTE SENSING FOR DRYLAND VEGETATION MONITORING

    SciTech Connect

    Nancy F. Glenn; Jessica J. Mitchell; Matthew O. Anderson; Ryan C. Hruska

    2012-06-01

    UAV-based hyperspectral remote sensing capabilities developed by the Idaho National Lab and Idaho State University, Boise Center Aerospace Lab, were recently tested via demonstration flights that explored the influence of altitude on geometric error, image mosaicking, and dryland vegetation classification. The test flights successfully acquired usable flightline data capable of supporting classifiable composite images. Unsupervised classification results support vegetation management objectives that rely on mapping shrub cover and distribution patterns. Overall, supervised classifications performed poorly despite spectral separability in the image-derived endmember pixels. Future mapping efforts that leverage ground reference data, ultra-high spatial resolution photos and time series analysis should be able to effectively distinguish native grasses such as Sandberg bluegrass (Poa secunda), from invasives such as burr buttercup (Ranunculus testiculatus) and cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum).

  8. Born of fire - restoring sagebrush steppe

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pyke, David A.

    2002-01-01

    Fire is a natural feature of sagebrush grasslands in the Great Basin. The invasion of exotic annual grasses, such as Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass), has changed the environment in these ecosystems. Invasive annual grasses provide a dense and continuous source of fuel that extends the season for fires and increases the frequency of fires in the region. Frequent fires eventually eliminate the native sagebrush. These annual grasses also change soil nutrients, especially carbon and nitrogen, such that invasive annual grasses are favored over the native plants. The Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is studying how to reduce the problems caused by these invasive annual grasses and restore native sagebrush grasslands. The areas of research include understanding disturbance regimes, especially fire, discerning the role of nutrients in restoring native plants, determining the potential to restore forbs important for wildlife, and ascertaining the past and present use of native and nonnative plants in revegetation projects.

  9. Bird-habitat relationships in interior Columbia Basin shrubsteppe

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Earnst, S.L.; Holmes, A.L.

    2012-01-01

    Vegetation structure is considered an important habitat feature structuring avian communities. In the sagebrush biome, both remotely-sensed and field-acquired measures of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) cover have proven valuable in understanding avian abundance. Differences in structure between the exotic annual cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and native bunchgrasses are also expected to be important. We used avian abundance data from 318 point count stations, coupled with field vegetation measurements and a detailed vegetation map, to model abundance for four shrub- and four grassland-associated avian species in southeastern Washington shrubsteppe. Specifically, we ask whether species distinguish between bunchgrass and cheatgrass, and whether mapped, categorical cover types adequately explain species' abundance or whether fine-grained, field-measured differences in vegetation cover are also important. Results indicate that mapped cover types alone can be useful for predicting patterns of distribution and abundance within the sagebrush biome for several avian species (five of eight studied here). However, field-measured sagebrush cover was a strong positive predictor for Sage Sparrow (Amphispiza belli), the only sagebrush obligate in this study, and a strong negative predictor for two grassland associates, Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) and Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum). Likewise, shrub associates did not differ in abundance in sagebrush with a cheatgrass vs. bunchgrass understory, but grassland associates were more common in either bunchgrass (Horned Lark and Grasshopper Sparrow) or cheatgrass grasslands (Long-billed Curlew, Numenius americanus), or tended to use sagebrush-cheatgrass less than sagebrush-bunchgrass (Horned Lark, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Savannah Sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis).

  10. Identification of novel Bromus- and Trifolium-associated circular DNA viruses.

    PubMed

    Kraberger, Simona; Farkas, Kata; Bernardo, Pauline; Booker, Cameron; Argüello-Astorga, Gerardo R; Mesléard, François; Martin, Darren P; Roumagnac, Philippe; Varsani, Arvind

    2015-05-01

    The genomes of a large number of highly diverse novel circular DNA viruses from a wide range of sources have been characterised in recent years, including circular single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) viruses that share similarities with plant-infecting ssDNA viruses of the family Geminiviridae. Here, we describe six novel circular DNA viral genomes that encode replication-associated (Rep) proteins that are most closely related to those of either geminiviruses or gemycircularviruses (a new group of ssDNA viruses that are closely related to geminiviruses). Four possible viral genomes were recovered from Bromus hordeaceus sampled in New Zealand, and two were recovered from B. hordeaceus and Trifolium resupinatum sampled in France. Two of the viral genomes from New Zealand (one from the North Island and one from the South Island each) share >99 % sequence identity, and two genomes recovered from B. hordeaceus and T. resupinatum sampled in France share 74 % identity. All of the viral genomes that were recovered were found to have a major open reading frame on both their complementary and virion-sense strands, one of which likely encodes a Rep and the other a capsid protein. Although future infectivity studies are needed to identify the host range of these viruses, this is the first report of circular DNA viruses associated with grasses in New Zealand. PMID:25701210

  11. Red brome (Bromus rubens subsp. madritensis) in North America: Possible modes for early introductions, subsequent spread

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Salo, L.F.

    2005-01-01

    Although invasions by exotic plants have increased dramatically as human travel and commerce have increased, few have been comprehensively described. Understanding the patterns of invasive species spread over space and time will help guide management activities and policy. Tracing the earliest appearances of an exotic plant reveals likely sites of introduction, paving the way for genetic studies to quantify founder events and identify potential source populations. Red brome (Bromus madritensis subsp. rubens) is a Mediterranean winter annual grass that has invaded even relatively undisturbed areas of western North America, where it threatens native plant communities. This study used herbarium records and contemporary published accounts to trace the early introductions and subsequent spread of red brome in western North America. The results challenge the most frequently cited sources describing the early history of this grass and suggest three possible modes for early introductions: the California Gold Rush and Central Valley wheat, southern California shipping, and northern California sheep. Subsequent periods of most rapid spread into new areas, from 1930 to 1942, and of greatest spread into new regions, during the past 50 years, coincide with warm Pacific Decadal Oscillation regimes, which are linked to increased winter precipitation in the southwestern USA and northern Mexico. Global environmental change, including increased atmospheric CO2 levels and N deposition, may be contributing to the success of red brome, relative to native species.

  12. Capillary zone electrophoretic determination of phenolic compounds in chess (Bromus inermis L.) plant extracts.

    PubMed

    Sterbová, Dagmar; Vlcek, Jirí; Kubán, Vlastimil

    2006-02-01

    A simple CZE method for quantification of phenolic compounds (vanillin, cinnamic, sinapic, chlorogenic, syringic, ferulic, benzoic, p-coumaric, vanillic, p-hydroxybenzoic, rosmarinic, caffeic, gallic and protocatechuic acids) in less than 10 min using 20 mM sodium tetraborate (pH 9.2) with 5% v/v methanol as a BGE and with UV detection at 254 nm is described. The LODs (3 S/N) ranged between 0.02 and 0.12 microg/ mL. Repeatabilities (RSDs) were 0.66-1.8 and 1.56-4.23% for migration times and peak areas (n = 5), respectively. The method was applied to the determination of phenolic compounds in chess (Bromus inermis L.) after Soxhlet extraction and purification of the crude extracts with SPE procedures. The results compared well with those obtained by liquid chromatographic method. B. inermis was found as a suitable model plant containing a broad spectrum of phenolic compounds in easily detectable concentrations and as a potential source of antioxidants. PMID:16524108

  13. Karyotype and nuclear DNA content of hexa-, octo-, and duodecaploid lines of Bromus subgen. Ceratochloa

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    The subgenus Ceratochloa of the genus Bromus includes a number of closely related allopolyploid forms or species that present a difficult taxonomic problem. The present work combines data concerning chromosome length, heterochromatin distribution and nuclear genome size of different 6x, 8x and 12x accessions in this subgenus. Special attention is paid to the karyotype structure and genomic constitution of duodecaploid plants recently found in South America. Hexaploid lineages possess six almost indistinguishable genomes and a nuclear DNA content between 12.72 pg and 15.10 pg (mean 1Cx value = 2.32 pg), whereas octoploid lineages contain the same six genomes (AABBCC) plus two that are characterized by longer chromosomes and a greater DNA content (1Cx = 4.47 pg). Two duodecaploid accessions found in South America resemble each other and apparently differ from the North American duodecaploid B. arizonicus as regards chromosome size and nuclear DNA content (40.00 and 40.50 pg vs. 27.59 pg). These observations suggest that the South American duodecaploids represent a separate evolutionary lineage of the B. subgenus Ceratochloa, unrecognized heretofore. PMID:21637516

  14. Seed harvesting by a generalist consumer is context-dependent: Interactive effects across multiple spatial scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ostoja, Steven M.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Klinger, Rob

    2013-01-01

    Granivore foraging decisions affect consumer success and determine the quantity and spatial pattern of seed survival. These decisions are influenced by environmental variation at spatial scales ranging from landscapes to local foraging patches. In a field experiment, the effects of seed patch variation across three spatial scales on seed removal by western harvester ants Pogonomyrmex occidentalis were evaluated. At the largest scale we assessed harvesting in different plant communities, at the intermediate scale we assessed harvesting at different distances from ant mounds, and at the smallest scale we assessed the effects of interactions among seed species in local seed neighborhoods on seed harvesting (i.e. resource–consumer interface). Selected seed species were presented alone (monospecific treatment) and in mixture with Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass; mixture treatment) at four distances from P. occidentalis mounds in adjacent intact sagebrush and non-native cheatgrass-dominated communities in the Great Basin, Utah, USA. Seed species differed in harvest, with B. tectorum being least preferred. Large and intermediate scale variation influenced harvest. More seeds were harvested in sagebrush than in cheatgrass-dominated communities (largest scale), and the quantity of seed harvested varied with distance from mounds (intermediate-scale), although the form of the distance effect differed between plant communities. At the smallest scale, seed neighborhood affected harvest, but the patterns differed among seed species considered. Ants harvested fewer seeds from mixed-seed neighborhoods than from monospecific neighborhoods, suggesting context dependence and potential associational resistance. Further, the effects of plant community and distance from mound on seed harvest in mixtures differed from their effects in monospecific treatments. Beyond the local seed neighborhood, selection of seed resources is better understood by simultaneously evaluating removal at

  15. Repeated landscape-scale treatments following fire suppress a non-native annual grass and promote recovery of native perennial vegetation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Munson, Seth M.; Long, A. Lexine; Decker, Cheryl E.; Johnson, Katie A.; Walsh, Kathleen; Miller, Mark E.

    2015-01-01

    Invasive non-native species pose a large threat to restoration efforts following large-scale disturbances. Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) is a non-native annual grass in the western U.S. that both spreads quickly following fire and accelerates the fire cycle. Herbicide and seeding applications are common restoration practices to break the positive fire-invasion feedback loop and recover native perennial species, but their interactive effects have infrequently been tested at the landscape-scale and repeated in time to encourage long-lasting effects. We determined the efficacy of repeated post-fire application of the herbicide imazapic and seeding treatments to suppressBromus abundance and promote perennial vegetation recovery. We found that the selective herbicide reduced Bromus cover by ~30 % and density by >50 % across our study sites, but had a strong initial negative effect on seeded species. The most effective treatment to promote perennial seeded species cover was seeding them alone followed by herbicide application 3 years later when the seeded species had established. The efficacy of the treatments was strongly influenced by water availability, as precipitation positively affected the density and cover of Bromus; soil texture and aspect secondarily influenced Bromus abundance and seeded species cover by modifying water retention in this semi-arid region. Warmer temperatures positively affected the non-native annual grass in the cool-season, but negatively affected seeded perennial species in the warm-season, suggesting an important role of seasonality in a region projected to experience large increases in warming in the future. Our results highlight the importance of environmental interactions and repeated treatments in influencing restoration outcomes at the landscape-scale.

  16. Impacts of Climate Variability on Non-native Plant Invasion in the Western U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradley, B. A.

    2006-12-01

    Plant invasions are changing ecosystem structure and function throughout the United States. In many areas of the west, invasive species such as tamarisk (Tamarix spp.), cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), and yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) dominate landscapes. Expansion of these species is occurring at a staggering rate, and invasion rates may change in the future as native ecosystems become more or less susceptible to invasion because of changes in climate. For example, evidence suggests that some plant invaders are favored under increased ambient CO2 levels, potentially leading to increased invasion with continued greenhouse gas emissions. In this work, I predict how western invasive plant species may also be affected by changes in climate variability. According to IPCC reports, rising ocean temperatures may change the frequency and intensity of El Niño events, potentially resulting in wetter El Niño years and/or more extreme and lengthier drought. In semi-arid systems, changing frequency or magnitude of extreme weather events may further shift the competitive balance between native and invasive species. For example, cheatgrass and yellow starthistle, both annual invaders, display high inter-annual variability in response to water availability. As a result, plants are larger and produce more seeds than native competitors during extreme wet years. This phenological response is so strong in cheatgrass communities that it can be observed in regional satellite records. Further, dense cheatgrass growth leads to a secondary feedback in the form of wildfire; higher density cheatgrass increases fire frequency in shrublands and enables further cheatgrass colonization. In this work, I synthesize knowledge of invasive plant phenological response under different climate conditions, drawing on information gathered through geographical mapping efforts at state or regional levels by university and agency researchers. Using the ranges of climate tolerance from current

  17. De novo Genome Assembly of the Fungal Plant Pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda

    PubMed Central

    Soliai, Marcus M.; Meyer, Susan E.; Udall, Joshua A.; Elzinga, David E.; Hermansen, Russell A.; Bodily, Paul M.; Hart, Aaron A.; Coleman, Craig E.

    2014-01-01

    Pyrenophora semeniperda (anamorph Drechslera campulata) is a necrotrophic fungal seed pathogen that has a wide host range within the Poaceae. One of its hosts is cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), a species exotic to the United States that has invaded natural ecosystems of the Intermountain West. As a natural pathogen of cheatgrass, P. semeniperda has potential as a biocontrol agent due to its effectiveness at killing seeds within the seed bank; however, few genetic resources exist for the fungus. Here, the genome of P. semeniperda isolate assembled from sequence reads of 454 pyrosequencing is presented. The total assembly is 32.5 Mb and includes 11,453 gene models encoding putative proteins larger than 24 amino acids. The models represent a variety of putative genes that are involved in pathogenic pathways typically found in necrotrophic fungi. In addition, extensive rearrangements, including inter- and intrachromosomal rearrangements, were found when the P. semeniperda genome was compared to P. tritici-repentis, a related fungal species. PMID:24475219

  18. Yield Responses of Ruderal Plants to Sucrose in Invasive-Dominated Sagebrush Steppe of the Northern Great Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brunson, J.L.; Pyke, D.A.; Perakis, S.S.

    2010-01-01

    Restoration of sagebrush-steppe plant communities dominated by the invasive ruderals Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) and Taeniatherum caput-medusae (medusahead) can be facilitated by adding carbon (C) to the soil, stimulating microbes to immobilize nitrogen (N) and limit inorganic N availability. Our objectives were to determine responses in (1) cheatgrass and medusahead biomass and seed production; (2) soil microbial biomass C and N; and (3) inorganic soil N to a range of C doses and to calculate the lowest dose that yielded a significant response. In November 2005, we applid 12 C doses ranging from 0 to 2,400 kg C/ha as sucrose to plots sown with cheatgrass and medusahead at two sites in the northern Great Basin. Other ruderal plants established in our plots, and this entire ruderal community was negatively affected by C addition. End-of-year biomass of the ruderal community decreased approximately by approximately 6% at each site for an increase in C dose of 100 kg C/ha. For the same increase in C, microbial biomass C increased by 2-4 mg/kg in November 2005 and March 2006, but not in July 2006. There was little, if any, microbial soil N uptake, as microbial biomass N increased by 0.3 mg/kg at only one site at the earliest date, in November 2005. Soil nitrate (NO3-) measured via resin capsules placed in situ for the study duration decreased at both sites with increasing C. Although we found no threshold dose of C, for a significant reduction in ruderal biomass, we calculated lowest significant doses of 240-640 kg C/ha. ?? 2010 Society for Ecological Restoration International.

  19. Natural succession impeded by smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and intermediate wheatgrass (Agropyron intermedium) in an abandoned agricultural field

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, J.K.

    1997-11-01

    In 1975, an abandoned agricultural field at Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (Site) that had been cultivated for more than 38 years, was seeded with smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and intermediate wheatgrass (Agropyron intermedium). Although these species are commonly planted in reclamation and roadside seed mixtures, few studies have documented their impact on the re-establishment of native plant communities. In 1994, species richness, cover, and biomass were sampled in the agricultural field and compared to the surrounding mixed-grass prairie at the Site. The agricultural field contained only 61 plant species (62% native), compared to 143 species (81% native) in the surrounding mixed-grass prairie. Community similarity based on species presence/absence was 0.47 (Sorensen coefficient of similarity). Basal vegetative cover was 11.2% in the agricultural field and 29.1% in the mixed-grass prairie. Smooth brome and intermediate wheatgrass accounted for 93% of the relative foliar cover and 96% of the biomass in the agricultural field. The aggressive nature of these two planted species has impeded the natural succession of the agricultural field to a more native prairie community. Studies of natural succession on abandoned fields and roads in northeastern Colorado have indicated that if left alone, fields would return to their native climax state in approximately 50 years and would be approaching their native state after 20--25 years. Based on the results of this study, this agricultural field may take more than 100 years to return to a native mixed-grass prairie state and it may never achieve a native state without human intervention.

  20. A comparison of adaptive sampling designs and binary spatial models: A simulation study using a census of Bromus inermis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Irvine, Kathryn M.; Thornton, Jamie; Backus, Vickie M.; Hohmann, Matthew G.; Lehnhoff, Erik A.; Maxwell, Bruce D.; Michels, Kurt; Rew, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    Commonly in environmental and ecological studies, species distribution data are recorded as presence or absence throughout a spatial domain of interest. Field based studies typically collect observations by sampling a subset of the spatial domain. We consider the effects of six different adaptive and two non-adaptive sampling designs and choice of three binary models on both predictions to unsampled locations and parameter estimation of the regression coefficients (species–environment relationships). Our simulation study is unique compared to others to date in that we virtually sample a true known spatial distribution of a nonindigenous plant species, Bromus inermis. The census of B. inermis provides a good example of a species distribution that is both sparsely (1.9 % prevalence) and patchily distributed. We find that modeling the spatial correlation using a random effect with an intrinsic Gaussian conditionally autoregressive prior distribution was equivalent or superior to Bayesian autologistic regression in terms of predicting to un-sampled areas when strip adaptive cluster sampling was used to survey B. inermis. However, inferences about the relationships between B. inermis presence and environmental predictors differed between the two spatial binary models. The strip adaptive cluster designs we investigate provided a significant advantage in terms of Markov chain Monte Carlo chain convergence when trying to model a sparsely distributed species across a large area. In general, there was little difference in the choice of neighborhood, although the adaptive king was preferred when transects were randomly placed throughout the spatial domain.

  1. Remote sensing of species invasion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clinton, Nicholas Etienne

    The invasion of the Western United States of America by Bromus tectorum, also known as "cheatgrass" is mapped using techniques of remote sensing. Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) data was radiometrically processed to ground reflectance using the MODTRAN4 atmospheric simulation model. The results of the radiometric processing were checked against ground reflectances with a portable ASD spectrometer. Landsat TM imagery covering portions of Utah State, USA were obtained at two times for each scene, one in the spring and one in the summer. The imagery was radiometrically processed to ground reflectance. Field data on cheatgrass abundance were collected at the same time period of the Landsat imagery. A variety of regression models were tested for predicting cheatgrass abundance. Prediction variables included the extracted ground reflectance from the multi-temporal imagery and ancillary topographic data. A meta-prediction framework was devised for compositing the results of an ensemble of regression models. Using cross-validation, the method was found to predict cheatgrass abundance (as percent) with approximately 15% Root Mean Square Error. The Landsat based prediction maps were used to scale reference data to 250 meter resolution, for prediction over larger spatial areas using the MODerate resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer (MODIS). MODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) maps, at 250 meter spatial resolution and bi-monthly data frequency, were assembled over a five year time period spanning 2001-2005. PRISM monthly total precipitation data, a spatially interpolated (4 kilometer) resolution data product, were compiled over the same time period and the same spatial coverage as the MODIS data. Thin plate (Duchon) splines were fit to the time series of precipitation data and MODIS NDVI in order to generate time series of precipitation and NDVI (with an arbitrary number of data points) over the study area. Metrics designed to quantify ecosystem response to

  2. [Evaluation of the seed stock and dynamics of ripgut brome (Bromus rigidus Roth) in the cultivation of wheat in the Sais area of Morocco].

    PubMed

    Hamal, A; Rzozi, S B; Benbella, M; Msatef, Y; Bouhache, M

    2001-01-01

    The study was conducted on experimental plots differing in cultivation treatment (deep or shallow) at the National School of Agricultural station for three years. The objective was to study the influence of the tillage practices on vertical distribution of the seeds of ripgut brome (Bromus rigidus Roth) in the soil profile. Four tillage methods were tested: Zero tillage (SD), disc plough (PDL) and a disc harrow at two depths, 20 cm (CDM) and 30 cm (CDP). The results show that the type of cultivation affected the distribution of the seeds of ripgut brome. Shallow plots were highly infested by Bromus rigidus (876 plant/m2). The total number of seeds of ripgut brome was 96 and 45% in 0-4 cm of the soil, 3 and 29% in 4-15 cm and 1 and 26% in 15-30 cm, respectively of the deep (CDP) and shallow soil (SD). Deep tillage reduced the seed bank of ripgut brome by 96.6% and 66.7% for shallow. Seeds of ripgut brome survive more than three years at the deep soil. Processes of germination of this weed became functional after 98 days in the soil. The disc plough reduced significantly the brome population and seed bank compared to other tillage methods. PMID:12425100

  3. Drought tolerance in two perennial bunchgrasses used for restoration in the Intermountain West, U.S.A.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The success of Bromus tectorum L., an invasive winter annual grass of North America's Intermountain West, has been attributed to its early germination, superior cold-temperature growth, profuse root production, and high specific leaf area (SLA). To better understand B. tectorum's success with respe...

  4. Genotype-specific responses of Bromus erectus to elevated CO{sub 2} at different levels of biodiversity and endophyte infection - a field experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Steinger, T.; Groppe, K.; Schmid, B. |

    1995-06-01

    In 1994 we initiated a long-term field experiment in a calcareous grassland to study the effects of elevated CO{sub 2} on individuals, populations, and communities. Clonal replicates of 54 genotypes of the dominant grass Bromus erectus were grown in communities planted at three levels of biodiversity (5-, 12-, 31-species plots) and exposed to ambient and elevated CO{sub 2}. The same genotypes were also individually grown in tubes within the field plots. Some genotypes were infected by the endophytic fungus Epichloee typhina. Elevated CO{sub 2} had no significant effects on plant growth, however, there was large variation among genotypes in all measured characters. A significant CO{sub 2}-by-genotype interaction was found for leaf length in the competition-free tubes. Infection by the endophyte led to the abortion of all inflorescences but increased vegetative growth, especially under competitive conditions.

  5. A common-garden study of resource-island effects on a native and an exotic, annual grass after fire

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoover, Amber N.; Germino, Matthew J.

    2012-01-01

    Plant-soil variation related to perennial-plant resource islands (coppices) interspersed with relatively bare interspaces is a major source of heterogeneity in desert rangelands. Our objective was to determine how native and exotic grasses vary on coppice mounds and interspaces (microsites) in unburned and burned sites and underlying factors that contribute to the variation in sagebrush-steppe rangelands of the Idaho National Lab, where interspaces typically have abiotic crusts. We asked how the exotic cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) and native bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata [Pursh] A. Löve) were distributed among the microsites and measured their abundances in three replicate wildfires and nearby unburned areas. We conducted a common-garden study in which soil cores from each burned microsite type were planted with seed of either species to determine microsite effects on establishment and growth of native and exotic grasses. We assessed soil physical properties in the common-garden study to determine the intrinsic properties of each microsite surface and the retention of microsite soil differences following transfer of soils to the garden, to plant growth, and to wetting/drying cycles. In the field study, only bluebunch wheatgrass density was greater on coppice mounds than interspaces, in both unburned and burned areas. In the common-garden experiment, there were microsite differences in soil physical properties, particularly in crust hardness and its relationship to moisture, but soil properties were unaffected by plant growth. Also in the experiment, both species had equal densities yet greater dry mass production on coppice-mound soils compared to interspace soils, suggesting microsite differences in growth but not establishment (likely related to crust weakening resulting from watering). Coppice-interspace patterning and specifically native-herb recovery on coppices is likely important for postfire resistance of this rangeland to cheatgrass.

  6. Landscape characteristics of disturbed shrubsteppe habitats in southwestern Idaho (USA)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knick, Steven T.; Rotenberry, J.T.

    1997-01-01

    We compared 5 zones in shrubsteppe habitats of southwestern Idaho to determine the effect of differing disturbance combinations on landscapes that once shared historically similar disturbance regimes. The primary consequence of agriculture, wildfires, and extensive fires ignited by the military during training activities was loss of native shrubs from the landscape. Agriculture created large square blocks on the landscape, and the landscape contained fewer small patches and more large shrub patches than non-agricultural areas. In contrast, fires left a more fragmented landscape. Repeated fires did not change the distribution of patch sizes, but decreased the total area of remaining shrublands and increased the distance between remaining shrub patches that provide seed sources. Military training with tracked vehicles was associated with a landscape characterized by small, closely spaced, shrub patches. Our results support the general model hypothesized for conversion of shrublands to annual grasslands by disturbance. Larger shrub patches in our region, historically resistant to fire spread and large-scale fires because of a perennial bunchgrass understory, were more fragmented than small patches. Presence of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), an exotic annual, was positively related to landscape patchiness and negatively related to number of shrub cells. Thus, cheatgrass dominance can contribute to further fragmentation and loss of the shrub patch by facilitating spread of subsequent fires, carried by continuous fuels, through the patch. The synergistic processes of fragmentation of shrub patches by disturbance, invasion and subsequent dominance by exotic annuals, and fire are converting shrubsteppe in southwestern Idaho to a new state dominated by exotic annual grasslands and high fire frequencies.

  7. Region-wide ecological responses of arid Wyoming big sagebrush communities to fuel treatments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pyke, David A.; Shaff, Scott E.; Lindgren, Andrew I.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Doescher, Paul S.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Burnham, Jeffrey S.; Huso, Manuela M.

    2014-01-01

    If arid sagebrush ecosystems lack resilience to disturbances or resistance to annual invasives, then alternative successional states dominated by annual invasives, especially cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.), are likely after fuel treatments. We identified six Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis Beetle & Young) locations (152–381 mm precipitation) that we believed had sufficient resilience and resistance for recovery. We examined impacts of woody fuel reduction (fire, mowing, the herbicide tebuthiuron, and untreated controls, all with and without the herbicide imazapic) on short-term dominance of plant groups and on important land health parameters with the use of analysis of variance (ANOVA). Fire and mowing reduced woody biomass at least 85% for 3 yr, but herbaceous fuels were reduced only by fire (72%) and only in the first year. Herbaceous fuels produced at least 36% more biomass with mowing than untreated areas during posttreatment years. Imazapic only reduced herbaceous biomass after fires (34%). Tebuthiuron never affected herbaceous biomass. Perennial tall grass cover was reduced by 59% relative to untreated controls in the first year after fire, but it recovered by the second year. Cover of all remaining herbaceous groups was not changed by woody fuel treatments. Only imazapic reduced significantly herbaceous cover. Cheatgrass cover was reduced at least 63% with imazapic for 3 yr. Imazapic reduced annual forb cover by at least 45%, and unexpectedly, perennial grass cover by 49% (combination of tall grasses and Sandberg bluegrass [Poa secunda J. Presl.]). Fire reduced density of Sandberg bluegrass between 40% and 58%, decreased lichen and moss cover between 69% and 80%, and consequently increased bare ground between 21% and 34% and proportion of gaps among perennial plants > 2 m (at least 28% during the 3 yr). Fire, mowing, and imazapic may be effective in reducing fuels for 3 yr, but each has potentially undesirable consequences

  8. Interaction Assessment: A modeling tool for predicting population dynamics from field data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Emlen, John M.; Duda, Jeffrey J.; Kirchhoff, Matt D.; Freeman, D. Carl

    2006-01-01

    Interaction Assessment (INTASS) is a field and analytic methodology for constructing population dynamics models. Because data collected in generating a model for one species comprise much of the information needed for other species, a small increase in effort can result in simultaneous expressions for the dynamics of multiple species. These expressions can be used to simulate whole community responses to environmental change, including management actions. Since publication of the most recent paper in this series, the INTASS methodology has undergone a large number of developments. These include the use of conceptual models to direct field and modeling efforts and incorporation of an information theoretic approach to model selection. We review these modifications and additions, applying them to a population of Sitka black-tailed deer (Odocoilius hemionis) in Alaska and to cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) at the Desert Experimental Range in Utah. In both cases, useful information about the species’ ecology and population trends was ascertained. INTASS is portable across a wide range of taxa, habitats and management situations.

  9. Regional climate model downscaling may improve the prediction of alien plant species distributions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Shuyan; Liang, Xin-Zhong; Gao, Wei; Stohlgren, Thomas J.

    2014-12-01

    Distributions of invasive species are commonly predicted with species distribution models that build upon the statistical relationships between observed species presence data and climate data. We used field observations, climate station data, and Maximum Entropy species distribution models for 13 invasive plant species in the United States, and then compared the models with inputs from a General Circulation Model (hereafter GCM-based models) and a downscaled Regional Climate Model (hereafter, RCM-based models).We also compared species distributions based on either GCM-based or RCM-based models for the present (1990-1999) to the future (2046-2055). RCM-based species distribution models replicated observed distributions remarkably better than GCM-based models for all invasive species under the current climate. This was shown for the presence locations of the species, and by using four common statistical metrics to compare modeled distributions. For two widespread invasive taxa ( Bromus tectorum or cheatgrass, and Tamarix spp. or tamarisk), GCM-based models failed miserably to reproduce observed species distributions. In contrast, RCM-based species distribution models closely matched observations. Future species distributions may be significantly affected by using GCM-based inputs. Because invasive plants species often show high resilience and low rates of local extinction, RCM-based species distribution models may perform better than GCM-based species distribution models for planning containment programs for invasive species.

  10. Evaportranspiration studies for protective barriers: FY 1989 status report

    SciTech Connect

    Link, S.O.; Thiede, M.E.; Downs, J.L.; Lettau, D.J. ); Waugh, W.J. )

    1992-05-01

    This document describes the results of technological developments and experiments at the Small Tube Lysimeter Facility. The objective of this research is to develop the capability to predict evapotranspiration in support of studies of water infiltration control for the Hanford Protective Barrier Development Program. Evapotranspiration is the combined loss of water from plants and soil surfaces to the atmosphere. This process must be predictable to adequately model soil water dynamics. We develop a miniature greenhouse (gas exchange chamber), where internal temperature and relative humidity can be controlled. With this device we measured evapotranspiration, transpiration, and carbon dioxide exchange rates from lysimeters with various surface and plant characteristics. We tested the effect on gas exchange rates and sand, gravel, admix, and soil surfaces in lysimeters where, cheat-grass, Bromus tectorum, had been seeded. Results showed that evapotranspiration was unaffected by the surface treatments. Estimated transpiration rates were higher for plants growing in sand compared with rates for plants growing in the admix and soil treatments. Soil evaporation rates were higher in the gravel treatment than in the sand treatment. Future research will entail parameterization of relationships between evapotranspiration, transpiration, soil evaporation, carbon dioxide exchange, and the abiotic and biotic factors that drive these processes for model development.

  11. Cascading effects of fire retardant on plant-microbe interactions, community composition, and invasion.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Abigail; Waller, Lauren; Lekberg, Ylva

    2016-06-01

    Climate change, historical fire suppression, and a rise in human movements in urban-forest boundaries have resulted in an increased use of long-term fire retardant (LTFR). While LTFR is an effective fire-fighting tool, it contains high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus, and little is known about how this nutrient pulse affects terrestrial ecosystems. We used field surveys and greenhouse experiments to quantify effects of LTFR on plant productivity, community composition, and plant interactions with the ubiquitous root symbiont arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). In the field, LTFR applications were associated with persistent shifts in plant communities toward exotic annuals with little or no dependency of AMF. Plants exposed to LTFR were less colonized by AMF, both in field surveys and in the greenhouse, and this was most likely due to the substantial and persistent increase in soil available phosphorus. All plants grew bigger with LTFR in the greenhouse, but the invasive annual cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) benefitted most. While LTFR can control fires, it may cause long-term changes in soil nutrient availabilities, disrupt plant interactions with beneficial soil microbes, and exasperate invasion by some exotic plants. PMID:27509743

  12. Severe plant invasions can increase mycorrhizal fungal abundance and diversity

    PubMed Central

    Lekberg, Ylva; Gibbons, Sean M; Rosendahl, Søren; Ramsey, Philip W

    2013-01-01

    Invasions by non-native plants can alter ecosystem functions and reduce native plant diversity, but relatively little is known about their effect on belowground microbial communities. We show that invasions by knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) and leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula, hereafter spurge)—but not cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum)—support a higher abundance and diversity of symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) than multi-species native plant communities. The higher AMF richness associated with knapweed and spurge is unlikely due to a co-invasion by AMF, because a separate sampling showed that individual native forbs hosted a similar AMF abundance and richness as exotic forbs. Native grasses associated with fewer AMF taxa, which could explain the reduced AMF richness in native, grass-dominated communities. The three invasive plant species harbored distinct AMF communities, and analyses of co-occurring native and invasive plants indicate that differences were partly driven by the invasive plants and were not the result of pre-invasion conditions. Our results suggest that invasions by mycotrophic plants that replace poorer hosts can increase AMF abundance and richness. The high AMF richness in monodominant plant invasions also indicates that the proposed positive relationship between above and belowground diversity is not always strong. Finally, the disparate responses among exotic plants and consistent results between grasses and forbs suggest that AMF respond more to plant functional group than plant provenance. PMID:23486251

  13. Ecological perspectives of land use history: The Arid Lands Ecology (ALE) Reserve

    SciTech Connect

    Hinds, N R; Rogers, L E

    1991-07-01

    The objective of this study was to gather information on the land use history of the Arid Land Ecology (ALE) Reserve so that current ecological research could be placed within a historical perspective. The data were gathered in the early 1980s by interviewing former users of the land and from previously published research (where available). Interviews with former land users of the ALE Reserve in Benton County, Washington, revealed that major land uses from 1880 to 1940 were homesteading, grazing, oil/gas production, and road building. Land use practices associated with grazing and homesteading have left the greatest impact on the landscape. Disturbed sites where succession is characterized by non-native species, plots where sagebrush was railed away, and sheep trails are major indications today of past land uses. Recent estimates of annual bunchgrass production do ALE do not support the widespread belief that bunchgrass were more productive during the homesteading era, though the invasion of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), Jim Hill mustard (Sisymbrium altissium), and other European alien plant species has altered pre-settlement succession patterns. 15 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  14. Avian response to wildfire in interior Columbia basin shrubsteppe

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Earnst, S.L.; Newsome, H.L.; LaFramboise, W.L.; LaFramboise, N.

    2009-01-01

    Wildfire and conversion of sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) shrublands to cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) grasslands is a serious threat to the shrubsteppe ecosystem, but few studies have documented wildfire's effects on birds with multiple years of pre- and post-fire data. Using data from avian point counts recorded 4 years before and 7 years after a large-scale, severe wildfire in the Columbia Basin of south-central Washington, we found significant effects of fire on population trends or mean abundance of nearly all species investigated. The Sage Sparrow (Amphispiza belli), a sagebrush obligate, was decreasing at a high rate both pre- and post-fire. Among species inhabiting more open shrubsteppe or grasslands, the mean abundance of three (Grasshopper Sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum; Western Meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta; Vesper Sparrow, Pooecetes gramineus) was lower post-fire and one (Lark Sparrow, Chondestes grammacus) showed an initial, but short-lived, increase post-fire before dropping below pre-fire levels. Only one (Horned Lark, Eremophila alpestris) increased steadily post-fire and had higher post-fire mean abundance. ?? 2009 by The Cooper Ornithological Society. All rights reserved.

  15. Sagebrush Ecosystems Under Fire

    SciTech Connect

    Downs, Janelle L.

    2014-12-30

    Since settlement of the western United States began, sagebrush (Artemisia L. spp.) ecosystems have decreased both in quantity and quality. Originally encompassing up to 150 million acres in the West, the “interminable fields” of sage described by early explorers (Fremont 1845) have been degraded and often eliminated by conversion to agriculture, urbanization, livestock grazing, invasion by alien plants, and alteration of wildfire cycles (Hann et al. 1997; West 1999). More than half of the original sagebrush steppe ecosystems in Washington have been converted to agriculture and many of the remaining stands of sagebrush are degraded by invasion of exotic annuals such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.). Today, sagebrush ecosystems are considered to be one of the most imperiled in the United States (Noss, LeRoe and Scott 1995), and more than 350 sagebrush-associated plants and animals have been identified as species of conservation concern (Suring et al. 2005; Wisdom et al. 2005). The increasing frequency of wildfire in sagebrush-dominated landscapes is one of the greatest threats to these habitats and also presents one of the most difficult to control.

  16. Physical, Chemical, Ecological, and Age Data and Trench Logs from Surficial Deposits at Hatch Point, Southeastern Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Goldstein, Harland L.; Miller, Mark E.; Yount, James C.; Reheis, Marith C.; Reynolds, Richard L.; Belnap, Jayne; Lamothe, Paul J.; McGeehan, John P.

    2009-01-01

    This report presents data and describes the methodology for physical, chemical and ecological measurements of sediment, soil, and vegetation, as well as age determinations of surficial deposits at Hatch Point, Canyon Rims area, Colorado Plateau, southeastern Utah. The results presented in this report support a study that examines geomorphic and soil factors that may influence boundaries between shrubland and grassland ecosystems in the study area. Shrubland ecosystems dominated by sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) and grassland ecosystems dominated by native perennial grasses (for example, Hilaria jamesii and Sporabolis sp.) are high-priority conservation targets for the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and other resource managers because of their diversity, productivity, and vital importance as wildlife habitat. These ecosystems have been recognized as imperiled on a regional scale since at least the mid-1990s due to habitat loss (type conversions), land-use practices, and invasive exotic plants. In the Intermountain West, the exotic annual cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is recognized as one of the most pervasive and serious threats to the health of native sagebrush and grassland ecosystems through effects on fire regimes and resource conditions experienced by native species.

  17. Mechanisms Controlling Species Responses to Climate Change: Thermal Tolerances and Shifting Range Limits. (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sage, R. F.; Bykova, O.; Coiner, H.

    2010-12-01

    One of the main effects of anthropogenic climate change will be widespread shifts in species distribution, with the common assumption that they will migrate to higher elevation and latitude. While this assumption is supported by migration patterns following climate warming in the past 20,000 years, it has not been rigorously evaluated in terms of physiological mechanism, despite the implication that migration in response to climate warming is controlled by some form of thermal adaptation. We have been evaluating the degree to which species range limits are controlled by physiological patterns of thermal tolerance in bioinvaders of North America. Bioinvaders presumably have few biotic controls over their distribution and thus are more likely to fully exploit their thermal niche. In cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), the minimum lethal temperature in winter is -32C, which corresponds to the mean winter minimum temperature at its northern range limit. In red brome (Bromus rubens), the minimum lethal temperature is also near -32C, which is well below the minimum winter temperature near -20C that corresponds to its northern distribution limit. In kudzu (Pueraria lobata), the minimum lethal temperature is near -20C, which corresponds to the midwinter minimum at its northern distribution limit; however, overwintering kudzu tissues are insulated by soil and snow cover, and thus do not experience lethal temperatures at kudzu's northern range limit. These results demonstrate that some invasive species can exploit the potential range defined by their low temperature tolerance and thus can be predicted by mechanistic models to migrate to higher latitudes with moderation of winter cold. The distribution of other invaders such as kudzu and red brome are not controlled by tolerance of midwinter cold. Developing mechanistic models of their distributions, and how these might change with climate warming, will require extensive physiological study.

  18. Seasonal and spatial patterns of metals at a restored copper mine site II. Copper in riparian soils and Bromus carinatus shoots.

    PubMed

    Silk, Wendy K; Bambic, Dustin G; O'Dell, Ryan E; Green, Peter G

    2006-12-01

    Soil and plants were sampled throughout winter and spring near a perennial stream traversing a restored mine site in a winter-rainy climate. Within 1m of an acidic reach of the stream, soil had pH 3-5 and 50-100 microg/g "bioavailable" copper (extractable with 0.01 M CaCl2). Soil 2-3 m from the stream had pH 5-8 and lower (less than 3 microg/g) bioavailable copper. "Oxide-bound" copper (extractable with 2N HCl) was 50-100 microg/g at most locations. Copper concentrations in the shoots of field-collected Bromus carinatus declined from 20 microg/g in winter to 2 microg/g in spring at all sampling sites. A similar temporal pattern was found in plants grown under controlled conditions. Thus B. carinatus has a developmental program for control of shoot copper concentration, causing a seasonally-varying pattern of copper phytoaccumulation over a large range of copper availability in the soil. PMID:16631289

  19. Compost amendment of Cu-Zn minespoil reduces toxic bioavailable heavy metal concentrations and promotes establishment and biomass production of Bromus carinatus (Hook and Arn.).

    PubMed

    O'Dell, Ryan; Silk, Wendy; Green, Peter; Claassen, Victor

    2007-07-01

    A series of lab and greenhouse studies were undertaken to understand how Cu and Zn toxicity influences Bromus carinatus (Hook and Arn.) growth, to what degree an organic amendment (yard waste compost) may reduce Cu and Zn bioavailability in Cu-Zn minespoil and promote plant growth in combination with fertilizer, and how the vertical distribution of compost in the minespoil influences rooting depth. Root Cu and Zn toxicity thresholds were determined to be 1 mgL(-1) and 10 mgL(-1) in solution, respectively. The compost amendment had exceptionally high Cu and Zn binding capacities (0.17 and 0.08 g metal g C(-1), for Cu and Zn, respectively) that were attributed to high compost humic and fulvic acid concentrations. Maximum plant biomass was achieved when minespoil was amended with compost and fertilizer in combination. Fertilizer alone had no effect on plant growth. Mixing compost into the minespoil was essential to promote adequate rooting depth. PMID:17240016

  20. Vegetation Response to Western Juniper Slash Treatments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Connor, Casey; Miller, Rick; Bates, Jonathan D.

    2013-09-01

    The expansion of piñon-juniper woodlands the past 100 years in the western United States has resulted in large scale efforts to kill trees and recover sagebrush steppe rangelands. It is important to evaluate vegetation recovery following woodland control to develop best management practices. In this study, we compared two fuel reduction treatments and a cut-and-leave (CUT) treatment used to control western juniper ( Juniperus occidentalis spp. occidentalis Hook.) of the northwestern United States. Treatments were; CUT, cut-and-broadcast burn (BURN), and cut-pile-and-burn the pile (PILE). A randomized complete block design was used with five replicates of each treatment located in a curl leaf mahogany ( Cercocarpus ledifolius Nutt. ex Torr. & A. Gray)/mountain big sagebrush ( Artemisia tridentata Nutt. spp. vaseyana (Rydb.) Beetle)/Idaho fescue ( Festuca idahoensis Elmer) association. In 2010, 4 years after tree control the cover of perennial grasses (PG) [Sandberg's bluegrass ( Poa secunda J. Pres) and large bunchgrasses] were about 4 and 5 % less, respectively, in the BURN (7.1 ± 0.6 %) than the PILE (11.4 ± 2.3 %) and CUT (12.4 ± 1.7 %) treatments ( P < 0.0015). In 2010, cover of invasive cheatgrass ( Bromus tectorum L.) was greater in the BURN (6.3 ± 1.0 %) and was 50 and 100 % greater than PILE and CUT treatments, respectively. However, the increase in perennial bunchgrass density and cover, despite cheatgrass in the BURN treatment, mean it unlikely that cheatgrass will persist as a major understory component. In the CUT treatment mahogany cover increased 12.5 % and density increased in from 172 ± 25 to 404 ± 123 trees/ha. Burning, killed most or all of the adult mahogany, and mahogany recovery consisted of 100 and 67 % seedlings in the PILE and BURN treatments, respectively. After treatment, juniper presence from untreated small trees (<1 m tall; PILE and CUT treatments) and seedling emergence (all treatments) represented 25-33 % of pre-treatment tree

  1. Vegetation response to western juniper slash treatments.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Casey; Miller, Rick; Bates, Jonathan D

    2013-09-01

    The expansion of piñon-juniper woodlands the past 100 years in the western United States has resulted in large scale efforts to kill trees and recover sagebrush steppe rangelands. It is important to evaluate vegetation recovery following woodland control to develop best management practices. In this study, we compared two fuel reduction treatments and a cut-and-leave (CUT) treatment used to control western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis spp. occidentalis Hook.) of the northwestern United States. Treatments were; CUT, cut-and-broadcast burn (BURN), and cut-pile-and-burn the pile (PILE). A randomized complete block design was used with five replicates of each treatment located in a curl leaf mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius Nutt. ex Torr. & A. Gray)/mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. spp. vaseyana (Rydb.) Beetle)/Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis Elmer) association. In 2010, 4 years after tree control the cover of perennial grasses (PG) [Sandberg's bluegrass (Poa secunda J. Pres) and large bunchgrasses] were about 4 and 5 % less, respectively, in the BURN (7.1 ± 0.6 %) than the PILE (11.4 ± 2.3 %) and CUT (12.4 ± 1.7 %) treatments (P < 0.0015). In 2010, cover of invasive cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) was greater in the BURN (6.3 ± 1.0 %) and was 50 and 100 % greater than PILE and CUT treatments, respectively. However, the increase in perennial bunchgrass density and cover, despite cheatgrass in the BURN treatment, mean it unlikely that cheatgrass will persist as a major understory component. In the CUT treatment mahogany cover increased 12.5 % and density increased in from 172 ± 25 to 404 ± 123 trees/ha. Burning, killed most or all of the adult mahogany, and mahogany recovery consisted of 100 and 67 % seedlings in the PILE and BURN treatments, respectively. After treatment, juniper presence from untreated small trees (<1 m tall; PILE and CUT treatments) and seedling emergence (all treatments) represented 25-33 % of

  2. Impact of grazing intensity during drought in an Arizona grassland.

    PubMed

    Loeser, Matthew R R; Sisk, Thomas D; Crews, Timothy E

    2007-02-01

    The ecological benefits of changing cattle grazing practices in the western United States remain controversial, due in part to a lack of experimentation. In 1997 we initiated an experimental study of two rangeland alternatives, cattle removal and high-impact grazing, and compared grassland community responses with those with more conventional, moderate grazing practices. The study was conducted in a high-elevation, semiarid grassland near Flagstaff, Arizona (U.S.A.). We conducted annual plant surveys of modified Whittaker plots for 8 years and examined plant composition shifts among treatments and years. High-impact grazing had strong directional effects that led to a decline in perennial forb cover and an increase in annual plants, particularly the exotic cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.). A twofold increase in plant cover by exotic species followed a severe drought in the sixth year of the study, and this increase was greatest in the high-impact grazing plots, where native cover declined by one-half. Cattle removal resulted in little increase in native plant cover and reduced plant species richness relative to the moderate grazing control. Our results suggest that some intermediate level of cattle grazing may maintain greater levels of native plant diversity than the alternatives of cattle removal or high-density, short-duration grazing practices. Furthermore, episodic drought interacts with cattle grazing, leading to infrequent, but biologically important shifts in plant communities. Our results demonstrate the importance of climatic variation in determining ecological effects of grazing practices, and we recommend improving conservation efforts in arid rangelands by developing management plans that anticipate this variation. PMID:17298514

  3. Diets and habitat analyses of mule deer on the 200 areas of the Hanford Site in southcentral Washington

    SciTech Connect

    Uresk, D.W.; Uresk, V.A.

    1980-10-01

    Forty-four food items were identified in the fecal pellets of the mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus) on three areas of the Hanford Site. Microscopic analysis of plant fragments indicated that bitterbrush was the most common species occurring in the diets of deer from the B-C Cribs area. Russian thistle (Salsola kali) and goldenrod (Solidago sp.) were the most abundant plants found in the fecal pellets collected from B Pond and Gable Mountain Pond habitats, respectively. The similarity in diets among the habitats was low, ranging from 10% to 16%. Preference indices of forage plants among sites were not similar (7% to 19%). The B-C Cribs, B Pond and Gable Mountain Pond habitats were characterized for canopy cover and frequency of occurrence of plant species. Twelve species were sampled in the B-C Cribs and B Pond areas; 22 species were identified on the Gable Mountain site. The most commonly occurring plant was cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) in all three sites. The similarity in frequency and canopy cover of plants was low among sites. Mule deer inhabiting the Hanford site can serve as a pathway for movement of radioactive material from low-level radioactive waste management areas to man. Maximum levels of /sup 137/Cs found in deer pellet groups collected from B Pond and Gable Mountain Pond areas were 100 pCi/g and 128 pCi/g, respectively. Background levels were reported at B-C Cribs area. Maximum /sup 90/Sr values found in deer pellets at B Pond were 107 pCi/g and 184 pCi/g at Gable Mountain Pond.

  4. Use of Terrestrial Laser Scanning to Model Fuel Characteristics in Shrub-Steppe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, K.; Glenn, N. F.

    2013-12-01

    Biological invasion, climate change, and other anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic factors are altering ecosystem function of arid shrublands in the western U.S., with notable effects including changes in community composition and increased incidence and severity of wildfires. Wildfire itself contributes to replacement of native flora communities with fire-prone invasives (prominently cheatgrass, Bromus tectorum), a positive feedback loop which threatens long-term degradation of burned areas. Efficient methods of vegetation inventory over large areas are essential to study and manage changes in ecological paradigms, and furthermore to anticipate and control wildfire. However, the application of remote sensing information from aerial or satellite platforms to shrub-steppe ecosystems is limited by spectral signal mixing and coarseness of data relative to low-stature vegetation. Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) technology provides rapid collection of high-resolution structural information at ranges up to hundreds of meters, offering an opportunity to efficiently record vegetation characteristics in large swaths. We tested the ability of TLS to quantify abundance and biomass of different vegetation stem diameter classes in shrub-steppe plots in southwestern Idaho, with classes selected to emulate timelag fuel classes commonly used in fuel inventories and fire modeling. We used data from destructively-sampled reference quadrats within scans for training and evaluation of TLS-derived estimates. We demonstrate TLS as an effective standalone tool for shrubland vegetation inventory, while future applications of these methods include collecting training data for interpretation of coarser remote sensing information, and providing accurate 3D simulations of fuel beds to spatially explicit wildfire models.

  5. Soil resources influence vegetation and response to fire and fire-surrogate treatments in sagebrush-steppe ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rau, Benjamin M.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Pyke, David A.; Roundy, Bruce A.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Doescher, Paul; Caldwell, Todd G.

    2014-01-01

    Current paradigm suggests that spatial and temporal competition for resources limit an exotic invader, cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.), which once established, alters fire regimes and can result in annual grass dominance in sagebrush steppe. Prescribed fire and fire surrogate treatments (mowing, tebuthiuron, and imazapic) are used to reduce woody fuels and increase resistance to exotic annuals, but may alter resource availability and inadvertently favor invasive species. We used four study sites within the Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project (SageSTEP) to evaluate 1) how vegetation and soil resources were affected by treatment, and 2) how soil resources influenced native herbaceous perennial and exotic annual grass cover before and following treatment. Treatments increased resin exchangeable NH4+, NO3−, H2PO4−, and K+, with the largest increases caused by prescribed fire and prolonged by application of imazapic. Burning with imazapic application also increased the number of wet growing degree days. Tebuthiuron and imazapic reduced exotic annual grass cover, but imazapic also reduced herbaceous perennial cover when used with prescribed fire. Native perennial herbaceous species cover was higher where mean annual precipitation and soil water resources were relatively high. Exotic annual grass cover was higher where resin exchangeable H2PO4− was high and gaps between perennial plants were large. Prescribed fire, mowing, and tebuthiuron were successful at increasing perennial herbaceous cover, but the results were often ephemeral and inconsistent among sites. Locations with sandy soil, low mean annual precipitation, or low soil water holding capacity were more likely to experience increased exotic annual grass cover after treatment, and treatments that result in slow release of resources are needed on these sites. This is one of few studies that correlate abiotic variables to native and exotic species cover across a broad geographic setting, and that

  6. Nest-site selection and reproductive success of greater sage-grouse in a fire-affected habitat of northwestern Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lockyer, Zachary B.; Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Espinosa, Shawn; Delehanty, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Identifying links between micro-habitat selection and wildlife reproduction is imperative to population persistence and recovery. This information is particularly important for landscape species such as greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; sage-grouse). Although this species has been widely studied, because environmental factors can affect sage-grouse populations, local and regional studies are crucial for developing viable conservation strategies. We studied the habitat-use patterns of 71 radio-marked sage-grouse inhabiting an area affected by wildfire in the Virginia Mountains of northwestern Nevada during 2009–2011 to determine the effect of micro-habitat attributes on reproductive success. We measured standard vegetation parameters at nest and random sites using a multi-scale approach (range = 0.01–15,527 ha). We used an information-theoretic modeling approach to identify environmental factors influencing nest-site selection and survival, and determine whether nest survival was a function of resource selection. Sage-grouse selected micro-sites with greater shrub canopy cover and less cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) cover than random sites. Total shrub canopy, including sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) and other shrub species, at small spatial scales (0.8 ha and 3.1 ha) was the single contributing selection factor to higher nest survival. These results indicate that reducing the risk of wildfire to maintain important sagebrush habitats could be emphasized in sage-grouse conservation strategies in Nevada. Managers may seek to mitigate the influx of annual grass invasion by preserving large intact sagebrush-dominated stands with a mixture of other shrub species. For this area of Nevada, the results suggest that ≥40% total shrub canopy cover in sage-grouse nesting areas could yield improved reproductive success. 

  7. A spatial model to prioritize sagebrush landscapes in the intermountain west (U.S.A.) for restoration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meinke, C.W.; Knick, S.T.; Pyke, D.A.

    2009-01-01

    The ecological integrity of Sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystems in the Intermountain West (U.S.A.) has been diminished by synergistic relationships among human activities, spread of invasive plants, and altered disturbance regimes. An aggressive effort to restore Sagebrush habitats is necessary if we are to stabilize or improve current habitat trajectories and reverse declining population trends of dependent wildlife. Existing economic resources, technical impediments, and logistic difficulties limit our efforts to a fraction of the extensive area undergoing fragmentation, degradation, and loss. We prioritized landscapes for restoring Sagebrush habitats within the intermountain western region of the United States using geographic information system (GIS) modeling techniques to identify areas meeting a set of conditions based on (1) optimum abiotic and biotic conditions favorable for revegetation of Sagebrush; (2) potential to increase connectivity of Sagebrush habitats in the landscape to benefit wildlife; (3) location of population strongholds for Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus, a species of conservation concern); and (4) potential impediments to successful restoration created by Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum, an invasive exotic annual grass). Approximately 5.8 million ha in southwestern Idaho, northern Nevada, and eastern Oregon met our criteria for restoring Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis) and 5.1 million ha had high priority for restoring Mountain big sagebrush (A. tridentata ssp. vaseyana). Our results represent an integral component in a hierarchical framework after which site-specific locations for treatments can be focused within high-priority areas. Using this approach, long-term restoration strategies can be implemented that combine local-scale treatments and objectives with large-scale ecological processes and priorities. ?? 2008 Society for Ecological Restoration International.

  8. Resilience and resistance of sagebrush ecosystems: implications for state and transition models and management treatments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chambers, Jeanne C.; Miller, Richard F.; Board, David I.; Pyke, David A.; Roundy, Bruce A.; Grace, James B.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Tausch, Robin J.

    2014-01-01

    In sagebrush ecosystems invasion of annual exotics and expansion of piñon (Pinus monophylla Torr. and Frem.) and juniper (Juniperus occidentalis Hook., J. osteosperma [Torr.] Little) are altering fire regimes and resulting in large-scale ecosystem transformations. Management treatments aim to increase resilience to disturbance and enhance resistance to invasive species by reducing woody fuels and increasing native perennial herbaceous species. We used Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project data to test predictions on effects of fire vs. mechanical treatments on resilience and resistance for three site types exhibiting cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) invasion and/or piñon and juniper expansion: 1) warm and dry Wyoming big sagebrush (WY shrub); 2) warm and moist Wyoming big sagebrush (WY PJ); and 3) cool and moist mountain big sagebrush (Mtn PJ). Warm and dry (mesic/aridic) WY shrub sites had lower resilience to fire (less shrub recruitment and native perennial herbaceous response) than cooler and moister (frigid/xeric) WY PJ and Mtn PJ sites. Warm (mesic) WY Shrub and WY PJ sites had lower resistance to annual exotics than cool (frigid to cool frigid) Mtn PJ sites. In WY shrub, fire and sagebrush mowing had similar effects on shrub cover and, thus, on perennial native herbaceous and exotic cover. In WY PJ and Mtn PJ, effects were greater for fire than cut-and-leave treatments and with high tree cover in general because most woody vegetation was removed increasing resources for other functional groups. In WY shrub, about 20% pretreatment perennial native herb cover was necessary to prevent increases in exotics after treatment. Cooler and moister WY PJ and especially Mtn PJ were more resistant to annual exotics, but perennial native herb cover was still required for site recovery. We use our results to develop state and transition models that illustrate how resilience and resistance influence vegetation dynamics and management options.

  9. Population level response of downy brome to soil growing medium

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Downy brome (Bromus tectorum) is the most ubiquitous exotic invasive weed in the Intermountain West. A major issue for management is the extreme generalist plastic nature of downy brome. We hypothesized that soil growing medium would effect all measured response variables representing some degree of...

  10. Adding Fuel to the Fire: The Contribution of Perennial Bunchgrasses in Altering Fire Regimes in the Great Basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The historic fire return interval in Wyoming sagebrush ecosystems has been estimated in the hundreds of years; however, the current fire regime has shifted to short fire return intervals with some areas burning six times in the past 60 years. Invasive annual grasses (e.g. Bromus tectorum) are freque...

  11. Intraspecific and interspecific pair-wise seedling competition between exotic annual grasses and native perennials: Plant-soil relationships

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 seedings of the exotic annual grasses Bromus tectorum and Taentherium caput-med...

  12. Returning succession to downy brome dominated rangelands: roadblocks to perennial grass establishment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The most common cause of successional retrogression in the Great Basin is wildfires fueled by downy brome (Bromus tectorum). Downy brome invasion has reduced fire intervals from an estimated 60-100 years down to 5-10 years. Our previous research found that establishment of long-lived perennial grass...

  13. Downy brome seed ecology: From flower to emergence

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Downy brome (Bromus tectorum) seed is very common in seed banks throughout Great Basin rangelands. Previously, using a soil bioassay method, we tested 100 separate sites within the Great Basin (1000 samples) to measure downy brome seed bank densities. The locations differed greatly by precipitation,...

  14. Large-scale downy brome treatments alter plant-soil relationships and promote perennial grasses in salt desert shrublands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The interrelationship between invasive annual grass abundance and soil resource availability varies spatially and temporally within ecosystems and may be altered by land treatments. We evaluated these relationships in two salt desert landscapes where the local abundance of Bromus tectorum L. (downy...

  15. Plant nitrogen uptake drives rhizosphere bacterial community assembly during plant growth

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    When plant species establish in novel environments, they often modify microbial communities and soil properties in ways that enhance their own success. Upon invasion, the C3 annual grass Bromus tectorum appears to support soil microbial communities that have higher soil nitrogen (N) mineralization r...

  16. The role of plant litter on nutrient mineralization and vegetation dynamics in three sage-steppe communities with differing levels of annual grass invasion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant litter is an integral part of ecosystem nutrient cycling, which directly impacts vegetation dynamics. The net effects of litter are largely determined by the quantity and source material of the litter. Invasion of sage-steppe communities by annual grasses (e.g., Bromus tectorum) has caused dra...

  17. Phenology of exotic invasive weeds associated with downy brome

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The exotic and highly invasive annual grass downy brome (Bromus tectorum) has invaded millions of hectares of rangelands throughout the Intermountain West. Downy brome increases the chance, rate, season and spread of wildfires, resulting in the destruction of native plant communities and the wildli...

  18. The importance of education in managing invasive plant species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive plant species can establish in diverse environments and with the increase in human mobility, they are no longer restricted to isolated pockets in remote parts of the world. Cheat grass (Bromus tectorum L.) in rangelands, purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria L.) in wet lands and Canada this...

  19. Process-based management approaches for salt desert shrublands dominated by downy brome

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Downy brome grass (Bromus tectorum L.) invasion has severely altered key ecological processes such as disturbance regimes, soil nutrient cycling, community assembly, and successional pathways in semi-arid Great Basin salt desert shrublands. Restoring the structure and function of these severly alte...

  20. Trajectories of change in sagebrush steppe vegetation communities in relation to multiple wildfires

    SciTech Connect

    Davies, G. M.; Bakker, J. D.; Dettweiler-Robinson, E.; Dunwiddie, Peter W.; Hall, S. A.; Downs, Janelle L.; Evans, J.

    2012-07-01

    Repeated perturbations, both biotic and abiotic, can lead to fundamental changes in the nature of ecosystems including changes in state. Sagebrush-steppe communities provide important habitat for wildlife and grazing for livestock. Fire is an integral part of these systems, but there is concern that increased ignition frequencies and invasive species are fundamentally altering these systems. Despite these issues, the majority of studies of fire effects in Artemisia tridentata wyomingensis-dominated systems have focused on the effects of single burns. The Arid Lands Ecology Reserve (ALE), in south-central Washington (U.S.A.), was one of the largest areas of continuous shrub-steppe habitat in the state until large wildfires burnt the majority of it in 2000 and 2007. We analysed data from permanent vegetation transects established in 1996 and resampled in 2002 and 2009. Our objective was to describe how the fires, and subsequent post-fire restoration efforts, affected communities successional pathways. Plant communities differed in response to repeated fire and restoration; these differences could largely be ascribed to the functional traits of the dominant species. Low elevation communities, previously dominated by obligate seeders, moved farthest from their initial composition and were dominated by weedy, early successional species in 2009. Higher elevation sites with resprouting shrubs, native bunchgrasses and few invasive species were generally more resilient to the effects of repeated disturbances. Shrub cover has been almost entirely removed from ALE, though there is evidence of recovery where communities were dominated by re-sprouters. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) dominance was reduced by herbicide application in areas where it was previously abundant but increased significantly in untreated areas. Several re-sprouting species, notably Phlox longifolia and Poa secunda, expanded remarkably following competitive release from shrub canopies and/or abundant

  1. Abscisic acid-induced heat tolerance in Bromus inermis Leyss cell-suspension cultures. Heat-stable, abscisic acid-responsive polypeptides in combination with sucrose confer enhanced thermostability.

    PubMed Central

    Robertson, A J; Ishikawa, M; Gusta, L V; MacKenzie, S L

    1994-01-01

    Increased heat tolerance is most often associated with the synthesis of heat-shock proteins following pre-exposure to a nonlethal heat treatment. In this study, a bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss cv Manchar) cell suspension cultured in a medium containing 75 microM abscisic acid (ABA) without prior heat treatment had a 87% survival rate, as determined by regrowth analysis, following exposure to 42.5 degrees C for 120 min. In contrast, less than 1% of the control cells survived this heat treatment. The heat tolerance provided by treatment with 75 microM ABA was first evidenced after 4 d of culture and reached a maximum tolerance after 11 d of culture. Preincubation with sucrose partially increased the heat tolerance of control cells and rendered ABA-treated cells tolerant to 45 degrees C for 120 min (a completely lethal heat treatment for control cells). Comparative two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of cellular protein isolated from heat-tolerant cells identified 43 ABA-responsive proteins of which 26 were heat stable (did not coagulate and remained soluble after 30 min at 90 degrees C). Eight heat-stable, ABA-responsive proteins ranging from 23 to 45 kD had similar N-terminal sequences. The ABA-responsive (43-20 kD), but none of the control heat-stable, proteins cross-reacted to varying degrees with a polyclonal antibody directed against a conserved, lysine-rich dehydrin sequence. A group of 20- to 30-kD heat-stable, ABA-responsive proteins cross-reacted with both the anti-dehydrin antibody and an antibody directed against a cold-responsive winter wheat protein (Wcs 120). In ABA-treated cells, there was a positive correlation between heat- and pH-induced coagulation of a cell-free homogenate and the heat tolerance of these cells. At 50 degrees C, control homogenates coagulated after 8 min, whereas cellular fractions from ABA-treated cells showed only marginal coagulation after 15 min. In protection assays, addition of heat-stable, ABA

  2. Variation in semi-arid soil seed banks

    SciTech Connect

    Boudell-Flanary, J.A.; Link, S.O. |

    1995-09-01

    Seeds recovered from soils in the semi-arid shrub-steppe were compared to test for differences between the seed banks found beneath and cryptogamic crust and the crevices in the crust. Seed quantity found within the crevices was 56% higher than that under the cryptogamic crust. Pseudoroegneria spicata, Poa sandbergii, Bromus tectorum, and Artemisia tridentata are the common species found at the research site. Seeds of Bromus tectorum, Erigeron spp., and Poa spp. were found in the crevices of the crust. Seeds of Artemisia tridentata were not found in the seed banks of either the cryptogamic crust or the crevices in the crust. The higher amount of seeds found in the crevices of the cryptogamic crust suggests that the crevices play a significant role in determining the distributional pattern of shrub-steppe vegetation.

  3. Effectiveness of post-fire seeding at the Fitzner-Eberhardt Arid Land Ecology Reserve, Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wirth, Troy A.; Pyke, David A.

    2011-01-01

    In August 2007, the Milepost 17 and Wautoma fires burned a combined total of 77,349 acres (31,302 hectares) of the Fitzner-Eberhardt Arid Land Ecology Reserve (ALE), part of the Hanford Reach National Monument administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Mid-Columbia National Wildlife Refuge. In 2009, the USFWS implemented a series of seeding and herbicide treatments to mitigate potential negative consequences of these fires, including mortality of native vegetation, invasion of Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass), and soil erosion. Treatments included combinations of seeding (drill and aerial), herbicides, and one of six different mixtures of species. Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis (Wyoming big sagebrush) also was planted by hand in a small area in the southern end of the fire perimeter. Due to differences in plant communities prior to the fire and the multiple treatments applied, treatments were grouped into five treatment associations including mid-elevation aerial seedings, low-elevation aerial seedings, low-elevation drill seedings, high-elevation drill seeding, and no seeding treatments. Data collected at the mid-elevation aerial seedings indicate that the seeding did not appear to increase the density of seedlings compared to the non-seeded area in 2010. At the low-elevation aerial seedings, there were significantly more seedlings at seeded areas as compared to non-seeded areas. Low densities of existing perennial plants probably fostered a low-competition environment enabling seeds to germinate and emerge in 2010 during adequate moisture. Low-elevation drill seedings resulted in significant emergence of seeded grasses in 2009 and 2010 and forbs in 2010. This was likely due to adequate precipitation and that the drill seeding assured soil-to-seed contact. At the high-elevation drill seeding, which was implemented in 2009, there were a high number of seedlings in 2010. Transplanting of A. tridentata following the fires resulted in variable

  4. Predicting foundation bunchgrass species abundances: Model-assisted decision-making in protected-area sagebrush steppe

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rodhouse, Thomas J.; Irvine, Kathryn M.; Sheley, Roger L.; Smith, Brenda S.; Hoh, Shirley; Esposito, Daniel M.; Mata-Gonzalez, Ricardo

    2014-01-01

    Foundation species are structurally dominant members of ecological communities that can stabilize ecological processes and influence resilience to disturbance and resistance to invasion. Being common, they are often overlooked for conservation but are increasingly threatened from land use change, biological invasions, and over-exploitation. The pattern of foundation species abundances over space and time may be used to guide decision-making, particularly in protected areas for which they are iconic. We used ordinal logistic regression to identify the important environmental influences on the abundance patterns of bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata), Thurber's needlegrass (Achnatherum thurberianum), and Sandberg bluegrass (Poa secunda) in protected-area sagebrush steppe. We then predicted bunchgrass abundances along gradients of topography, disturbance, and invasive annual grass abundance. We used model predictions to prioritize the landscape for implementation of a management and restoration decision-support tool. Models were fit to categorical estimates of grass cover obtained from an extensive ground-based monitoring dataset. We found that remnant stands of abundant wheatgrass and bluegrass were associated with steep north-facing slopes in higher and more remote portions of the landscape outside of recently burned areas where invasive annual grasses were less abundant. These areas represented only 25% of the landscape and were prioritized for protection efforts. Needlegrass was associated with south-facing slopes, but in low abundance and in association with invasive cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum). Abundances of all three species were strongly negatively correlated with occurrence of another invasive annual grass, medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae). The rarity of priority bunchgrass stands underscored the extent of degradation and the need for prioritization. We found no evidence that insularity reduced invasibility; annual grass invasion represents

  5. Range-wide patterns of greater sage-grouse persistence

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Aldridge, C.L.; Nielsen, S.E.; Beyer, H.L.; Boyce, M.S.; Connelly, J.W.; Knick, S.T.; Schroeder, M.A.

    2008-01-01

    population growth and peripherality of populations. However, future range loss may relate less to historical mechanisms and more to recent changes in land use and habitat condition, including energy developments and invasions by non-native species such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and West Nile virus. In conjunction with local measures of population performance, landscape-scale predictions of future range loss may be useful for prioritizing management and protection. Our results suggest that initial conservation efforts should focus on maintaining large expanses of sagebrush habitat, enhancing quality of existing habitats, and increasing habitat connectivity.

  6. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in biomass-burning emissions and their contribution to light absorption and aerosol toxicity.

    PubMed

    Samburova, Vera; Connolly, Jessica; Gyawali, Madhu; Yatavelli, Reddy L N; Watts, Adam C; Chakrabarty, Rajan K; Zielinska, Barbara; Moosmüller, Hans; Khlystov, Andrey

    2016-10-15

    In recent years, brown carbon (BrC) has been shown to be an important contributor to light absorption by biomass-burning atmospheric aerosols in the blue and near-ultraviolet (UV) part of the solar spectrum. Emission factors and optical properties of 113 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were determined for combustion of five globally important fuels: Alaskan, Siberian, and Florida swamp peat, cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) needles. The emission factors of total analyzed PAHs were between 1.9±0.43.0±0.6 and 9.6±1.2-42.2±5.4mgPAHkg(-1)fuel for particle- and gas phase, respectively. Spectrophotometric analysis of the identified PAHs showed that perinaphthenone, methylpyrenes, and pyrene contributed the most to the total PAH light absorption with 17.2%, 3.3 to 10.5%, and 7.6% of the total particle-phase PAH absorptivity averaged over analyzed emissions from the fuels. In the gas phase, the top three PAH contributors to BrC were acenaphthylene (32.6%), anthracene (8.2%), and 2,4,5-trimethylnaphthalene (8.0%). Overall, the identified PAHs were responsible for 0.087-0.16% (0.13% on average) and 0.033-0.15% (0.11% on average) of the total light absorption by dichloromethane-acetone extracts of particle and gas emissions, respectively. Toxic equivalency factor (TEF) analysis of 16 PAHs prioritized by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showed that benzo(a)pyrene contributed the most to the PAH carcinogenic potency of particle phase emissions (61.8-67.4% to the total carcinogenic potency of Σ16EPA PAHs), while naphthalene played the major role in carcinogenicity of the gas phase PAHs in the biomass-burning emission analyzed here (35.4-46.0% to the total carcinogenic potency of Σ16EPA PAHs). The 16 EPA-prioritized PAHs contributed only 22.1±6.2% to total particle and 23.4±11% to total gas phase PAH mass, thus toxic properties of biomass-burning PAH emissions are most likely underestimated. PMID:27304373

  7. Geomorphic and land cover identification of dust sources in the eastern Great Basin of Utah, U.S.A.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hahnenberger, Maura; Nicoll, Kathleen

    2014-01-01

    This study identifies anthropogenically disturbed areas and barren playa surfaces as the two primary dust source types that repeatedly contribute to dust storm events in the eastern Great Basin of western Utah, U.S.A. This semi-arid desert region is an important contributor to dust production in North America, with this study being the first to specifically identify and characterize regional dust sources. From 2004 to 2010, a total of 51 dust event days (DEDs) affected the air quality in Salt Lake City, UT. MODIS satellite imagery during 16 of these DEDs was analyzed to identify dust plumes, and assess the characteristics of dust source areas. A total of 168 plumes were identified, and showed mobilization of dust from Quaternary deposits located within the Bonneville Basin. This analysis identifies 4 major and 5 secondary source areas for dust in this region, which produce dust primarily during the spring and fall months and during moderate or greater drought conditions, with a Palmer Drought Index (PDI) of - 2 or less. The largest number of observed dust plumes (~ 60% of all plumes) originated from playas (ephemeral lakes) and are classified as barren land cover with a silty clay soil sediment surface. Playa surfaces in this region undergo numerous recurrent anthropogenic disturbances, including military operations and anthropogenic water withdrawal. Anthropogenic disturbance is necessary to produce dust from the vegetated landscape in the eastern Great Basin, as evidenced by the new dust source active from 2008 to 2010 in the area burned by the 2007 Milford Flat Fire; this fire was the largest in Utah's history due to extensive cover of invasive cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) along with drought conditions. However, dust mobilization from the Milford Flat Burned Area was limited to regions that had been significantly disturbed by post-fire land management techniques that consisted of seeding, followed by chaining or tilling of the soil. Dust storms in the eastern

  8. Lack of Host Specialization on Winter Annual Grasses in the Fungal Seed Bank Pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda.

    PubMed

    Beckstead, Julie; Meyer, Susan E; Ishizuka, Toby S; McEvoy, Kelsey M; Coleman, Craig E

    2016-01-01

    Generalist plant pathogens may have wide host ranges, but many exhibit varying degrees of host specialization, with multiple pathogen races that have narrower host ranges. These races are often genetically distinct, with each race causing highest disease incidence on its host of origin. We examined host specialization in the seed pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda by reciprocally inoculating pathogen strains from Bromus tectorum and from four other winter annual grass weeds (Bromus diandrus, Bromus rubens, Bromus arvensis and Taeniatherum caput-medusae) onto dormant seeds of B. tectorum and each alternate host. We found that host species varied in resistance and pathogen strains varied in aggressiveness, but there was no evidence for host specialization. Most variation in aggressiveness was among strains within populations and was expressed similarly on both hosts, resulting in a positive correlation between strain-level disease incidence on B. tectorum and on the alternate host. In spite of this lack of host specialization, we detected weak but significant population genetic structure as a function of host species using two neutral marker systems that yielded similar results. This genetic structure is most likely due to founder effects, as the pathogen is known to be dispersed with host seeds. All host species were highly susceptible to their own pathogen races. Tolerance to infection (i.e., the ability to germinate even when infected and thereby avoid seed mortality) increased as a function of seed germination rate, which in turn increased as dormancy was lost. Pyrenophora semeniperda apparently does not require host specialization to fully exploit these winter annual grass species, which share many life history features that make them ideal hosts for this pathogen. PMID:26950931

  9. Lack of Host Specialization on Winter Annual Grasses in the Fungal Seed Bank Pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda

    PubMed Central

    Beckstead, Julie; Meyer, Susan E.; Ishizuka, Toby S.; McEvoy, Kelsey M.; Coleman, Craig E.

    2016-01-01

    Generalist plant pathogens may have wide host ranges, but many exhibit varying degrees of host specialization, with multiple pathogen races that have narrower host ranges. These races are often genetically distinct, with each race causing highest disease incidence on its host of origin. We examined host specialization in the seed pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda by reciprocally inoculating pathogen strains from Bromus tectorum and from four other winter annual grass weeds (Bromus diandrus, Bromus rubens, Bromus arvensis and Taeniatherum caput-medusae) onto dormant seeds of B. tectorum and each alternate host. We found that host species varied in resistance and pathogen strains varied in aggressiveness, but there was no evidence for host specialization. Most variation in aggressiveness was among strains within populations and was expressed similarly on both hosts, resulting in a positive correlation between strain-level disease incidence on B. tectorum and on the alternate host. In spite of this lack of host specialization, we detected weak but significant population genetic structure as a function of host species using two neutral marker systems that yielded similar results. This genetic structure is most likely due to founder effects, as the pathogen is known to be dispersed with host seeds. All host species were highly susceptible to their own pathogen races. Tolerance to infection (i.e., the ability to germinate even when infected and thereby avoid seed mortality) increased as a function of seed germination rate, which in turn increased as dormancy was lost. Pyrenophora semeniperda apparently does not require host specialization to fully exploit these winter annual grass species, which share many life history features that make them ideal hosts for this pathogen. PMID:26950931

  10. A Chronosequence Feasibility Assessment of Emergency Fire Rehabilitation Records within the Intermountain Western United States - Final Report to the Joint Fire Science Program - Project 08-S-08

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knutson, Kevin C.; Pyke, David A.; Wirth, Troy A.; Pilliod, David S.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Chambers, Jeanne C.

    2009-01-01

    Department of the Interior (DOI) bureaus have invested heavily (for example, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) spent more than $60 million in fiscal year 2007) in seeding vegetation for emergency stabilization and burned area rehabilitation of non-forested arid lands over the past 10 years. The primary objectives of these seedings commonly are to (1) reduce the post-fire dominance of non-native annual grasses, such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and red brome (Bromus rubens); (2) minimize the probability of recurrent fire; and (3) ultimately produce desirable vegetation characteristics (for example, ability to recover following disturbance [resilience], resistance to invasive species, and a capacity to support a diverse flora and fauna). Although these projects historically have been monitored to varying extents, land managers currently lack scientific evidence to verify whether seeding arid and semiarid lands achieves desired objectives. Given the amount of resources dedicated to post-fire seeding projects, a synthesis of information determining the factors that result in successful treatments is critically needed. Although results of recently established experiments and monitoring projects eventually will provide useful insights for the future direction of emergency stabilization and burned area rehabilitation programs, a chronosequence approach evaluating emergency stabilization and burned area rehabilitation treatments (both referenced hereafter as ESR treatments) over the past 30 years could provide a comprehensive assessment of treatment success across a range of regional environmental gradients. By randomly selecting a statistically robust sample from the population of historic ESR treatments in the Intermountain West, this chronosequence approach would have inference for most ecological sites in this region. The goal of this feasibility study was to compile and examine historic ESR records from BLM field offices across the Intermountain West to

  11. Constraints on coastal dune invasion for a notorious plant invader

    PubMed Central

    Griffith, Alden B.; Ahmed, Tania; Hildner, Abigail L. G.; Kuckreja, Shivani; Long, Shuangxou

    2015-01-01

    Although most biological invasions are not successful, relatively few studies have examined otherwise notorious invaders in systems where they are not highly problematic. The annual grass Bromus tectorum is a dominant invader in western North America, but is usually confined to human-dominated and disturbed systems (e.g. roadsides and parking lots) in the East where it remains virtually unstudied. This study aims to address fundamental ecological questions regarding B. tectorum in a Cape Cod dune ecosystem. (i) What is the range of variation in population dynamics and the potential for population growth? (ii) Which factors influence its local abundance and distribution? We observed substantial variation in population dynamics over 3 years, with the number of adult B. tectorum individuals increasing substantially between the first 2 years (λ = 9.24) and then decreasing (λ = 0.43). Population growth in terms of total seeds was similarly variable, but to a lesser extent (λ = 2.32 followed by λ = 0.32). Experimental soil disturbance led to a more than 10-fold increase in mean seedling emergence, and high sensitivity to differences in emergence carried this effect through the life cycle. In contrast, barriers to seed dispersal had no effect on population dynamics, suggesting limited dispersal in this system. Across the landscape, the presence of B. tectorum was associated with areas of higher plant diversity as opposed to those with a strong dominant (e.g. the foredune, dominated by Ammophila breviligulata, or low heathlands, characterized by Hudsonia tomentosa and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi). Overall, we find that B. tectorum is capable of both substantial population growth and decline in a dune ecosystem, but is likely limited without disturbance and dispersal agents. Thus, management actions that restrict dune access (e.g. for nesting habitat) likely have the co-benefit of limiting the invasive potential of B. tectorum. PMID:26558705

  12. Prairiegrass (Bromus catharticus Vahl) production and nutritive value

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A reliable supply of herbage is a crucial feature of forage-based livestock systems. Forage resources with winter-active growth habits can help extend the growing season in early spring and late autumn in regions with mild winter conditions, while drought and heat tolerant plants help meet herbage ...

  13. Short-term effects of experimental fires on a Mojave Desert seed bank

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Esque, Todd C.; Young, James A.; Tracy, C. Richard

    2010-01-01

    A Mojave Desert shrub community was experimentally burned to understand changes in seed bank of desert annual plant species in response to wildfire. Seed mortality ranged from 55 to 80%, and fire caused significant losses of native and alien annual seeds. Schismus arabicus, Schismus barbatus, Bromus madritensis, Bromus tectorum, Erodium cicutarium and Plantago spp. made up >95% of the seed bank. Bromus spp. and Plantago spp. had proportionately greater mortality of seeds than did Schismus spp. and E. cicutarium. Schismus spp. can be lodged into soil cracks thus avoiding lethal temperatures. E. cicutarium has a self-drilling mechanism that places the seeds at greater depth in the soil. Greater seed mortality occurred beneath shrub canopies than interspaces for most species (Plantago, spp., Bromus spp., and E. cicutarium), but microsite had little effect on Schismus spp. Fire reduced the perennial Ambrosia dumosa densities under canopies. Fire reduced the mean number of species found in samples by about one species per plot and no species was extirpated on experimental plots. The relative abundances of common species did not change dramatically as a result of fire or microsite, however; seed densities varied by treatment and affected interpretations of species compositions.

  14. Effects of water additions, chemical amendments, and plants on in situ measures of nutrient bioavailability in calcareous soils of southeastern Utah, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, M.E.; Belnap, J.; Beatty, S.W.; Webb, B.L.

    2006-01-01

    We used ion-exchange resin bags to investigate effects of water additions, chemical amendments, and plant presence on in situ measures of nutrient bioavailability in conjunction with a study examining soil controls of ecosystem invasion by the exotic annual grass Bromus tectorum L. At five dryland sites in southeastern Utah, USA, resin bags were buried in experimental plots randomly assigned to combinations of two watering treatments (wet and dry), four chemical-amendment treatments (KCl, MgO, CaO, and no amendment), and four plant treatments (B. tectorum alone, the perennial bunchgrass Stipa hymenoides R. & S. alone, B. tectorum and S. hymenoides together, and no plants). Resin bags were initially buried in September 1997; replaced in January, April, and June 1998; and removed at the end of the study in October 1998. When averaged across watering treatments, plots receiving KCl applications had lower resin-bag NO 3- than plots receiving no chemical amendments during three of four measurement periods-probably due to NO 3- displacement from resin bags by Cl- ions. During the January-April period, KCl application in wet plots (but not dry plots) decreased resin-bag NH 4+ and increased resin-bag NO 3- . This interaction effect likely resulted from displacement of NH 4+ from resins by K+ ions, followed by nitrification and enhanced NO 3- capture by resin bags. In plots not receiving KCl applications, resin-bag NH 4+ was higher in wet plots than in dry plots during the same period. During the January-April period, resin-bag measures for carbonate-related ions HPO 42- , Ca2+, and Mn2+ tended to be greater in the presence of B. tectorum than in the absence of B. tectorum. This trend was evident only in wet plots where B. tectorum densities were much higher than in dry plots. We attribute this pattern to the mobilization of carbonate-associated ions by root exudates of B. tectorum. These findings indicate the importance of considering potential indirect effects of soil

  15. U.S. Geological Survey Science for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative-2010 Annual Report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Edit Bowen, Zachary H.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Anderson, Patrick J.; Assal, Timothy J.; Biewick, Laura R.H.; Blecker, Steven W.; Boughton, Gregory K.; Bristol, R. Sky; Carr, Natasha B.; Chalfoun, Anna D.; Chong, Geneva W.; Clark, Melanie L.; Diffendorfer, Jay E.; Fedy, Bradley C.; Foster, Katharine; Garman, Steven L.; Germaine, Stephen; Holloway, JoAnn; Homer, Collin G.; Kauffman, Matthew J.; Keinath, Douglas; Latysh, Natalie; Manier, Daniel J.; McDougal, Robert R.; Melcher, Cynthia P.; Miller, Kirk A.; Montag, Jessica; Potter, Christopher J.; Schell, Spencer; Shafer, Sarah L.; Smith, David B.; Stillings, Lisa L.; Tuttle, Michele L.W.; Wilson, Anna B.

    2011-01-01

    the Moxa Arch Natural Gas Development area) and (2) the study of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) occurrence in burn treatments of the Little Mountain Ecosystem. The activity that entails evaluating relationships between ungulate herbivory and fire on aspen (Populus tremuloides) recruitment also was expanded to include relationships between stand characteristics of and herbivory on aspen in various ecohydrological settings. The USGS continued compiling data and developing geospatial products from all of its WLCI activities to support (1) ranking and prioritizing of proposed conservation projects, (2) developing the WLCI Integrated Assessment, and (3) developing the WLCI 5-year Conservation Action Plan. Two activities were completed in FY2010: (1) the conceptual modeling and indicator selection for monitoring resource conditions across the WLCI region, and (2) the literature review on effects of oil and gas development in western regions of the United States, both of which are in the last stages of publication.

  16. Object-based image analysis for scaling properties of rangeland ecosystems: Linking field and image data for management decision making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karl, Jason William

    samples had the highest predicted-to-observed correlations. When combined with geostatistical predictors, these changes in spatial variance with scale led to robust predictions across a range of scales. Third, I demonstrated an application of OBIA with the technique of regression kriging (RK), a geostatistical interpolator, to make spatial predictions for three aspects of rangeland condition (percent cover of shrubs, bare ground, and cheatgrass [Bromus tectorum L.]). Comparing spatial predictions from generalized least-squares (GLS) regression to RK, I found that RK implemented with OBIA produced more accurate results than GLS regression alone for all three variables measured by cross-validated root mean-squared error. Finally, I considered why techniques like OBIA, and remote sensing in general, are not more widely used in routine rangeland management. Bolstering decision-making through (1) better information tools and data to support management and (2) adaptive management has been proffered as a means for making sound management decisions, but two recent lawsuits in southern Idaho suggest that neither of these solutions is likely to be effective at managing rangelands at scales commensurate with their threats unless there are changes to the underlying management paradigm governing how the public participates in the management process.

  17. Exotic plant invasion alters nitrogen dynamics in an arid grassland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Evans, R.D.; Rimer, R.; Sperry, L.; Belnap, J.

    2001-01-01

    The introduction of nonnative plant species may decrease ecosystem stability by altering the availability of nitrogen (N) for plant growth. Invasive species can impact N availability by changing litter quantity and quality, rates of N2-fixation, or rates of N loss. We quantified the effects of invasion by the annual grass Bromus tectorum on N cycling in an arid grassland on the Colorado Plateau (USA). The invasion occurred in 1994 in two community types in an undisturbed grassland. This natural experiment allowed us to measure the immediate responses following invasion without the confounding effects of previous disturbance. Litter biomass and the C:N and lignin:N ratios were measured to determine the effects on litter dynamics. Long-term soil incubations (415 d) were used to measure potential microbial respiration and net N mineralization. Plant-available N was quantified for two years in situ with ion-exchange resin bags, and potential changes in rates of gaseous N loss were estimated by measuring denitrification enzyme activity. Bromus invasion significantly increased litter biomass, and Bromus litter had significantly greater C:N and lignin:N ratios than did native species. The change in litter quantity and chemistry decreased potential rates of net N mineralization in sites with Bromus by decreasing nitrogen available for microbial activity. Inorganic N was 50% lower on Hilaria sites with Bromus during the spring of 1997, but no differences were observed during 1998. The contrasting differences between years are likely due to moisture availability; spring precipitation was 15% greater than average during 1997, but 52% below average during spring of 1998. Bromus may cause a short-term decrease in N loss by decreasing substrate availability and denitrification enzyme activity, but N loss is likely to be greater in invaded sites in the long term because of increased fire frequency and greater N volatilization during fire. We hypothesize that the introduction of

  18. Effects of nutrient patches and root systems on the clonal plasticity of a rhizomatous grass

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Pyke, David A.; Caldwell, M.M.; Durham, S.

    1998-01-01

    Clonal plant foraging has been examined primarily on individual clones exposed to resource-poor and resource-rich environments. We designed an experiment to examine the clonal foraging behavior of the rhizomatous grass Elymus lanceolatus ssp. lanceolatus under the influence of neighboring plant root systems in a heterogeneous nutrient environment. Individual Elymus clones were planted in large bins together with one of three neighboring grass species, Agropyron desertorum, Pseudoroegneria spicata, or Bromus tectorum, which differ in rooting density and growth activity. The position of Elymus clones was manipulated so rhizomes encountered a short-duration nutrient patch and subsequently root systems of the neighboring plants. Unexpectedly, the morphological plasticity of the perennial grass Elymus lanceolatus ssp. lanceolatus was influenced by the presence of the neighboring species much more than by the local nutrient enrichments, although nutrient patches did amplify some of the foraging responses. Elymus rhizomes branched readily and initiated large daughter plants as they encountered the low-density root systems of Pseudoroegneria. When Elymus encountered the fine, dense root systems of the annual Bromus, clonal expansion was initially reduced. Yet, after the short growing season of Bromus, Elymus resumed clonal expansion and produced several daughter plants. Elymus clones were most constrained by the fine, dense root systems of Agropyron desertorum. In this case, a few, long rhizomes avoided the densely rooted soil environment by growing aboveground as stolons crossing over the Agropyron tussocks. Elymus clonal biomass was largest in neighborhoods of Pseudoroegneria, intermediate in neighborhoods with Bromus, and smallest in neighborhoods with Agropyron. The latter were approximately half the size of those in the Pseudoroegneria environments. Elymus growth could not be explained by simple resource competition alone; other mechanisms must have been involved in

  19. Moderate Livestock Grazing Protects Sagebrush Plant Communities From Post-fire Cheatgrass Invasion.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Livestock grazing and fire are common disturbances on sagebrush rangelands. However, little is known about the influence of pre-fire grazing on post-fire plant community recovery. We evaluated the impacts of long-term grazing compared to not grazing prior to fire on sagebrush rangeland. We found ...

  20. Cheatgrass invasion and woody species encroachment in the Great Basin: benefits of conservation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Great Basin is the largest North American desert covering more than 122.5 million acres. Two of the biggest threats to ecosystem stability and integrity in the Great Basin are invasive annual grasses and expansion of native woody plants. The alteration of native plant communities by these invas...

  1. Assessment and demonstration of ecologically-based medusahead and cheatgrass management in Jordan Valley, Oregon

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Medusahead was first noted in Jordan Valley, OR approximately 25-30 years ago. It has significantly expanded within the last 10-20 years. As part of the USDA-ARS Area-wide project for invasive annual grasses, landscape scale demonstration plots were established with five cooperating ranches in 200...

  2. Effect of atmospheric CO2 levels on nutrients in cheatgrass tissue

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rising atmospheric CO2 has resulted in declining tissue nutrient concentrations and leaf biochemicals, which has potential ramifications for animal nutrition, herbivory and litter decomposition rates. We investigated the interacting effects of atmospheric CO2 concentrations (270, 320, 370, and 420 p...

  3. White Sweetclover (Melilotus albus) and Narrowleaf Hawksbeard (Crepis tectorum) Seed Germination after Passing Through Moose

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    White sweetclover and narrowleaf hawksbeard are non-indigenous invasive plant species in Alaska that are rapidly spreading, including into areas that are otherwise free of non-indigenous plants. There has been concern that native moose could be dispersing viable seed from these plants after ingestio...

  4. Effects of ungulates and prairie dogs on seed banks and vegetation in a North American mixed-grass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fahnestock, J.T.; Larson, D.L.; Plumb, G.E.; Detling, J.K.

    2003-01-01

    The relationship between vegetation cover and soil seed banks was studied in five different ungulate herbivoreprairie dog treatment combinations at three northern mixed-grass prairie sites in Badlands National Park, South Dakota. There were distinct differences in both the seed bank composition and the aboveground vegetation between the off-prairie dog colony treatments and the on-colony treatments. The three on-colony treatments were similar to each other at all three sites with vegetation dominated by the forbs Dyssodia papposa, Hedeoma spp., Sphaeralcea coccinea, Conyza canadensis, and Plantago patagonica and seed banks dominated by the forbs Verbena bracteata and Dyssodia papposa. The two off-colony treatments were also similar to each other at all three sites. Vegetation at these sites was dominated by the grasses Pascopyrum smithii, Bromus tectorum and Bouteloua gracilis and the seed banks were dominated by several grasses including Bromus tectorum, Monroa squarrosa, Panicum capillare, Sporobolus cryptandra and Stipa viridula. A total of 146 seedlings representing 21 species germinated and emerged from off-colony treatments while 3069 seedlings comprising 33 species germinated from on-colony treatments. Fifteen of the forty species found in soil seed banks were not present in the vegetation, and 57 of the 82 species represented in the vegetation were not found in the seed banks. Few dominant species typical of mixed-grass prairie vegetation germinated and emerged from seed banks collected from prairie dog colony treatments suggesting that removal of prairie dogs will not result in the rapid reestablishment of representative mixed-grass prairie unless steps are taken to restore the soil seed bank.

  5. Selective Foraging by Pogonomyrmex salinus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Semiarid Grassland: Implications for a Rare Plant.

    PubMed

    Schmasow, Matthew S; Robertson, Ian C

    2016-08-01

    Selective foraging by granivores can have important consequences for the structure and composition of plant communities, and potentially severe consequences for rare plant species. To understand how granivore foraging behavior affects common and rare plant species, diet selection should be viewed relative to the availability of alternative seed options, and with consideration of the individual attributes of those seeds (e.g., morphology, nutrient content). We examined the foraging decisions of Owyhee harvester ants, Pogonomyrmex salinus (Olsen), in semiarid grassland dominated by two species of grass, Poa secunda and Bromus tectorum, and two species of mustard, Sisymbrium altissimum and Lepidium papilliferum The latter is a rare plant endemic to southwestern Idaho, and its seeds are readily consumed by P. salinus We examined the diets of P. salinus colonies in June and July over three years and compared these values to the weekly availability of seeds on the ground in a 3-12 -m radius around individual ant colonies. Small-seeded species (P. secunda, S. altissimum, and L. papilliferum) were usually overrepresented in the diet of ants relative to their availability, whereas the large seeds of B. tectorum were largely avoided despite being abundant and nutritious. The reduced travel time associated with carrying small seeds may overshadow differences in nutritional content among seed types, except in times when small seeds are in short supply. Lepidium papilliferum appears particularly vulnerable to seed predation, likely in part because it grows in dense patches that are easily exploited by foragers. PMID:27357161

  6. Revisiting the Life Cycle of Dung Fungi, Including Sordaria fimicola

    PubMed Central

    Newcombe, George; Campbell, Jason; Griffith, David; Baynes, Melissa; Launchbaugh, Karen; Pendleton, Rosemary

    2016-01-01

    Dung fungi, such as Sordaria fimicola, generally reproduce sexually with ascospores discharged from mammalian dung after passage through herbivores. Their life cycle is thought to be obligate to dung, and thus their ascospores in Quaternary sediments have been interpreted as evidence of past mammalian herbivore activity. Reports of dung fungi as endophytes would seem to challenge the view that they are obligate to dung. However, endophyte status is controversial because surface-sterilization protocols could fail to kill dung fungus ascospores stuck to the plant surface. Thus, we first tested the ability of representative isolates of three common genera of dung fungi to affect plant growth and fecundity given that significant effects on plant fitness could not result from ascospores merely stuck to the plant surface. Isolates of S. fimicola, Preussia sp., and Sporormiella sp. reduced growth and fecundity of two of three populations of Bromus tectorum, the host from which they had been isolated. In further work with S. fimicola we showed that inoculations of roots of B. tectorum led to some colonization of aboveground tissues. The same isolate of S. fimicola reproduced sexually on inoculated host plant tissues as well as in dung after passage through sheep, thus demonstrating a facultative rather than an obligate life cycle. Finally, plants inoculated with S. fimicola were not preferred by sheep; preference had been expected if the fungus were obligate to dung. Overall, these findings make us question the assumption that these fungi are obligate to dung. PMID:26839959

  7. Modelling invasion for a habitat generalist and a specialist plant species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Evangelista, P.H.; Kumar, S.; Stohlgren, T.J.; Jarnevich, C.S.; Crall, A.W.; Norman, J. B., III; Barnett, D.T.

    2008-01-01

    Predicting suitable habitat and the potential distribution of invasive species is a high priority for resource managers and systems ecologists. Most models are designed to identify habitat characteristics that define the ecological niche of a species with little consideration to individual species' traits. We tested five commonly used modelling methods on two invasive plant species, the habitat generalist Bromus tectorum and habitat specialist Tamarix chinensis, to compare model performances, evaluate predictability, and relate results to distribution traits associated with each species. Most of the tested models performed similarly for each species; however, the generalist species proved to be more difficult to predict than the specialist species. The highest area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve values with independent validation data sets of B. tectorum and T. chinensis was 0.503 and 0.885, respectively. Similarly, a confusion matrix for B. tectorum had the highest overall accuracy of 55%, while the overall accuracy for T. chinensis was 85%. Models for the generalist species had varying performances, poor evaluations, and inconsistent results. This may be a result of a generalist's capability to persist in a wide range of environmental conditions that are not easily defined by the data, independent variables or model design. Models for the specialist species had consistently strong performances, high evaluations, and similar results among different model applications. This is likely a consequence of the specialist's requirement for explicit environmental resources and ecological barriers that are easily defined by predictive models. Although defining new invaders as generalist or specialist species can be challenging, model performances and evaluations may provide valuable information on a species' potential invasiveness.

  8. Populations dynamics of red brome (Bromus madritensis subsp. Rubens): Times for concern, opportunities for management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Salo, L.F.

    2004-01-01

    Red brome is a Mediterranean winter annual grass that has invaded south-western USA deserts. Unlike native annuals, it does not maintain a soil seed bank, but exhibits early and uniform germination. Above-average winter precipitation in these regions allows red brome to reach high density and biomass. These are time for concern, as large numbers of easily dispersed seeds increase the likelihood that it may spread into new areas. However, early and uniform germination can also lead to population crashes when drought precludes seed production. Winter droughts dramatically reduce densities of red brome, but provide opportunities for management of this exotic grass.

  9. Smooth brome (Bromus inermis Leyss) response to concrete grinding residue application

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Concrete grinding residue (CGR) is a slurry byproduct created by concrete pavement maintenance operations. The application of CGR to roadside soils is not consistently regulated by state agencies across the United States. Much of this variability in regulation may be due to the lack of science-base...

  10. Soil biota can change after exotic plant invasion: Does this affect ecosystem processes?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.; Phillips, S.L.; Sherrod, S.K.; Moldenke, A.

    2005-01-01

    Invasion of the exotic annual grass Bromus tectorum into stands of the native perennial grass Hilaria jamesii significantly reduced the abundance of soil biota, especially microarthropods and nematodes. Effects of invasion on active and total bacterial and fungal biomass were variable, although populations generally increased after 50+ years of invasion. The invasion of Bromus also resulted in a decrease in richness and a species shift in plants, microarthropods, fungi, and nematodes. However, despite the depauperate soil fauna at the invaded sites, no effects were seen on cellulose decomposition rates, nitrogen mineralization rates, or vascular plant growth. When Hilaria was planted into soils from not-invaded, recently invaded, and historically invaded sites (all currently or once dominated by Hilaria), germination and survivorship were not affected. In contrast, aboveground Hilaria biomass was significantly greater in recently invaded soils than in the other two soils. We attributed the Hilaria response to differences in soil nutrients present before the invasion, especially soil nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as these nutrients were elevated in the soils that produced the greatest Hilaria biomass. Our data suggest that it is not soil biotic richness per se that determines soil process rates or plant productivity, but instead that either (1) the presence of a few critical soil food web taxa can keep ecosystem function high, (2) nutrient loss is very slow in this ecosystem, and/or (3) these processes are microbially driven. However, the presence of Bromus may reduce key soil nutrients over time and thus may eventually suppress native plant success. ?? 2005 by the Ecological Society of America.

  11. Influence of plant invasion on seed chemistry of winterfat, green rabbitbrush, freckled milkvetch, indian ricegrass and cheatgrass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant invasions have proven detrimental to numerous ecosystem processes; however, limited information exists on how plant invasions affect seed nutrients. We quantified nutrients in seeds of Indian ricegrass (Achnatherum hymenoides), green rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus), winterfat (Krasch...

  12. Consequences of Seed Origin and Biological Invasion for Early Establishment in Restoration of a North American Grass Species

    PubMed Central

    Herget, Mollie E.; Hufford, Kristina M.; Mummey, Daniel L.; Shreading, Lauren N.

    2015-01-01

    Local, wild-collected seeds of native plants are recommended for use in ecological restoration to maintain patterns of adaptive variation. However, some environments are so drastically altered by exotic, invasive weeds that original environmental conditions may no longer exist. Under these circumstances, cultivated varieties selected for improved germination and vigor may have a competitive advantage at highly disturbed sites. This study investigated differences in early establishment and seedling performance between wild and cultivated seed sources of the native grass, Poa secunda, both with and without competition from the invasive exotic grass, Bromus tectorum. We measured seedling survival and above-ground biomass at two experimental sites in western Montana, and found that the source of seeds selected for restoration can influence establishment at the restoration site. Cultivars had an overall advantage when compared with local genotypes, supporting evidence of greater vigor among cultivated varieties of native species. This advantage, however, declined rapidly in the presence of B. tectorum and most accessions were not significantly different for growth and survival in competition plots. Only one cultivar had a consistent advantage despite a strong decline in its performance when competing with invasive plants. As a result, cultivated varieties did not meet expectations for greater establishment and persistence relative to local genotypes in the presence of invasive, exotic species. We recommend the use of representative local or regional wild seed sources in restoration to minimize commercial selection, and a mix of individual accessions (wild, or cultivated when necessary) in highly invaded settings to capture vigorous genotypes and increase the odds native plants will establish at restoration sites. PMID:25741702

  13. Arbuscular mycorrhizal assemblages in native plant roots change in the presence of invasive exotic grasses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hawkes, C.V.; Belnap, J.; D'Antonio, C.; Firestone, M.K.

    2006-01-01

    Plant invasions have the potential to significantly alter soil microbial communities, given their often considerable aboveground effects. We examined how plant invasions altered the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi of native plant roots in a grassland site in California and one in Utah. In the California site, we used experimentally created plant communities composed of exotic (Avena barbata, Bromus hordeaceus) and native (Nassella pulchra, Lupinus bicolor) monocultures and mixtures. In the Utah semi-arid grassland, we took advantage of invasion by Bromus tectorum into long-term plots dominated by either of two native grasses, Hilaria jamesii or Stipa hymenoides. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonizing roots were characterized with PCR amplification of the ITS region, cloning, and sequencing. We saw a significant effect of the presence of exotic grasses on the diversity of mycorrhizal fungi colonizing native plant roots. In the three native grasses, richness of mycorrhizal fungi decreased; in the native forb at the California site, the number of fungal RFLP patterns increased in the presence of exotics. The exotic grasses also caused the composition of the mycorrhizal community in native roots to shift dramatically both in California, with turnover of Glomus spp., and Utah, with replacement of Glomus spp. by apparently non-mycorrhizal fungi. Invading plants may be able to influence the network of mycorrhizal fungi in soil that is available to natives through either earlier root activity or differential carbon provision compared to natives. Alteration of the soil microbial community by plant invasion can provide a mechanism for both successful invasion and the resulting effects of invaders on the ecosystem. ?? Springer 2006.

  14. Phylogenetic divergence morphological and physiological differences distinguish a new neotyphodium endophyte species in the grass bromus auleticus from South America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The fungi of genus Neotyphodium are systemic, constitutive, symbionts of grasses of subfamily Pooideae. In the southern hemisphere most of these asexual endophytes are the result of the hybridization between two sexual species, Epichloe festucae and E. typhina, from the northern hemisphere. However ...

  15. Petrified Forest National Park Invasive Plant Species Survey and Mapping; 2002-2005

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thomas, Kathryn A.; Hunt, Randall; Arundel, Terry R.; Guertin, P.

    2009-01-01

    We conducted a survey for invasive nonnative plant species at Petrified Forest National Park from 2002 through 2005. The survey employed a unique sampling design consisting of a grid of consecutive one-hectare cells as the sampling units. Our use of predetermined sampling units allowed all observations to be referenced to a fixed area with geographic coordinates that easily transferred to a geographic information system. Our field team surveyed 2,730 sampling units in three select areas for at least 1 year and 879 sampling units for 4 years. During this period we identified 40 different invasive plant species; more than half the invasive plants (22 species) were annual forbs and grasses. Four invasive plant species occurred in 25 percent or more of all sampling units observed in one or more years: Bromus tectorum, Erodium cicutarium, Salsola tragus, and Sisymbrium altissimum. Salsola tragus was the most abundant species in all years and occurred in more than 55 percent of all sampling units surveyed each year.

  16. Herbicidal Activity of Glucosinolate Degradation Products in Fermented Meadowfoam (Limnanthes alba) Seed Meal

    PubMed Central

    STEVENS, JAN F.; REED, RALPH L.; ALBER, SUSAN; PRITCHETT, LARRY; MACHADO, STEPHEN

    2009-01-01

    Meadowfoam (Limnanthes alba) is an oilseed crop grown in western Oregon. After extraction of the oil from the seeds, the remaining seed meal contains 2-4% of the glucosinolate, glucolimnanthin. We investigated the effect of fermentation of seed meal on its chemical composition and the effect of the altered composition on downy brome (Bromus tectorum) coleoptile emergence. Incubation of enzyme-inactive seed meal with enzyme-active seeds (1% by weight) resulted in complete degradation of glucolimnanthin and formation of 3-methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate in 28% yield. Fermentation in the presence of an aqueous solution of FeSO4 (10 mM) resulted in the formation of 3-methoxyphenylacetonitrile and 2-(3-methoxyphenyl)ethanethioamide, a novel natural product. The formation of the isothiocyanate, the nitrile and the thioamide, as a total, correlated with an increase of herbicidal potency of seed meal (r2 = 0.96). The results of this study open new possibilities for the refinement of glucosinolate-containing seed meals for use as bioherbicides. PMID:19170637

  17. Rehabilitation of medusahead and cheatgrass dominated rangelands in the Boise foothills. An Ecologically-based Invasive Plant Management (EBIPM) program research and demonstration project

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Boise, Idaho foothills have had a long history of human use, are currently grazed by livestock and wildlife, and are a principal area for diverse recreational use. Sagebrush-grass rangelands in the Boise Front have undergone frequent wildfires that have resulted in extensive type conversion to ...

  18. Field growth comparisons of invasive alien annual and native perennial grasses in monocultures

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Medusahead is rapidly invading native grassland and cheatgrass dominated grassland throughout the western US. Understanding growth dynamics of medusahead relative to bluebunch wheatgrass and cheatgrass is central to predicting and managing medusahead invasion. We hypothesized that medusahead would...

  19. Interaction of historical and nonhistorical disturbances maintains native plant communities.

    PubMed

    Davies, K W; Svejcar, T J; Bates, J D

    2009-09-01

    Historical disturbance regimes are often considered a critical element in maintaining native plant communities. However, the response of plant communities to disturbance may be fundamentally altered as a consequence of invasive plants, climate change, or prior disturbances. The appropriateness of historical disturbance patterns under modern conditions and the interactions among disturbances are issues that ecologists must address to protect and restore native plant communities. We evaluated the response of Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis (Beetle & A. Young) S.L. Welsh plant communities to their historical disturbance regime compared to other disturbance regimes. The historical disturbance regime of these plant communities was periodic fires with minimal grazing by large herbivores. We also investigated the influence of prior disturbance (grazing) on the response of these communities to subsequent disturbance (burning). Treatments were: (1) ungrazed (livestock grazing excluded since 1936) and unburned, (2) grazed and unburned, (3) ungrazed and burned (burned in 1993), and (4) grazed and burned. The ungrazed-burned treatment emulated the historical disturbance regime. Vegetation cover, density, and biomass production were measured the 12th, 13th, and 14th year post-burning. Prior to burning the presence of Bromus tectorum L., an exotic annual grass, was minimal (<0.5% cover), and vegetation characteristics were similar between grazed and ungrazed treatments. However, litter accumulation was almost twofold greater in ungrazed than in grazed treatments. Long-term grazing exclusion followed by burning resulted in a substantial B. tectorum invasion, but burning the grazed areas did not produce an invasion. The ungrazed-burned treatment also had less perennial vegetation than other treatments. The accumulation of litter (fuel) in ungrazed treatments may have resulted in greater fire-induced mortality of perennial vegetation in ungrazed compared to grazed treatments

  20. New Range Plants, Their Adaptations and Uses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    It has been estimated that cheatgrass has displaced around 10 million ha of perennial vegetation within the Great Basin. The control of cheatgrass without replacement by desirable perennial species results in the reestablishment of cheatgrass or other noxious weeds on disturbed rangeland. Rapid se...

  1. Fire Impacts on the Mojave Desert Ecosystem: Literature Review

    SciTech Connect

    Fenstermaker Lynn

    2012-01-01

    The Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) is located within the Mojave Desert, which is the driest region in North America. Precipitation on the NNSS varies from an annual average of 130 millimeters (mm; 5.1 inches) with a minimum of 47 mm (1.9 inches) and maximum of 328 mm (12.9 inches) over the past 15 year period to an annual average of 205 mm (8.1 inches) with an annual minimum of 89 mm (3.5 inches) and maximum of 391 mm (15.4 inches) for the same time period; for a Frenchman Flat location at 970 meters (m; 3182 feet) and a Pahute Mesa location at 1986 m (6516 feet), respectively. The combination of aridity and temperature extremes has resulted in sparsely vegetated basins (desert shrub plant communities) to moderately vegetated mountains (mixed coniferous forest plant communities); both plant density and precipitation increase with increasing elevation. Whereas some plant communities have evolved under fire regimes and are dependent upon fire for seed germination, plant communities within the Mojave Desert are not dependent on a fire regime and therefore are highly impacted by fire (Brown and Minnich, 1986; Brooks, 1999). As noted by Johansen (2003) natural range fires are not prevalent in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts because there is not enough vegetation present (too many shrub interspaces) to sustain a fire. Fire research and hence publications addressing fires in the Southwestern United States (U.S.) have therefore focused on forest, shrub-steppe and grassland fires caused by both natural and anthropogenic ignition sources. In the last few decades, however, invasion of mid-elevation shrublands by non-native Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens and Bromus tectorum (Hunter, 1991) have been highly correlated with increased fire frequency (Brooks and Berry, 2006; Brooks and Matchett, 2006). Coupled with the impact of climate change, which has already been shown to be playing a role in increased forest fires (Westerling et al., 2006), it is likely that the fire

  2. Annual grass invasion in sagebrush steppe: the relative importance of climate, soil properties and biotic interactions.

    PubMed

    Bansal, Sheel; Sheley, Roger L

    2016-06-01

    The invasion by winter-annual grasses (AGs) such as Bromus tectorum into sagebrush steppe throughout the western USA is a classic example of a biological invasion with multiple, interacting climate, soil and biotic factors driving the invasion, although few studies have examined all components together. Across a 6000-km(2) area of the northern Great Basin, we conducted a field assessment of 100 climate, soil, and biotic (functional group abundances, diversity) factors at each of 90 sites that spanned an invasion gradient ranging from 0 to 100 % AG cover. We first determined which biotic and abiotic factors had the strongest correlative relationships with AGs and each resident functional group. We then used regression and structural equation modeling to explore how multiple ecological factors interact to influence AG abundance. Among biotic interactions, we observed negative relationships between AGs and biodiversity, perennial grass cover, resident species richness, biological soil crust cover and shrub density, whereas perennial and annual forb cover, tree cover and soil microbial biomass had no direct linkage to AG. Among abiotic factors, AG cover was strongly related to climate (increasing cover with increasing temperature and aridity), but had weak relationships with soil factors. Our structural equation model showed negative effects of perennial grasses and biodiversity on AG cover while integrating the negative effects of warmer climate and positive influence of belowground processes on resident functional groups. Our findings illustrate the relative importance of biotic interactions and climate on invasive abundance, while soil properties appear to have stronger relationships with resident biota than with invasives. PMID:26920900

  3. Diel Patterns of Colaspis brunnea and Colaspis crinicornis (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in Southeastern Nebraska.

    PubMed

    Miwa, Kentaro; Meinke, Lance J

    2015-12-01

    A field study was conducted to increase our understanding of diel activity patterns of Colaspis brunnea (F.) and Colaspis crinicornis Schaeffer (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in key crop habitats. Within 24-h periods, C. brunnea was sampled in clover fields (primarily red clover, Trifolium pretense (L.), with some sweet clover, Melilotus officinalis (L.) Pallas, and downy brome, Bromus tectorum (L.)) and soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merrill, fields, using a sweep-net, while whole-plant-count sampling was used to monitor C. crinicornis densities in field corn, Zea mays (L.). Sweep-net captures of C. brunnea were significantly greater at night than during the day, suggesting possible vertical movement within the canopy during a 24-h period. Colaspis crinicornis densities on corn plants were fairly constant throughout a 24-h period, but beetle activity (e.g., walking, mating) was significantly greater at night than during the day. Results suggest that both Colaspis species may be exhibiting similar increases in activity at night that facilitates movement from more protected to more exposed areas within a habitat. It is unclear what mechanisms drive this diel pattern, but vegetation architecture and associated interactions with environmental conditions may play a role. Sweep-netting in clover or soybean fields and use of whole-plant-counts in cornfields were effective sampling methods for Colaspis adults. However, because activity and behaviors of Colaspis beetles were influenced by time of day in this study, use of a consistent sampling time within a diel period would be recommended for future population studies or integrated pest management decision-making. PMID:26314034

  4. Riparian Vegetation Mapping Along the Hanford Reach

    SciTech Connect

    FOGWELL, T.W.

    2003-07-11

    During the biological survey and inventory of the Hanford Site conducted in the mid-1990s (1995 and 1996), preliminary surveys of the riparian vegetation were conducted along the Hanford Reach. These preliminary data were reported to The Nature Conservancy (TNC), but were not included in any TNC reports to DOE or stakeholders. During the latter part of FY2001, PNNL contracted with SEE Botanical, the parties that performed the original surveys in the mid 1990s, to complete the data summaries and mapping associated with the earlier survey data. Those data sets were delivered to PNNL and the riparian mapping by vegetation type for the Hanford Reach is being digitized during the first quarter of FY2002. These mapping efforts provide the information necessary to create subsequent spatial data layers to describe the riparian zone according to plant functional types (trees, shrubs, grasses, sedges, forbs). Quantification of the riparian zone by vegetation types is important to a number of DOE'S priority issues including modeling contaminant transport and uptake in the near-riverine environment and the determination of ecological risk. This work included the identification of vegetative zones along the Reach by changes in dominant plant species covering the shoreline from just to the north of the 300 Area to China Bar near Vernita. Dominant and indicator species included Agropyron dasytachyudA. smithii, Apocynum cannabinum, Aristida longiseta, Artemisia campestris ssp. borealis var scouleriana, Artemisa dracunculus, Artemisia lindleyana, Artemisia tridentata, Bromus tectorum, Chrysothamnus nauseosus, Coreopsis atkinsoniana. Eleocharis palustris, Elymus cinereus, Equisetum hyemale, Eriogonum compositum, Juniperus trichocarpa, Phalaris arundinacea, Poa compressa. Salk exigua, Scirpus acutus, Solidago occidentalis, Sporobolus asper,and Sporobolus cryptandrus. This letter report documents the data received, the processing by PNNL staff, and additional data gathered in FY2002

  5. Annual grass invasion in sagebrush-steppe: The relative importance of climate, soil properties and biotic interactions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bansal, Sheel; Sheley, Roger L.

    2016-01-01

    The invasion by winter-annual grasses (AGs) such as Bromus tectorum into sagebrush steppe throughout the western USA is a classic example of a biological invasion with multiple, interacting climate, soil and biotic factors driving the invasion, although few studies have examined all components together. Across a 6000-km2 area of the northern Great Basin, we conducted a field assessment of 100 climate, soil, and biotic (functional group abundances, diversity) factors at each of 90 sites that spanned an invasion gradient ranging from 0 to 100 % AG cover. We first determined which biotic and abiotic factors had the strongest correlative relationships with AGs and each resident functional group. We then used regression and structural equation modeling to explore how multiple ecological factors interact to influence AG abundance. Among biotic interactions, we observed negative relationships between AGs and biodiversity, perennial grass cover, resident species richness, biological soil crust cover and shrub density, whereas perennial and annual forb cover, tree cover and soil microbial biomass had no direct linkage to AG. Among abiotic factors, AG cover was strongly related to climate (increasing cover with increasing temperature and aridity), but had weak relationships with soil factors. Our structural equation model showed negative effects of perennial grasses and biodiversity on AG cover while integrating the negative effects of warmer climate and positive influence of belowground processes on resident functional groups. Our findings illustrate the relative importance of biotic interactions and climate on invasive abundance, while soil properties appear to have stronger relationships with resident biota than with invasives.

  6. Roads as conduits for exotic plant invasions in a semiarid landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gelbard, J.L.; Belnap, J.

    2003-01-01

    Roads are believed to be a major contributing factor to the ongoing spread of exotic plants. We examined the effect of road improvement and environmental variables on exotic and native plant diversity in roadside verges and adjacent semiarid grassland, shrubland, and woodland communities of southern Utah (U.S.A.). We measured the cover of exotic and native species in roadside verges and both the richness and cover of exotic and native species in adjacent interior communities (50 m beyond the edge of the road cut) along 42 roads stratified by level of road improvement (paved, improved surface, graded, and four-wheel-drive track). In roadside verges along paved roads, the cover of Bromus tectorum was three times as great (27%) as in verges along four-wheel-drive tracks (9%). The cover of five common exotic forb species tended to be lower in verges along four-wheel-drive tracks than in verges along more improved roads. The richness and cover of exotic species were both more than 50% greater, and the richness of native species was 30% lower, at interior sites adjacent to paved roads than at those adjacent to four-wheel-drive tracks. In addition, environmental variables relating to dominant vegetation, disturbance, and topography were significantly correlated with exotic and native species richness and cover. Improved roads can act as conduits for the invasion of adjacent ecosystems by converting natural habitats to those highly vulnerable to invasion. However, variation in dominant vegetation, soil moisture, nutrient levels, soil depth, disturbance, and topography may render interior communities differentially susceptible to invasions originating from roadside verges. Plant communities that are both physically invasible (e.g., characterized by deep or fertile soils) and disturbed appear most vulnerable. Decision-makers considering whether to build, improve, and maintain roads should take into account the potential spread of exotic plants.

  7. Altered snowfall and soil disturbance influence the early life stage transitions and recruitment of a native and invasive grass in a cold desert.

    PubMed

    Gornish, Elise S; Aanderud, Zachary T; Sheley, Roger L; Rinella, Mathew J; Svejcar, Tony; Englund, Suzanne D; James, Jeremy J

    2015-02-01

    Climate change effects on plants are expected to be primarily mediated through early life stage transitions. Snowfall variability, in particular, may have profound impacts on seedling recruitment, structuring plant populations and communities, especially in mid-latitude systems. These water-limited and frequently invaded environments experience tremendous variation in snowfall, and species in these systems must contend with harsh winter conditions and frequent disturbance. In this study, we examined the mechanisms driving the effects of snowpack depth and soil disturbance on the germination, emergence, and establishment of the native Pseudoroegnaria spicata and the invasive Bromus tectorum, two grass species that are widely distributed across the cold deserts of North America. The absence of snow in winter exposed seeds to an increased frequency and intensity of freeze-thaw cycles and greater fungal pathogen infection. A shallower snowpack promoted the formation of a frozen surface crust, reducing the emergence of both species (more so for P. spicata). Conversely, a deeper snowpack recharged the soil and improved seedling establishment of both species by creating higher and more stable levels of soil moisture availability following spring thaw. Across several snow treatments, experimental disturbance served to decrease the cumulative survival of both species. Furthermore, we observed that, regardless of snowpack treatment, most seed mortality (70-80%) occurred between seed germination and seedling emergence (November-March), suggesting that other wintertime factors or just winter conditions in general limited survival. Our results suggest that snowpack variation and legacy effects of the snowpack influence emergence and establishment but might not facilitate invasion of cold deserts. PMID:25539620

  8. Plant rhizosphere species-specific stoichiometry and regulation of extracellular enzyme and microbial community structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, C. W.; Calderon, F.; Pendall, E.; Wallenstein, M. D.

    2012-12-01

    Plant communities affect the activity and composition of soil microbial communities through alteration of the soil environment during root growth; substrate availability through root exudation; nutrient availability through plant uptake; and moisture regimes through transpiration. As a result, positive feedbacks in soil properties can result from alterations in microbial community composition and function in the rhizosphere zone. At the ecosystem-scale, many properties of soil microbial communities can vary between forest stands dominated by different species, including community composition and stoichiometry. However, the influence of smaller individual plants on grassland soils and microbial communities is less well documented. There is evidence to suggest that some plants can modify their soil environment in a manner that favors their persistence. For example, when Bromus tectorum plants invade, soil microbial communities tend to have higher N mineralization rates (in the rhizosphere zone) relative to native plants. If tight linkages between individual plant species and microbial communities inhabiting the rhizosphere exist, we hypothesized that any differences among plant species specific rhizosphere zones could be observed by shifts in: 1) soil -rhizosphere microbial community structure, 2) enzymatic C:N:P acquisition activities, 3) alterations in the soil C chemistry composition in the rhizosphere, and 4) plant - soil - microbial C:N:P elemental stoichiometry. We selected and grew 4 different C3 grasses species including three species native to the Shortgrass Steppe region (Pascopyrum smithii, Koeleria macrantha, and Vulpia octoflora) and one exotic invasive plant species (B. tectorum) in root-boxes that are designed to allow for easy access to the rhizosphere. The field soil was homogenized using a 4mm sieve and mixed 1:1 with sterile sand and seeded as monocultures (24 replicate root - boxes for each species). Plant and soil samples (along with no - plant

  9. The Use of Analog Sites for Designing and Evaluating Long Term Performance of Evapotranspiration Covers in the Northern Mojave Desert, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shafer, D. S.

    2001-12-01

    creates small, disturbed patches that can be favorable sites for the establishment of exotic annuals such as cheat grass (Bromus tectorum) which has the potential to reduce the successful establishment of native vegetation. Thus far, the cheat grass has not spread into intervening areas on one of the younger analog sites.

  10. CASE STUDY: WILDFIRE EFFECTS AND SUCCESSION ON WYOMING BIG SAGEBRUSH ASSOCIATIONS IN SOUTHEAST OREGON.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Southeastern Oregon harbors extensive blocks of Wyoming big sagebrush steppe in mid to late seral ecological stages. These areas are co-dominated by sagebrush and perennial bunchgrasses with a limited presence of cheatgrass. However, cheatgrass has the potential to alter these systems after fire by ...

  11. Variation in the establishment of a non-native annual grass influences competitive interactions with Mojave Desert perennials

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeFalco, L.A.; Fernandez, G.C.J.; Nowak, R.S.

    2007-01-01

    Competition between native and non-native species can change the composition and structure of plant communities, but in deserts, the highly variable timing of resource availability also influences non-native plant establishment, thus modulating their impacts on native species. In a field experiment, we varied densities of the non-native annual grass Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens around individuals of three native Mojave Desert perennials-Larrea tridentata, Achnatherum hymenoides, and Pleuraphis rigida-in either winter or spring. For comparison, additional plots were prepared for the same perennial species and seasons, but with a mixture of native annual species as neighbors. Growth of perennials declined when Bromus was established in winter because Bromus stands had 2-3 months of growth and high water use before perennial growth began. However, water potentials for the perennials were not significantly reduced, suggesting that direct competition for water may not be the major mechanism driving reduced perennial growth. The impact of Bromus on Larrea was lower than for the two perennial grasses, likely because Larrea maintains low growth rates throughout the year, even after Bromus has completed its life cycle. This result contrasts with the perennial grasses, whose phenology completely overlaps with (Achnatherum) or closely follows (Pleuraphis) that of Bromus. In comparison, Bromus plants established in spring were smaller than those established in winter and thus did not effectively reduce growth of the perennials. Growth of perennials with mixed annuals as neighbors also did not differ from those with Bromus neighbors of equivalent biomass, but stands of these native annuals did not achieve the high biomass of Bromus stands that were necessary to reduce perennial growth. Seed dormancy and narrow requirements for seedling survivorship of native annuals produce densities and biomass lower than those achieved by Bromus; thus, impacts of native Mojave Desert

  12. DESI-Detection of early-season invasives (software-installation manual and user's guide version 1.0)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kokaly, Raymond F.

    2011-01-01

    This report describes a software system for detecting early-season invasive plant species, such as cheatgrass. The report includes instructions for installing the software and serves as a user's guide in processing Landsat satellite remote sensing data to map the distributions of cheatgrass and other early-season invasive plants. The software was developed for application to the semi-arid regions of southern Utah; however, the detection parameters can be altered by the user for application to other areas.

  13. The effect of increased temperature and altered precipitation on plants in an arid ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wertin, T. M.; Reed, S.; Belnap, J.

    2011-12-01

    Projected changes in climate are expected to strongly affect arid and semi-arid landscapes where plant communities are assumed to already experience high temperatures and low water availability. Here we investigated the effect of elevated temperature and altered precipitation regimes on plant physiology, community composition, phenology and growth on the Colorado Plateau. The ecosystem is dominated by the native perennial grasses Pleuraphis jamesii and Achnatherum hymenoides and the shrub Atriplex confertifolia and has well-formed biological soil crusts. The invasive annual grass Bromus tectorum is also present. In 2005, five blocks of four 2m by 2.5m plots were established, and within each block plots were randomly assigned to ambient or elevated temperature (soil surface temperature of +2°C above ambient) and ambient or elevated precipitation (1.5 mm precipitation pulses applied three times weekly during summer) in full-factorial. In 2009 the temperature treatment was increased to +4°C. Additionally, five new blocks were established with the plots randomly assigned ambient or elevated temperature (again, +2°C was used) and ambient or elevated precipitation (summertime large bi-weekly watering to counteract negative effects the lamps may have had on soil moisture) in full-factorial. Throughout 2010 and 2011 the phenological state of the dominate plant species was recorded weekly. At the end of May 2010 and 2011 biomass accumulation, reproductive output and vegetative cover were assessed. Additionally, diurnal foliar gas exchange, foliar fluorescence and xylem pressure potential were measured on the dominant plant species three times throughout the spring and summer of 2011. Elevated temperature had no effect on carbon fixation or foliar physiology of A. confertifolia or P. jamesii, though A. hymenoides carbon fixation was negatively affected by elevated temperature with the +4°C treatment causing a greater reduction in fixation than the +2°C treatment. The

  14. Integrating Weed Management and Restoration on Western Rangelands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In 2003, we began experiments to control cheatgrass and restore native species on Great Basin Rangelands. Experiments, which tested transitional species and functional groups on restoration, were established at eight sites in Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, and Utah. After two years of trials, accessions of ...

  15. GRAZING CAN HELP WESTERN RANGELANDS RECOVER FROM FIRE

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Much of the approximately 153 million acres of sagebrush rangeland in the western United States is at risk of invasion by non-native annual grass invasion, such as cheatgrass, following fire. Livestock grazing has also been suggested to have contributed to exotic annual grass spread. However, the ...

  16. LONG-TERM HERBACEOUS RESPONSE TO JUNIPER DEBRIS BURNING

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Prescribed fire and mechanical cutting are the main treatments used to remove western juniper and restore sagebrush-steppe in eastern Oregon. Mechanical treatments commonly leave cut juniper on site. Juniper debris increases fire season fuel hazards and may enhance invisibility of cheatgrass and s...

  17. Twelve invasive plant taxa in U.S. western riparian ecosystems

    EPA Science Inventory

    Assessments of stream ecosystems often include an evaluation of riparian condition; a key stressor in riparian ecosystems is the presence of invasive plants. We analyzed the distribution of 12 invasive taxa (common burdock [Arctium minus], giant reed [Arundo donax], cheatgrass [B...

  18. Runoff and erosion responses on burned and unburned sagebrush steppe and wooded shrublands in the Great Basin, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cheatgrass and tree invasions of sagebrush steppe rangelands in the Great Basin have increased the risk of occurrence of large, high severity fires. Fire and woodland encroachment have been linked to amplified runoff and erosion. Runoff and erosion can increase by factors of 2 to more than 100 imm...

  19. Nitrogen uptake: invasive annual vs. native perennial rangeland grasses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Incursion into perennial dominated rangelands of the Intermountain West by two winter exotic annual grasses, cheatgrass and medusahead, is one of the most serious plant invasion in North America. The invasions have decreased productivity and biological diversity and increased the frequency of range...

  20. CREATING INVASION RESISTANT SOILS VIA NITROGEN MANAGEMENT

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasion by annual grasses, such as cheatgrass, into the western USA sagebrush steppe and the associated increase in fire frequency are major concerns of ecologists and resource managers. Maintaining or improving ecosystem health depends on our ability to protect or re-establish functioning, desire...

  1. The inhibition and adaptability of four wetland plant species to high concentration of ammonia wastewater and nitrogen removal efficiency in constructed wetlands.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuhui; Wang, Junfeng; Zhao, Xiaoxiang; Song, Xinshan; Gong, Juan

    2016-02-01

    Four plant species, Typha orientalis, Scirpus validus, Canna indica and Iris tectorum were selected to assess their physiological response and effects on nitrogen and COD removal to high total ammoniacal nitrogen (TAN) in constructed wetlands. Results showed that high TAN caused decreased relative growth rate, net photosynthetic rate, and leaf transpiration. C. indica and T. orientalis showed higher TAN adaptability than S. validus and I. tectorum. Below TAN of 200 mg L(-1), growth of C. indica and T. orientalis was less affected or even stimulated at TAN range 100-200 mg L(-1). However, S. validus and I. tectorum was obviously suppressed when TAN was above 100 mg L(-1). High TAN generated obvious oxidative stress showing increased proline and malondialdehyde contents, and superoxide dismutase was inhibited. It indicated that the threshold for plant self-bioremediation against high TAN was 200 mg L(-1). What's more, planted CWs showed higher nitrogen and COD removal. Removal rate of C. indica and T. orientalis was higher than S. validus and I. tectorum. PMID:26708488

  2. Controls of biological soil crust cover and composition shift with succession in sagebrush shrub-steppe

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dettweiler-Robinson, E.; Bakker, J.D.; Grace, J.B.

    2013-01-01

    Successional stage may determine strength and causal direction of interactions among abiotic and biotic factors; e.g., species that facilitate the establishment of other species may later compete with them. We evaluated multivariate hypotheses about abiotic and biotic factors shaping biological soil crusts (BSCs) in early and late successional stages. We surveyed vegetation and BSC in the shrub-steppe ecosystem of the Columbia Basin. We analyzed the relationships with bryophyte and lichen covers using structural equation models, and analyzed the relationships with BSC composition using Indicator Species Analysis and distance-based linear models. Cover, indicator species, and composition varied with successional stage. Increasing elevation and bryophyte cover had higher lichen cover early in succession; these relationships were negative in the later successional stage. Lichen cover did not appear to impede B. tectorum cover, but B. tectorum appeared to strongly negatively affect lichen cover in both stages. Biological soil crust composition varied with bunchgrass cover in the early successional stage, but with elevation and B. tectorum cover later in succession. Our findings support the hypotheses that as succession progresses, the strength and direction of certain community interactions shift, and B. tectorum leads to reductions in biological soil crust cover regardless of successional stage.

  3. Elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} and soil nutrients alter competitive performance of California annual grassland species

    SciTech Connect

    Reynolds, H.L.; Chapin, F.S. III; Field, C.B.

    1995-06-01

    Atmospheric CO{sub 2} and soil nutrients altered interspecific competitive performance of three grassland annuals, all exhibiting the C{sub 3} metabolic pathway. Plantago erecta, an herbaceous dicot dominant in low-fertility serpentine grassland, was the superior interspecific competitor at low soil nutrients. Bromus hordeaceus, an introduced grass dominant in higher fertility sandstone grassland, was the superior interspecific competitor at high soil nutrients. Interspecific competitive ability of Plantago was slightly enhanced under elevated CO{sub 2}, but only at high soil nutrients, whereas interspecific competitive ability of Bromus was stimulated under elevated CO{sub 2} at both low and high soil nutrients. Interspecific competitive ability of Lasthenia californica, another herbaceous dicot common in serpentine grassland, was low in all treatments, and tended to decrease with elevated CO{sub 2} at low soil nutrients. Our results suggest that elevated CO{sub 2} may shift plant species abundance of serpentine grassland in favor of Bromus hordeaceus.

  4. Final Report for Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation Treatment Monitoring of the Keeney Pass, Cow Hollow, Double Mountain, and Farewell Bend Fires

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wirth, Troy A.; Pyke, David A.

    2009-01-01

    2006 and 0.09 plants/m2 in 2008. Density of seeded perennial grasses at the Double Mountain non-native and native seeding were 2.72 and 3.86 plants/m2 in 2006 and 0.90 and 1.74 plants/m2 in 2008, respectively. The Farewell Bend non-native seeding resulted in 5.62 plants/m2 in 2006 and 0.42 plants/m2 in 2008 while the native seeding had 2.22 seeded grass plants/m2 in 2006 and 0.44 plants/m2 by 2008. The primary reason for low level of establishment on most treatments except the Cow Hollow seeding was most likely the unfavorable timing and amount of precipitation in 2007 and 2008. Measurements of density within the first 3 years provide the best estimate of initial seeding success. Increases in cover due to the seedings were not detectable in the first 3 years following seeding in this monitoring effort. Changes in cover resulting from the treatments may be detectable in cases where the seedings were very successful in the first 3 years following seeding, but in areas with lower annual average precipitation, may not occur consistently. As a result, cover of seeded species may not be a good indication of seeding success in the early years after treatment. However, cover is useful for monitoring initial patterns of abundance of naturally recovering vegetation, exotic annual grasses and forbs, and bare ground. Cover measurements at these four sites revealed patterns common to most of the treatment areas in cover of litter, bare ground, and exotic annuals in response to drill seeding and weather patterns. There was a rapid increase in litter at all treatments after the fire. Additionally, there was less litter in treatment plots than in the control plots in 2006 probably due to the mechanical action of the seed drill. There also was a corresponding decrease in bare ground from 2006 to 2008. Initially, higher bare ground cover at treatment plots appears to be due to the mechanical action of the seed drill. Cover of annual grasses, primarily Bromus tectorum,

  5. Germination timing and rate of locally collected western wheatgrass and smooth brome grass: the role of collection site and light sensitivity along a riparian corridor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ecological integrity of riparian areas is reduced by biological plant invaders like smooth brome grass (Bromus inermis). Smooth brome actively invades recently disturbed riparian zones by its high seed production and fast seedling establishment. Restoring native perennial grasses to these regio...

  6. Registration of 'Newell' Smooth Bromegrass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    ‘Newell’ (Reg. No. CV-xxxx, PI 671851) smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss.) is a steppe or southern type cultivar that is primarily adapted in the USA to areas north of 40o N lat. and east of 100o W long. that have 500 mm or more annual precipitation or in areas that have similar climate cond...

  7. Notice of Release: 'Stress tolerant smooth bromegrass STSB'

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture announces the release of a stress tolerant smooth bromegrass (STSB) [Bromus inermys, Leyss.] germplasm (PI xxxx) developed by Dr. Bryan K. Kindiger at the USDA-ARS Grazinglands Research Laboratory, El Reno, OK 73036. STSB is release...

  8. Competition between alien annual grasses and native annual plants in the Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.L.

    2000-01-01

    Alien annual grasses in the genera Bromus and Schismus are widespread and abundant in the Mojave Desert, and negative correlations between these aliens and native annual plants suggest that competition may occur between them. Effects of competition were evaluated by thinning alien annual grass seedlings and measuring the responses of native annual plants at three sites in the central, southcentral and southwestern Mojave Desert during 2 y of contrasting plant productivity. Effects of Bromus and Schismus were evaluated separately in the microhabitat where each was most abundant, beneath the north side of creosote bushes (Larrea tridentata) for Bromus and in the open interspace between shrubs for Schismus. Thinning of Bromus and Schismus significantly increased density and biomass of native annuals at all three sites, only during a year of high annual plant productivity and species richness. Effects of thinning were greatest for Amsinckia tesselata and for a group of relatively uncommon native annuals. Thinning also significantly increased the density and biomass of the alien forb, Erodium cicutarium. These results show that alien annual grasses can compete with native annual plants and an alien forb in the Mojave Desert and that effects can vary among years.

  9. Registration of Arsenal meadow bromegrass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The United States Department of Agriculture (ARS) announces the release of the cultivar 'Arsenal' meadow bromegrass [Bromus biebersteinii Roem. & Schult. (excluded)] for use on semiarid rangelands and non-irrigated pastures as a rapid establishing forage grass with early spring growth, good fall nut...

  10. Long Term Storage of Mojave Seed Species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The increased occurrence of wildfires throughout the west is an extremely serious challenge for resource managers and researchers. In recent years the invasion of the exotic annual grass, red brome (Bromus rubens), has increased the ignition as well as the rate, spread and frequency of wildfires th...

  11. STOMATAL SENSITIVITY TO VAPOR PRESSURE DIFFERENCE OVER A SUBAMBIENT TO ELEVATED CO2 GRADIENT IN A C3/C4 GRASSLAND

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We examined the response of stomatal conductance (gs) to increasing leaf-to-air vapor pressure difference (D) in early season C3 (Bromus japonicus) and late season C4 (Bothriochloa ischaemum) grasses grown in the field across a range of CO2 (200-550 umol mol-1). Stomatal sensitivity to D was calcul...

  12. Searching for microbial biological control candidates for invasive grasses: coupling expanded field research with strides in biotechnology and grassland restoration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Highly invasive grasses (e.g. Bromus spp., Pennisetum ciliare, Taeniatherum caput-medusae) are largely unabated in much of the arid Western U.S., despite more than 70 years of control attempts with a wide array of tools and management practices. The development and sustained integration of new appro...

  13. Host status of barley to Puccinia coronata from couch grass and P. striiformis from wheat and brome

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The pathogenicity and identity of a field sample (PcE) of crown rust fungus Puccinia coronata collected in Hungary on wild couch grass (Elytrigia repens) and of a field sample (Psb) of stripe rust (P. striiformis) collected in the Netherlands on California brome (Bromus carinatus) was studied. We fo...

  14. MANAGING COOL-SEASON CRP WITH FIRE AND HAYING

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A study was conducted to determine if there were detrimental effects of timed burns and mowing or haying applied to Conservation Reserve Plantings (CRP) with birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.) grown in combination with the cool-season grasses Bromus inermis (L.) and Festuca arundinacea (Shreb...

  15. Beneficial effects of Neotyphodium tembladerae and Neotyphodium pampeanum on a wild forage grass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Asexual, vertically transmitted fungal endophytes of the genus Neotyphodium are considered to enhance growth, stress resistance and competitiveness of agronomic grasses, but have been suggested to have neutral or deleterious effects on wild grasses. We studied whether the associations between Bromus...

  16. Beneficial effects of neotyphodium tembladerae and neotyphodium pampeanum on a wild forage grass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Asexual, vertically transmitted fungal endophytes of the genus Neotyphodium are considered to enhance growth, stress resistance and competitiveness of agronomic grasses, but have been suggested to have neutral or deleterious effects on wild grasses. We studied whether the associations between Bromus...

  17. Nitrous oxide emissions and herbage accumulation in smooth bromegrass pastures with nitrogen fertilizer and ruminant urine application

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural soils contribute significantly to nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, but little data is available on N2O emissions from smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss.) pastures. This study evaluated soil N2O emissions and herbage accumulation from smooth bromegrass pasture in eastern Nebraska, US...

  18. No-Till Corn after Bromegrass: Effect on Soil C and Soil Aggregates

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A different 13C/12C isotope signature is imparted to SOC by C4 plants versus C3 plants. We measured changes in C isotope ratios in SOC during ~ 6½ yrs of no-till corn (Zea mays L) planted into 13yr old bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss) sod for a C3 ' C4 plant switch to identify SOC isotope changes ...

  19. Draft Genome Sequence of the Xanthomonas bromi Type Strain LMG 947.

    PubMed

    Hersemann, Lena; Wibberg, Daniel; Blom, Jochen; Widmer, Franco; Kölliker, Roland

    2016-01-01

    Here, we report the draft genome sequence of the Xanthomonas bromi type strain LMG 947, an important pathogen of bromegrasses (Bromus spp.). Comparative analysis with other Xanthomonas spp. that are pathogenic on forage grasses will assist the analysis of host-plant adaptation at the genome level. PMID:27609927

  20. Forage Quality of Irrigated Pasture Species as Affected by Irrigation Rate

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The USDA-ARS Forage and Range Research Lab has initiated a breeding program to improve tall fescue (Festuca arundinaceae Screb.), orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) and meadow bromegrass (Bromus riparius Rehm.) in semiarid pasturelands, which are characterized by extreme temperature fluctuations a...

  1. STOCKPILED PRAIRIEGRASS PROVIDES HIGH-QUALITY FALL GRAZING FOR LAMBS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    New varieties of prairiegrass (Bromus catharticus Vahl. = B. willdenowii Kunth.) exhibit improved persistence over ‘Matua’ under USA growing conditions, but animal performance data is lacking. We evaluated performance of lambs grazing stockpiled ‘Dixon’ prairiegrass on West Virginia hill pasture in...

  2. Stockpiled Prairie Grass For Fall-Grazing Lambs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    New varieties of prairiegrass (Bromus catharticus Vahl. = B. willdenowii Kunth.) exhibit improved persistence over 'Matua' under USA growing conditions, but animal performance data is lacking. Therefore, we evaluated performance of lambs grazing fall-stockpiled 'Dixon' prairiegrass on a West Virgin...

  3. Tree size and understory phytomass production in a western Juniper woodland

    SciTech Connect

    Vaitkus, M.R.; Eddleman, L.E. )

    1991-09-01

    Understory phytomass production in a western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) woodland was examined relative to tree size in central Oregon in 1983 and 1984. Vegetation was sampled in two zones, the canopy zone (beneath the canopy) and the intercanopy zone (the space between canopies), on two adjacent sites - a lower slope site with shallow soil and an upper slope site with deeper soil. Sampling was stratified into three tree size classes. Individual species production was significantly affected by tree size and location relative to tree canopy. Production of bottlebrush squirreltail, bluebunch wheatgrass, cheatgrass, miscellaneous annual grasses, perennial forbs, and annual forbs increased with increasing tree size. Sandberg bluegrass production was greater in the intercanopy than the canopy zone, while production of bottlebrush squirreltail, bluebunch wheatgrass, miscellaneous annual grasses, and both perennial and annual forbs was greater in the canopy zone. Production of cheatgrass was determined by the interaction of tree size and zone. Phytomass relationships were expressed to a greater degree on the upper slope site, where total production exceeded that of the lower slope site by approximately 50% the second year of the study. Individual trees appear to exert a great influence on associated vegetation as western juniper woodlands progress from the seedling (tree establishment) phase to closed stands of mature trees. Original community dominants appear to be spatially segregated beneath tree canopies and associated with large trees, while formerly less common species, such as cheatgrass, come to dominate the entire site.

  4. The effects of increased CO[sub 2] on the competitive ability of Lupinus arboreus, a dominant nitrogen-fixing shrub

    SciTech Connect

    Wallace, A.M. )

    1993-06-01

    Plant responses to increased atmospheric CO[sub 2] have been shown to be both species-specific and dependent on other environmental factors, potentially changing competitive interactions and altering community structure. The competitive response of a dominant nitrogen-fixing shrub to an introduced annual (Bromus diandrus) and a native perennial grass (Bromus carinatus) was measured under ambient and high CO[sub 2] and two nitrogen levels. These species coexist in a generally nitrogen-limited coastal grassland reserve besieged with alien species. The relative competitive ability of the lupin increased with CO[sub 2] for all treatments, with the largest difference occurring at low nitrogen in competition with the introduced annual. This study provides a global change perspective for those interested in conserving native Californian grassland species, as well as the first data on the competitive response of nitrogen-fixers to high CO[sub 2].

  5. Insect herbivory and grass competition in a calcareous grassland: results from a plant removal experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corcket, Emmanuel; Callaway, Ragan M.; Michalet, Richard

    2003-07-01

    We compared the effects of herbivory by grasshoppers and neighbourhood competition on two dominant grasses, Bromus erectus and Brachypodium pinnatum, in a calcareous grassland in the French Alps. In a fully factorial design, herbivory was reduced by insecticide spraying and competition was reduced by removal of neighbouring plants. The effects of herbivory and competition were species-dependent. Bromus, a stress-tolerant species, was strongly affected by competition, but not by herbivory. In contrast, the more competitive species, Brachypodium, was negatively affected by herbivory, but only when neighbouring vegetation was removed. The greatest herbivory pressure on isolated targets of Brachypodium is likely to be due to the indirect effects of experimental gaps, i.e. more favourable microclimatic and foraging conditions for grasshoppers. This suggests that herbivory by insects may be a confounding factor in many plant removal experiments. Field experiments designed to study the combined effects of competition and herbivory should take into account the indirect effects induced by experimental gaps.

  6. Long-term response of a Mojave Desert winter annual plant community to a whole-ecosystem atmospheric CO2 manipulation (FACE).

    PubMed

    Smith, Stanley D; Charlet, Therese N; Zitzer, Stephen F; Abella, Scott R; Vanier, Cheryl H; Huxman, Travis E

    2014-03-01

    Desert annuals are a critically important component of desert communities and may be particularly responsive to increasing atmospheric (CO2 ) because of their high potential growth rates and flexible phenology. During the 10-year life of the Nevada Desert FACE (free-air CO2 enrichment) Facility, we evaluated the productivity, reproductive allocation, and community structure of annuals in response to long-term elevated (CO2 ) exposure. The dominant forb and grass species exhibited accelerated phenology, increased size, and higher reproduction at elevated (CO2 ) in a wet El Niño year near the beginning of the experiment. However, a multiyear dry cycle resulted in no increases in productivity or reproductive allocation for the remainder of the experiment. At the community level, early indications of increased dominance of the invasive Bromus rubens at elevated (CO2 ) gave way to an absence of Bromus in the community during a drought cycle, with a resurgence late in the experiment in response to higher rainfall and a corresponding high density of Bromus in a final soil seed bank analysis, particularly at elevated (CO2 ). This long-term experiment resulted in two primary conclusions: (i) elevated (CO2 ) does not increase productivity of annuals in most years; and (ii) relative stimulation of invasive grasses will likely depend on future precipitation, with a wetter climate favoring invasive grasses but currently predicted greater aridity favoring native dicots. PMID:24115504

  7. In situ stomatal responses to long-term CO 2 enrichment in calcareous grassland plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lauber, Wolfgang; Körner, Christian

    A calcareous grassland community growing under full season CO 2 enrichment at low altitude in the Swiss Jura mountains was investigated for diurnal and seasonal variations of leaf diffusive conductance. A new CO 2 enrichment method (Screen aided CO 2 control, SACC) permitted in situ leaf porometry under natural climatic conditions without disturbance of plants. At 600 ppm CO 2, leaf conductance in the dominant species, Bromus erectus (a species so far not showing a growth response to elevated CO 2) was reduced to half the values measured in controls. In contrast, leaf conductance in Carex flacca, a species of low cover (the only species so far exhibiting a dramatic growth stimulation by CO 2 fertilization) remained almost unaffected by elevated CO 2. Sanguisorba minor, Plantago media, and Cirsium acaule showed intermediate responses. Trifolium montanum, studied only on a single day, showed a reduction like Bromus. Differences between treatments were largest under humid conditions and disappeared during dry periods. In none of the species studied did stomatal density or stomatal index differ between treatments. A parallel investigation of whole ecosystem evapotranspiration indicated only small (<10%) and non significant CO 2 responses, suggesting that both aerodynamic effects at the canopy level and a great interspecific variation of leaf level responses overshadow the clear CO 2 response of Bromus stomata. The different stomatal responses to CO 2 enrichment are likely to alter species specific water consumption, and may thus affect community structure in the long run.

  8. Descriptions of plant communities at the proposed reference repository location and implications for reclamation of disturbed ground

    SciTech Connect

    Rickard, W.H.; Schuler, C.A.

    1988-03-01

    This report presents an ecological description of the natural vegetation in the Cold Creek Valley located in the west central portion of the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Hanford Site in southeastern Washington state. The description includes plant species composition, canopy cover, and shrub density obtained from 10 study plots distributed in three habitat-types: sagebrush/Sandberg's bluegrass, spiny hopsage/Sandberg's bluegrass, and sagebrush/needle-and-thread grass. Of the relatively few species of shrubs and herbs in the Cold Creek Valley, the most abundant were sagebrush and spiny hopsage. The most abundant herbs were cheatgrass, Sandberg's bluegrass, and needle-and-thread grass. The amount of canopy cover provided by shrubs ranged between 7.4 and 33% in seven plots without a history of recent burning. Herbaceous plants in these same plots provided canopy cover that ranged between 18 and 41%. The three plots placed in areas with a recent history of burning had more herbaceous cover than did adjacent plots without a recent burn history. This was attributed to absence of living shrubs and freedom from competition for soil water and nutrients. There was less living herb cover in 1987 than in 1986 which is likely due to the lesser amount of growing season precipitation in 1987 (i.e. 10.3 cm vs 17.1 cm). Even with the absence of livestock grazing for 44 years, cheatgrass, an exotic annual generally provided more canopy cover than native perennial grasses. However, in the few places with good stands of Sandberg's bluegrass, cheatgrass was less abundant. 12 refs., 6 figs., 6 tabs.

  9. Plant Succession at the Edges of Two Abandoned Cultivated Fields on the Arid Lands Ecology Reserve

    SciTech Connect

    Simmons, Sally A.; Rickard, William H.

    2002-12-01

    How vegetation recovers from disturbances is an important question for land managers. We examined 500 m2 plots to determine the progress made by native herbaceous plant species in colonizing the edges of abandoned cultivated fields at different elevations and microclimates, but with similar soils in a big sagebrush/bluebunch wheatgrass steppe. Alien species, especially cheatgrass and cereal rye, were the major competitors to the natives. The native species with best potential for restoring steppe habitats were sulphur lupine, hawksbeard, bottlebrush squirreltail, needle-and-thread grass, Sandberg's bluegrass, and several lomatiums.

  10. Using the National Environmental Policy Act to Fight Wildland Fires on the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Irving, John S

    2003-06-01

    The decade of the 90s saw an average of 106,000 wildland fires each year, resulting in an average yearly loss of 3.7 million acres across the United States. The total number of acres burned during the past decade exceeded 36 million acres (about 57 thousand square miles). This is an area about the size of the state of Iowa. The impact from wildland fires on federal lands came to the nation’s attention in May of 2000, when the "Cerro Grande" fire near Los Alamos, New Mexico burned 47,650 acres while destroying 235 structures. Firefighting activities for federal agencies alone exceeded 1.3 billion dollars in 2000. The dollar amount spent on firefighting does not approach the dollars lost in terms of timber resources, homes, and wildlife habitat. Following several fires on U. S. Department of Energy lands, the Deputy Secretary of Energy placed a moratorium on "prescribed burns" in June 2000. From 1994 to 2000, about 130,000 acres of the INEEL (or the Site) and several hundred thousand acres of surrounding Bureau of Land Management lands burned on the Snake River Plain of southeast Idaho. The fires on the INEEL threatened facilities and exposed soils to wind erosion, resulting in severe dust storms, affecting operations and creating traffic hazards for weeks. Most of the acreage burned on the Site between 1994 and 2000 is recovering well. With the exception of sagebrush, most native plant species are recovering. However, cheatgrass, a non-native species is a component. In isolated areas, cheatgrass and other annual non-native weeds are dominant. If this situation persists and the Site does not change the way it manages wildland fires, and there is no intervention to reduce cheatgrass and manage for sagebrush, the Site may transition from sagebrush steppe to cheatgrass. This would have cascading effects not only on wildland fires management, but also on wildlife and on their habitat. This paper describes how to use the NEPA process to identify different ways decision

  11. Area C borrow Site Habitat Assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Sackschewsky, Michael R.; Downs, Janelle L.

    2009-12-04

    A habitat quality assessment was performed within selected portions of the proposed Area C Borrow Source. The previously identified Bitterbrush / Indian ricegrass stabilized dune element occurrence was determined to be better described as a sagebrush /needle-and-thread grass element occurrence of fair to good quality. A new habitat polygon is suggested adjacent to this element occurrence, which would also be sagebrush/needle-and-thread grass, but of poor quality. The proposed site of initial borrow site development was found to be a very low quality community dominated by cheatgrass.

  12. Natural vegetation at the proposed Reference Repository Location in southeastern Washington

    SciTech Connect

    Rickard, W.H.

    1988-02-01

    The dominant shrubs were sagebrush and spiny hopsage; the herbs were dominated by cheatgrass and Sandberg bluegrass. Spiny hopsage appeared to be vulnerable to burning and also to damage by off-road vehicular traffic. It appears to have little or no ability to reproduce through seedlings; once the existing plants are killed they are not likely to be replaced, even if seed-producing plants are nearby. The only pure stand of spiny hopsage known to exist on the Hanford Site is on and near study plot 2H. Sagebrush, like spiny hopsage, is killed by burning and by heavy vehicles. Sagebrush is capable of reproducing via seeds, indicating that it is an inherently aggressive species with a capacity to reestablish itself if parent plants are in the vicinity to act as seed sources. Alien, annual plants, especially cheatgrass, were a major contributor to the herbaceous canopy cover in plots 3S, 4S, and 5S. However, native perennial grasses, especially Sandberg bluegrass, were a major contributor to the canopy cover in plots 1S and 2H. These differences are probably caused by differences in soil properties (e.g., water retention capacity), rather than to historical disturbances such as livestock grazing or wildfire. Specimens of Sandwort, Arenaria franklinii, growing near the Reference Repository Location were collected for examination by taxonomists to determine if the specimens are of the variety A. f. thompsonii, a taxon currently listed as threatened in the state of Washington. 16 refs., 7 figs., 3 tabs.

  13. Soil modification by invasive plants: Effects on native and invasive species of mixed-grass prairies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jordan, N.R.; Larson, D.L.; Huerd, S.C.

    2008-01-01

    Invasive plants are capable of modifying attributes of soil to facilitate further invasion by conspecifics and other invasive species. We assessed this capability in three important plant invaders of grasslands in the Great Plains region of North America: leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula), smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum). In a glasshouse, these three invasives or a group of native species were grown separately through three cycles of growth and soil conditioning in both steam-pasteurized and non-pasteurized soils, after which we assessed seedling growth in these soils. Two of the three invasive species, Bromus and Agropyron, exhibited significant self-facilitation via soil modification. Bromus and Agropyron also had significant facilitative effects on other invasives via soil modification, while Euphorbia had significant antagonistic effects on the other invasives. Both Agropyron and Euphorbia consistently suppressed growth of two of three native forbs, while three native grasses were generally less affected. Almost all intra- and interspecific effects of invasive soil conditioning were dependent upon presence of soil biota from field sites where these species were successful invaders. Overall, these results suggest that that invasive modification of soil microbiota can facilitate plant invasion directly or via 'cross-facilitation' of other invasive species, and moreover has potential to impede restoration of native communities after removal of an invasive species. However, certain native species that are relatively insensitive to altered soil biota (as we observed in the case of the forb Linum lewisii and the native grasses), may be valuable as 'nurse'species in restoration efforts. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  14. AmeriFlux US-KFS Kansas Field Station

    SciTech Connect

    Brunsell, Nathaniel

    2016-01-01

    This is the AmeriFlux version of the carbon flux data for the site US-KFS Kansas Field Station. Site Description - The study is an abandoned grassland at the Kansas Field Station and Ecological Reserves. The site is located within the tallgrass prairie-deciduous forest ecotonal area. The site was subjected to intensive agriculture from the 1940s through the late 1960s. In the mid-1970s, the site was planted with the cool-season grass Bromus inermis and used as a hay meadow until 1987. Then, mowing and burning approximately every five years maintained it as a grassland until 2007, when the eddy flux tower was installed.

  15. Post-dispersal seed fates of four prairie species.

    PubMed

    Clark, Deborah L; Wilson, Mark V

    2003-05-01

    After dispersal, seeds can germinate and establish as seedlings, persist as seeds, or die. Knowledge of these three seed fates is crucial for understanding the abundance and distribution of plant populations and ultimately, community composition and diversity. Few studies, however, have simultaneously measured these fates, while also examining the factors causing mortality. The goal of this research was to simultaneously quantify the three seed fates and factors causing death (predation and fungal disease) for four species found in prairies in western Oregon, USA. The most common seed fate for the four study species was death (44-80%). Fungal disease, which has seldom been quantified in natural ecosystems, generally caused less than 10% mortality for each of the four species. Vertebrate predation substantially reduced seed numbers only for Bromus carinatus (21%). Of the unmeasured mortality factors, indirect evidence showed invertebrate predation was a cause of death for seeds of only one species, Prunella vulgaris. In addition, competitive pressures caused seedling death for only the two grass species, Bromus carinatus and Cynosurus echinatus. Survival as established seedlings was generally much more common than survival as persistent seed, with the exception of Daucus carota, in which 14% of the sown seeds persisted the first year. PMID:21659169

  16. Adaptive restoration of river terrace vegetation through iterative experiments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dela Cruz, Michelle P.; Beauchamp, Vanessa B.; Shafroth, Patrick B.; Decker, Cheryl E.; O’Neil, Aviva

    2014-01-01

    Restoration projects can involve a high degree of uncertainty and risk, which can ultimately result in failure. An adaptive restoration approach can reduce uncertainty through controlled, replicated experiments designed to test specific hypotheses and alternative management approaches. Key components of adaptive restoration include willingness of project managers to accept the risk inherent in experimentation, interest of researchers, availability of funding for experimentation and monitoring, and ability to restore sites as iterative experiments where results from early efforts can inform the design of later phases. This paper highlights an ongoing adaptive restoration project at Zion National Park (ZNP), aimed at reducing the cover of exotic annual Bromus on riparian terraces, and revegetating these areas with native plant species. Rather than using a trial-and-error approach, ZNP staff partnered with academic, government, and private-sector collaborators to conduct small-scale experiments to explicitly address uncertainties concerning biomass removal of annual bromes, herbicide application rates and timing, and effective seeding methods for native species. Adaptive restoration has succeeded at ZNP because managers accept the risk inherent in experimentation and ZNP personnel are committed to continue these projects over a several-year period. Techniques that result in exotic annual Bromus removal and restoration of native plant species at ZNP can be used as a starting point for adaptive restoration projects elsewhere in the region.

  17. Environmental effects on grass-endophyte associations in the harsh conditions of south Patagonia.

    PubMed

    Novas, M Victoria; Collantes, Marta; Cabral, Daniel

    2007-07-01

    Cool-season grasses are frequently infected by Neotyphodium endophytes and this association is often considered as a mutualistic symbiosis. We examined the incidence of Neotyphodium in populations of Bromus setifolius, Phleum alpinum and Poa spiciformis, native and wide-spread grasses from south Patagonia, Argentina. The incidence of 36 populations of Bromus setifolius was studied in association with climatic and soil variables. 31 populations of Ph. alpinum were sampled in five different plant communities. Seventeen populations of P. spiciformis were sampled in three different plant communities. The association between incidence and climatic variables in Ph. alpinum and between incidence and soil fertility in P. spiciformis was investigated. In B. setifolius endophyte incidence was positively correlated with annual average rainfall contrary to the results found in Ph. alpinum. All the populations of P. spiciformis were infected by endophytes and the incidence was associated with plant community. The Neotyphodium-grass interaction is variable in natural populations, supporting the increasing evidence that the Neotyphodium-host interaction depends, in many cases, on the environmental conditions. Field observations suggest that in detrimental low growth conditions the association is not favoured, leading to a decrease in the endophyte frequency of infection or even to the complete loss of the association. PMID:17466027

  18. Temporal priority effects on competition are not consistent among intermountain grassland species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuo, Shengpeng; Li, Hongli; Ma, Yongqing; Callaway, Ragan M.

    2016-08-01

    Previous work indicates that priority effects exist, but mechanisms are not well understood. So we explored shifts in competitive outcomes and intensities as a potential general mechanism. In a standard greenhouse experiment the temporal priority effects of the target species Pseudoroegneria spicata and its competitive responses to five receptor species, i.e., Bromus ciliatus, Bromus marginatus, Coreopsis tinctoria, Senecio atratus, and Solidago canadensis were evaluated. P. spicata adults with a high root: shoot ratio had a significant inhibitory priority effect on B. ciliatus, B. marginatus, and C. tinctoria. Compared with the target species, under later and simultaneous sowing, B. ciliatus, B. marginatus, C. tinctoria, and S. atratus exhibited an increasing trend in terms of competition. However, S. canadensis did not display priority effects. In addition, the gram per gram competitive effect of P. spicata depended on the receptor species in the following order: B. marginatus > B. ciliatus > C. tinctoria > S. atratus. There were positive relationships between the relative interaction indices and the root: shoot ratios in B. ciliatus, B. marginatus, and C. tinctoria, thereby suggesting that the early germination or emergence of P. spicata may reduce the root: shoot ratios of these receptors. The results of this study indicate that priority effects occurred in early colonizers with high root: shoot ratios and greater competitive capacities.

  19. Response of young ponderosa pines, shrubs, and grasses to two release treatments. Forest Service research note

    SciTech Connect

    McDonald, P.M.; Everest, G.A.

    1996-07-01

    To release a young pine plantation on a medium site in central California, herbicides and mulches were applied soon after planting to study their effectiveness. Bearclover is an aggressive shrub species that resprouts from rhizomes after disturbance, and must be controlled if young conifer seedlings are to become established. After 4 years, resprouting bearclover plants numbered 282,000 per acre in the control, but less than 4,000 per acre in the plots treated by herbicides. Mean foliar cover was 63 percent versus 1 percent for control and herbicide plots, respectively. Ponderosa pine seedlings were significantly taller, had larger mean diameters, and survived better in the herbicide treatment than counterparts in mulched plots and control. The 5-foot square mulches were ineffective for controlling bearclover. Cheatgrass invaded the plantation in the second year, and after 2 more years became abundant in herbicide plots and plentiful in the control.

  20. Greater sage-grouse as an umbrella species for sagebrush-associated vertebrates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rowland, M.M.; Wisdom, M.J.; Suring, L.H.; Meinke, C.W.

    2006-01-01

    Widespread degradation of the sagebrush ecosystem in the western United States, including the invasion of cheatgrass, has prompted resource managers to consider a variety of approaches to restore and conserve habitats for sagebrush-associated species. One such approach involves the use of greater sage-grouse, a species of prominent conservation interest, as an umbrella species. This shortcut approach assumes that managing habitats to conserve sage-grouse will simultaneously benefit other species of conservation concern. The efficacy of using sage-grouse as an umbrella species for conservation management, however, has not been fully evaluated. We tested that concept by comparing: (1) commonality in land-cover associations, and (2) spatial overlap in habitats between sage-grouse and 39 other sagebrush-associated vertebrate species of conservation concern in the Great Basin ecoregion. Overlap in species' land-cover associations with those of sage-grouse, based on the ?? (phi) correlation coefficient, was substantially greater for sagebrush obligates (x??=0.40) than non-obligates (x??=0.21). Spatial overlap between habitats of target species and those associated with sage-grouse was low (mean ?? = 0.23), but somewhat greater for habitats at high risk of displacement by cheatgrass (mean ?? = 0.33). Based on our criteria, management of sage-grouse habitats likely would offer relatively high conservation coverage for sagebrush obligates such as pygmy rabbit (mean ?? = 0.84), but far less for other species we addressed, such as lark sparrow (mean ?? = 0.09), largely due to lack of commonality in land-cover affinity and geographic ranges of these species and sage-grouse.

  1. Bird associations with shrubsteppe plant communities at the proposed reference repository location in southeastern Washington

    SciTech Connect

    Schuler, C.A.; Rickard, W.H.; Sargeant, G.A.

    1988-03-01

    This report provides information on te seasonal use of shrubsteppe vegetation by bird species at the RRL. Bird abundance and distribution were studied at the RRL to ensure that the DOE monitored migratory bird species pursuant to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and to assess potential impacts of site characterization activities on bird populations. Birds were counted on two transects that together sampled an areas of 1.39 km/sup 2/. The relative abundance of birds, species richness, seasonal distribution, and the association of breeding shrubsteppe birds with major vegetation types were determined from Janurary through December 1987. Only 38 species were counted during 82 surveys. Total bird density during the nesting season (March-June) was 42.96 birdskm/sup 2/ and the density for the entire year was 26.74 birdskm/sup 2/. The characteristic nesting birds in shrubsteppe habitats were western meadowlark, sage sparrow, burrowing owl, mourning dove, horned lark, long-billed curlew, lark sparrow, and loggerhead shrike. Western meadowlark and sage sparrows were the most abundant breeding birds with an average density of 11.25 and 7.76 birdskm/sup 2/, respectively. Seasonal distribution of birds varied with species, but most species were present from March to September. Distribution and abunandance of nesting birds were correlated with habitat type. About 63% of the habitat surveyed was sagebrush, 26% was cheatgrass, and 11% was spiny hopsage. Sagebrush habitat supproted a greeater total bird density than cheatgrass or hopsage habitats. Sage sparrows were closely associated with sagebrush habitats, while western meadowlarks showed no strong habitat affinities. 22 refs., 9 figs., 6 tabs

  2. PHOTOSYNTHESIS AND RESOURCE ALLOCATION OF THREE MOJAVE DESERT GRASSES IN RESPONSE TO ELEVATED ATMOSPHERIC CO2

    SciTech Connect

    L. A. DEFALCO; C. K. IVANS; P. VIVIN; J. R. SEEMANN; R. S. NOWAK

    2004-01-01

    Gas exchange, biomass and N allocation were compared among three Mojave Desert grasses representing different functional types to determine if photosynthetic responses and the associated allocation of resources within the plant changed after prolonged exposure to elevated CO{sub 2}. Leaf gas exchange characteristics were measured for Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens (C{sub 3} invasive annual), Achnatherum hymenoides (C{sub 3} native perennial) and Pleuraphis rigida (C{sub 4} native perennial) exposed to 360 {micro}mol mol{sup -1} (ambient) and 1000 {micro}mol mol{sup -1} (elevated) CO{sub 2} concentrations in a glasshouse experiment, and tissue biomass and total N pools were quantified from three harvests during development. The maximum rate of carboxylation by the N-rich enzyme Rubisco (Vc{sub max}), which was inferred from the relationship between net CO{sub 2} assimilation (A{sub net}) and intracellular CO{sub 2} concentration (c{sub i}), declined in the C{sub 3} species Bromus and Achnatherum across all sampling dates, but did not change at elevated CO{sub 2} for the C{sub 4} Pleuraphis. Whole plant N remained the same between CO{sub 2} treatments for all species, but patterns of allocation differed for the short- and long-lived C{sub 3} species. For Bromus, leaf N used for photosynthesis was reallocated to reproduction at elevated CO{sub 2} as inferred from the combination of lower Vc{sub max} and N per leaf area (NLA) at elevated CO{sub 2}, but similar specific leaf area (SLA, cm{sup 2} g{sup -1}), and of greater reproductive effort (RE) for the elevated CO{sub 2} treatment. Vc{sub max}, leaf N concentration and NLA declined for the perennial Achnatherum at elevated CO{sub 2} potentially due to accumulation of carbohydrates or changes in leaf morphology inferred from lower SLA and greater total biomass at elevated CO{sub 2}. In contrast, Vc{sub max} for the C{sub 4} perennial Pleuraphis did not change at elevated CO{sub 2}, and tissue biomass and total N were

  3. Peak fire temperatures and effects on annual plants in the Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.L.

    2002-01-01

    Very little is known about the behavior and effects of fire in the Mojave Desert, because fire was historically uncommon. However, fire has become more frequent since the 1970s with increased dominance of the invasive annual grasses Bromus rubens and Schismus spp., and land managers are concerned about its ecological effect. In this paper, I describe patterns of peak fire temperature and their effect on annual plants in creosote bush scrub vegetation of the Mojave Desert. Temperatures were monitored among microhabitats and distances from the soil surface, and between spring and summer. Microhabitats ranged from high amounts of fuel beneath creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) canopies, to intermediate amounts at the canopy drip line, to low amounts in the interspaces between them. Distances from the soil surface were within the vertical range where most annual plant seeds occur (-2, 0, 5, and 10 cm). I also compare temperature patterns with postfire changes in soil properties and annual plant biomass and species richness to infer potential mechanisms by which fires affect annual plants. Peak fire temperatures were most affected by the microhabitat fuel gradient, and the effects of fire on annual plants varied among microhabitats. Beneath creosote bushes, lethal fire temperatures for annual plant seeds occurred above- and belowground, resulting in four postfire years of reduced annual plant biomass and species richness due most likely to seed mortality, especially of Bromus rubens and native forbs. At the canopy drip line, lethal fire temperatures occurred only aboveground, reducing annual plant biomass for 1 yr and species richness for 2 yr, and increasing biomass of Schismus sp., the alien forb Erodium cicutarium, and native annuals after 3 yr. Negligible changes were caused by fire in interspaces or between spring and summer. Fire effects models for creosote bush scrub vegetation must account for patterns of peak fire temperature along the shrub-intershrub gradient

  4. Genetic variation in response to elevated CO 2 in three grassland perennials — a field experiment with two competition regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinger, Thomas; Lavigne, Claire; Birrer, Andreas; Groppe, Kathleen; Schmid, Bernhard

    Intraspecific variation in the response to increased concentrations of atmospheric CO 2 was investigated in three plant species ( Bromus erectus, Prunella vulgaris, P. grandiflora) in a calcareous grassland. Genotypes of each species were grown both in multispecies communities and under reduced competition pressure in tubes buried in the soil. Plant growth was reduced in the artificial communities but no significant effect of CO 2 was observed on any of the measured traits. Significant genotype-by-CO 2 interactions were found in two species when plants were grown under reduced competition in the tubes. No genotype-by-CO 2 interactions were found for the same genotypes grown in the multispecies communities indicating that genetic variation was swamped by large environmental variation. Furthermore, no correlations were observed between CO 2 responses of identical genotypes grown individually in tubes and in multispecies communities. This result cautions about the ability to predict CO 2-induced evolutionary changes from data of individually-grown plants.

  5. Contemporary evolution of an invasive grass in response to elevated atmospheric CO2 at a Mojave Desert FACE site

    PubMed Central

    Grossman, Judah D; Rice, Kevin J

    2014-01-01

    Elevated atmospheric CO2 has been shown to rapidly alter plant physiology and ecosystem productivity, but contemporary evolutionary responses to increased CO2 have yet to be demonstrated in the field. At a Mojave Desert FACE (free-air CO2 enrichment) facility, we tested whether an annual grass weed (Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens) has evolved in response to elevated atmospheric CO2. Within 7 years, field populations exposed to elevated CO2 evolved lower rates of leaf stomatal conductance; a physiological adaptation known to conserve water in other desert or water-limited ecosystems. Evolution of lower conductance was accompanied by reduced plasticity in upregulating conductance when CO2 was more limiting; this reduction in conductance plasticity suggests that genetic assimilation may be ongoing. Reproductive fitness costs associated with this reduction in phenotypic plasticity were demonstrated under ambient levels of CO2. Our findings suggest that contemporary evolution may facilitate this invasive species' spread in this desert ecosystem. PMID:24674649

  6. Effects of livestock watering sites on alien and native plants in the Mojave Desert, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.L.; Matchett, J.R.; Berry, K.H.

    2006-01-01

    Increased livestock densities near artificial watering sites create disturbance gradients called piospheres. We studied responses of alien and native annual plants and native perennial plants within 9 piospheres in the Mojave Desert of North America. Absolute and proportional cover of alien annual plants increased with proximity to watering sites, whereas cover and species richness of native annual plants decreased. Not all alien species responded the same, as the alien forb Erodium cicutarium and the alien grass Schismus spp. increased with proximity to watering sites, and the alien annual grass Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens decreased. Perennial plant cover and species richness also declined with proximity to watering sites, as did the structural diversity of perennial plant cover classes. Significant effects were focused within 200 m of the watering sites, suggesting that control efforts for alien annual plants and restoration efforts for native plants should optimally be focused within this central part of the piosphere gradient.

  7. Contemporary evolution of an invasive grass in response to elevated atmospheric CO(2) at a Mojave Desert FACE site.

    PubMed

    Grossman, Judah D; Rice, Kevin J

    2014-06-01

    Elevated atmospheric CO2 has been shown to rapidly alter plant physiology and ecosystem productivity, but contemporary evolutionary responses to increased CO2 have yet to be demonstrated in the field. At a Mojave Desert FACE (free-air CO2 enrichment) facility, we tested whether an annual grass weed (Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens) has evolved in response to elevated atmospheric CO2 . Within 7 years, field populations exposed to elevated CO2 evolved lower rates of leaf stomatal conductance; a physiological adaptation known to conserve water in other desert or water-limited ecosystems. Evolution of lower conductance was accompanied by reduced plasticity in upregulating conductance when CO2 was more limiting; this reduction in conductance plasticity suggests that genetic assimilation may be ongoing. Reproductive fitness costs associated with this reduction in phenotypic plasticity were demonstrated under ambient levels of CO2 . Our findings suggest that contemporary evolution may facilitate this invasive species' spread in this desert ecosystem. PMID:24674649

  8. Cantharidin decreases in vitro digestion of alfalfa and smooth bromegrass.

    PubMed

    Lenssen, A W; Blodgett, S L; Higgins, R A; Nagaraja, T G; Posler, G L; Broce, A B

    1990-10-01

    Blister beetles (Coleoptera:Meloidae) containing the toxin cantharidin can be incorporated with alfalfa (Medicago sativa L) during forage conservation. Cantharidin inadvertently ingested with animal feed may cause illness or death. Little information is available on the effects of cantharidin on ruminant microbial digestion. The objective of our study was to determine cantharidin effects on digestibility of alfalfa and smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss) by measuring in vitro digestible dry matter (IVDDM) and cell wall digestion (CWD). Alfalfa dry matter digestibility, measured after IVDDM at 48 and 96 h fermentation periods, decreased as cantharidin concentration increased. Increasing cantharidin concentration also significantly reduced IVDDM of smooth bromegrass at 24 and 96 h digestion time. The CWD of alfalfa and smooth bromegrass decreased as cantharidin concentration increased. These results indicate that ingestion of cantharidin by ruminants may decrease microbial digestion of fibrous feeds and therefore may decrease the efficiency of feed utilization by ruminants. PMID:2238434

  9. Rehabilitation materials from surface- coal mines in western U.S.A. III. Relations between elements in mine soil and uptake by plants.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Severson, R.C.; Gough, L.P.

    1984-01-01

    Plant uptake of Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn from mine soils was assessed using alfalfa Medicago sativa, sainfoin Onobrychis viciaefolia, smooth brome Bromus inermis, crested wheatgrass Agropyron cristatum, slender wheatgrass A. trachycaulum and intermediate wheatgrass A. intermedium; mine soil (cover-soil and spoil material) samples were collected from rehabilitated areas of 11 western US surface-coal mines in North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. Correlations between metals in plants and DTPA-extractable metals from mine soils were generally not statistically significant and showed no consistent patterns for a single metal or for a single plant species. Metal uptake by plants, relative to amounts in DTPA extracts of mine soil, was positively related to mine soil organic matter content or negatively related to mine soil pH. DTPA-extractable metal levels were significantly correlated with mine soil pH and organic-matter content.-from Authors

  10. Remote sensing and ecosystem simulation modeling of the intermountain sagebrush-steppe, with implications for global climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Kremer, R.G.

    1993-01-01

    Three papers are presented that focus on remote sensing and ecosystem simulation modeling of the Intermountain Northwest sagebrush-steppe ecosystem. The first utilizes Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer data to derive seasonal greenness indices of three pre-dominant vegetation communities in south-central WashingtoN. Temporal signatures were statistically separated, and used to create a classification for the three communities by integrating Normalized Difference Vegetation Indices over the growing season. The classification accuracy was 75% when compared to 53 ground-truthed sites, but was less accurate (62%) in a more topographically variable region. The second paper develops a logic for treating the intermountain sagebrush-steepe as a mosaic of distinct, hydrologically partitioned vegetation communities, and identifies critical ecophysiological considerations for process modeling of arid ecosystems. Soil water and nutrient dynamics of an ecosystem process model were modified to simulate productivity and seasonal water use patterns in Artemisia, Agropyron, and Bromus communities for the same study site. 60 year simulations maintained steady state vegetation productivity while predicting soil moisture content for 65 dates in 1992 with R[sup 2] values ranging from 0.93 to 0.98. In the third paper, the model was used to derive projections of the response of the ecosystem to natural and general circulation model (GCM)-predicted climate variability. Simulations predicted the adaptability of a less productive, invasive grass community (Bromus) to climate change, while a native sagebrush (Artemisia) community does not survive the increased temperatures of the GCM climates. High humidity deficits and greater maintenance respiration costs associated with increased temperatures limit the ability of the sagebrush community to support a relatively high biomass, and substantial increases in soil water storage and subsurface outflow occur was the vegetation senesces.

  11. Habitat invasibility and dominance by alien annual plants in the western Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.L.

    1999-01-01

    Patterns of habitat invasibility and alien dominance, respectively measured as species richness and biomass of alien annual plants, were evaluated in association with four habitat factors at the Desert Tortoise Research Natural Area (DTNA) in the western Mojave Desert, USA. Habitat factors varied in levels of disturbance outside (high) and inside (low) the DTNA, and in levels of soil nutrients in washlet (high) and hummock (low) topographic positions, in Larrea-north (high), Larrea-south (medium), and interspace (low) microhabitats near creosote bushes (Larrea tridentata), and during 1995 when rainfall was 207% (high) and 1994 when rainfall was 52% (low) of the long-term average. Dominant alien plants included the annual grasses Bromus rubens, Bromus trinii, and Schismus spp., and the forb Erodium cicutarium. Species richness and dominance of alien annual plants were slightly higher where disturbance was high, and much higher where soil nutrients were high. B. rubens and B. trinii were most dominant in washlets and in the Larrea-north microhabitats during both years. These two species evolved in mesic ecosystems, and appeared to be particularly limited by soil nutrients at this site. Schismus spp. and E. cicutarium were also most dominant in washlets, but their dominance varied between interspaces in 1994 and the Larrea-south microhabitat in 1995. Monitoring to detect the invasion of new annual plants should focus on regions of high rainfall and nitrogen deposition and on washes and beneath-canopy microhabitats. The ecological range of each alien species should be evaluated separately, because their evolutionary origins may greatly affect their patterns of invasion and dominance in the Mojave Desert.

  12. Restoration of areas disturbed by site studies for a mined commercial radioactive waste repository: The Basalt Waste Isolation Project (BWIP)

    SciTech Connect

    Brandt, C.A.; Rickard, W.H. Jr.; Biehert, R.W.; Newell, R.L.; Page, T.L.

    1989-01-01

    The Basalt Waste Isolation Project (BWIP) was undertaken to environmentally characterize a portion of the US Department of Energy's Hanford Site in Washington State as a potential host for the nation's first mined commercial nuclear waste repository. Studies were terminated by Congress in 1987. Between 1976 and 1987, 72 areas located across the Hanford Site were disturbed by the BWIP. These areas include borehole pads, a large Exploratory Shaft Facility, and the Near Surface Test Facility. Most boreholes were cleared of vegetation, leveled, and stabilized with a thick layer of compacted pit-run gravel and sand. The Near Surface Test Facility consists of three mined adits, a rock-spoils bench, and numerous support facilities. Restoration began in 1988 with the objective of returning sites to pre-existing conditions using native species. The Hanford Site retains some of the last remnants of the shrub-steppe ecosystem in Washington. The primary constraints to restoring native vegetation at Hanford are low precipitation and the presence of cheatgrass, an extremely capable alien competitor. 5 figs.

  13. Germination characteristics of six plant species growing on the Hanford Site. [Disturbed land revegetation feasibility studies

    SciTech Connect

    Cox, G.R.; Kirkham, R.R.; Cline, J.F.

    1980-03-01

    Six plant species (Siberian and thickspike wheatgrass, cheatgrass, sand dropseed, Indian ricegrass, and Russian thistle) found on the Hanford Site were studied as part of an investigation into the revegetation of disturbed areas. Germination response to three environmental parameters (soil moisture, soil temperature, and planting depth) were measured. Results indicated that when a polyethylene glycol solution was used to control the osmotic potential of the imbibition media, no significant decrease in germination rate occurred down to -3.0 bars. However, below -7.0 bars all species experienced a decrease in germination. When germinated in soil, all species except Russian thistle exhibited a significant decrease in germination rate at -0.3 bars. Russian thistle was the only species tested that exhibited germination at a soil temperature of 1/sup 0/C. All species gave optimum germination at temperatures between 10 and 15/sup 0/C. Thickspike wheatgrass was the only species tested which was able to germinate and emerge from a planting depth of greater than 2 inches. If supplemental moisture is provided, a shallow planting would be advisable for those species tested. If not overcome by pretreatment prior to planting, seed dormancy may be a significant factor which will reduce the germination potential of some species tested.

  14. Eder Acquisition 2007 Habitat Evaluation Procedures Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Ashley, Paul R.

    2008-01-01

    A habitat evaluation procedures (HEP) analysis was conducted on the Eder acquisition in July 2007 to determine how many protection habitat units to credit Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) for providing funds to acquire the project site as partial mitigation for habitat losses associated with construction of Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph Dams. Baseline HEP surveys generated 3,857.64 habitat units or 1.16 HUs per acre. HEP surveys also served to document general habitat conditions. Survey results indicated that the herbaceous plant community lacked forbs species, which may be due to both livestock grazing and the late timing of the surveys. Moreover, the herbaceous plant community lacked structure based on lower than expected visual obstruction readings (VOR); likely a direct result of livestock impacts. In addition, introduced herbaceous vegetation including cultivated pasture grasses, e.g. crested wheatgrass and/or invader species such as cheatgrass and mustard, were present on most areas surveyed. The shrub element within the shrubsteppe cover type was generally a mosaic of moderate to dense shrubby areas interspersed with open grassland communities while the 'steppe' component was almost entirely devoid of shrubs. Riparian shrub and forest areas were somewhat stressed by livestock. Moreover, shrub and tree communities along the lower reaches of Nine Mile Creek suffered from lack of water due to the previous landowners 'piping' water out of the stream channel.

  15. Holocene fire occurrence and alluvial responses at the leading edge of pinyon-juniper migration in the Northern Great Basin, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weppner, Kerrie N.; Pierce, Jennifer L.; Betancourt, Julio L.

    2013-09-01

    Fire and vegetation records at the City of Rocks National Reserve (CIRO), south-central Idaho, display the interaction of changing climate, fire and vegetation along the migrating front of single-leaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla) and Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma). Radiocarbon dating of alluvial charcoal reconstructed local fire occurrence and geomorphic response, and fossil woodrat (Neotoma) middens revealed pinyon and juniper arrivals. Fire peaks occurred ~ 10,700-9500, 7200-6700, 2400-2000, 850-700, and 550-400 cal yr BP, whereas ~ 9500-7200, 6700-4700 and ~ 1500-1000 cal yr BP are fire-free. Wetter climates and denser vegetation fueled episodic fires and debris flows during the early and late Holocene, whereas drier climates and reduced vegetation caused frequent sheetflooding during the mid-Holocene. Increased fires during the wetter and more variable late Holocene suggest variable climate and adequate fuels augment fires at CIRO. Utah juniper and single-leaf pinyon colonized CIRO by 3800 and 2800 cal yr BP, respectively, though pinyon did not expand broadly until ~ 700 cal yr BP. Increased fire-related deposition coincided with regional droughts and pinyon infilling ~ 850-700 and 550-400 cal yr BP. Early and late Holocene vegetation change probably played a major role in accelerated fire activity, which may be sustained into the future due to pinyon-juniper densification and cheatgrass invasion.

  16. Identification of brome grass infestations in southwest Oklahoma using multi-temporal Landsat imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, D.; de Beurs, K.

    2013-12-01

    The extensive infestation of brome grasses (Cheatgrass, Rye brome and Japanese brome) in southwest Oklahoma imposes negative impacts on local economy and ecosystem in terms of decreasing crop and forage production and increasing fire risk. Previously proposed methodologies on brome grass detection are found ill-suitable for southwest Oklahoma as a result of similar responses of background vegetation to inter-annual variability of rainfall. In this study, we aim to identify brome grass infestations by detecting senescent brome grasses using the 2011 Cultivated Land Cover Data Sets and the difference Normalized Difference Infrared Index (NDII) derived from multi-temporal Landsat imagery. Landsat imageries acquired on May 18th and June 10th 2013 by Operational Land Imager and Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus were used. The imagery acquisition dates correspond to the peak growth and senescent time of brome grasses, respectively. The difference NDII was calculated by subtracting the NDII image acquired in May from the June NDII image. Our hypotheses is that senescent brome grasses and crop/pasture fields harvested between the two image acquisition dates can be distinguished from background land cover classes because of their increases in NDII due to decreased water absorption by senescent vegetation in the shortwave infrared region. The Cultivated Land Cover Data Sets were used to further separate senescent brome grass patches from newly harvested crop/pasture fields. Ground truth data collected during field trips in June, July and August of 2013 were used to validate the detection results.

  17. Invasive Plant Species: Inventory, Mapping, and Monitoring - A National Strategy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ludke, J. Larry; D'Erchia, Frank; Coffelt, Jan; Hanson, Leanne

    2002-01-01

    America is under siege by invasive species of plants and animals, and by diseases. The current environmental, economic, and health-related costs of invasive species could exceed $138 billion per year-more than all other natural disasters combined. Notorious examples include West Nile virus, Dutch elm disease, chestnut blight, and purple loose- strife in the Northeast; kudzu, Brazilian peppertree, water hyacinth, nutria, and fire ants in the Southeast; zebra mussels, leafy spurge, and Asian long-horn beetles in the Midwest; salt cedar, Russian olive, and Africanized bees in the Southwest; yellow star thistle, European wild oats, oak wilt disease, Asian clams, and white pine blister rust in California; cheatgrass, various knapweeds, and thistles in the Great Basin; whirling disease of salmonids in the Northwest; hundreds of invasive species from microbes to mammals in Hawaii; and the brown tree snake in Guam. Thousands of species from other countries are introduced intentionally or accidentally into the United States each year. Based on past experience, 10-15 percent can be expected to establish free-living populations and about 1 percent can be expected to cause significant impacts to ecosystems, native species, economic productivity, and (or) human health.

  18. Vegetation trends in a young conifer plantation after grazing, grubbing, and chemical release. Forest Service research paper

    SciTech Connect

    McDonald, P.M.; Fiddler, G.O.; Meyer, P.W.

    1996-07-01

    A 3-year-old Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi Grev. and Balf.) plantation in northern California was released by grazing with sheep for 5 years, manual grubbing for 3 years, and applying a herbicide 1 year. These treatments plus an untreated control provided an opportunity to evaluate density and developmental trends for the pine, shrub, and grass components of the plant community during 1986-1994. Creating a near-free-to-grow condition by applying Velpar herbicide modified the plant community by controlling the shrubs, reduced cheatgrass in the second and third years, and caused mean pine diameter, foliar cover, and height to be significantly greater than counterparts in all other treatments. Nipping of twigs by sheep stimulated foliar cover of snowbrush to more than three times that of similar plants in the control. Grazing significantly reduced greenleaf manzanita cover. Grubbing a 4-foot radius around pine seedlings, and grazing with sheep did not increase Jeffrey pine development relative to the control. Because of this ineffectiveness, the efficacy of grazing as a silvicultural tool is questioned and suggestions for its betterment are presented.

  19. A comparative study of AMF diversity in annual and perennial plant species from semiarid gypsum soils.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alguacil, M. M.; Torrecillas, E.; Roldán, A.; Díaz, G.; Torres, P.

    2012-04-01

    The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities composition regulate plant interactions and determine the structure of plant communities. In this study we analysed the diversity of AMF in the roots of two perennial gypsophyte plant species, Herniaria fruticosa and Senecio auricula, and an annual herbaceous species, Bromus rubens, growing in a gypsum soil from a semiarid area. The objective was to determine whether perennial and annual host plants support different AMF communities in their roots and whether there are AMF species that might be indicators of specific functional plant roles in these ecosystems. The roots were analysed by nested PCR, cloning, sequencing of the ribosomal DNA small subunit region and phylogenetic analysis. Twenty AMF sequence types, belonging to the Glomus group A, Glomus group B, Diversisporaceae, Acaulosporaceae, Archaeosporaceae and Paraglomeraceae, were identified. Both gypsophyte perennial species had differing compositions of the AMF community and higher diversity when compared with the annual species, showing preferential selection by specific AMF sequences types. B. rubens did not show host specificity, sharing the full composition of its AMF community with both perennial plant species. Seasonal variations in the competitiveness of AM fungi could explain the observed differences in AMF community composition, but this is still a working hypothesis that requires the analysis of further data obtained from a higher number of both annual and perennial plant species in order to be fully tested.

  20. Mortality of exotic and native seeds in invaded and uninvaded habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orrock, John L.; Hoisington-López, Jessica L.

    2009-09-01

    We examined seed survival in exotic- and native-dominated grasslands by placing seeds of a once-pervasive native grass species, Nassella pulchra, and two of the most common, widespread exotic grass species, Avena fatua and Bromus hordeaceus, in mesh bags in the field for 3 months. Compared to germination of unexposed seeds not placed in the field, exotic species experienced an approximately 40% reduction in viability, whereas the mortality experienced by the native species was <20%. Despite these differences, germination rates of exposed seeds were similar between native and exotic species because native N. pulchra seeds had lower initial viability prior to entering the seed bank. Seed mortality did not differ based on whether seeds were placed in habitats dominated by exotic or native grasses. Rather, our results suggest that re-establishment of native N. pulchra must focus on maximizing seed viability and survival, and that A. fatua and B. hordeaceus overcome relatively higher losses of viable seeds in the seed bank, potentially by producing large numbers of highly viable seeds.

  1. Remote sensing to monitor monotypic weed patches in semi-arid grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Planck, Laura

    Remote sensing technology has great potential for mapping weed distributions. Fine-scale weed distribution maps can provide means to evaluate the success of weed control methods, to guide selection of future control methods, and to examine factors that influence the creation and persistence of monotypic weed patches. Here I examined the effectiveness of different classification approaches in detecting dense monotypic patches of the late-phenology weeds Taeniatherum caput-medusae (medusahead) and Aegilops triuncialis (barbed goatgrass), among cool-season forage grasses (Bromus spp. and Avena spp.) across multiple years in semi-arid rangelands in northern California (USA). I found that color infrared photographs acquired at two key phenological periods produced more accurate classifications than those based on one image alone, and that inclusion of training sites did not improve the overall accuracy of a classification. I also examined the association of remnant litter with transitions in species dominance in medusahead, goatgrass or forage patches. Persistence of goatgrass-dominated patches was correlated with the amount of remnant litter present, but surprisingly that of medusahead was not, suggesting a potential need for different strategies in control of these two noxious species. Overall, this study shows that remote sensing can be used to create weed distribution maps of phenologically distinct species, and help us further understand community response to invasion and evaluate the effectiveness of management treatments.

  2. Digestible energy content of pasture species in growing European wild boar (Sus scrofa L.).

    PubMed

    Quijada, R P; Bitsch, N I; Hodgkinson, S M

    2012-06-01

    The objectives were to determine the apparent energy digestibility of six pasture species frequently grazed by European wild boar (Sus scrofa L.) and to estimate the digestible energy (DE) consumption from pasture by grazing wild boar. Seven diets were prepared; a base diet (BD) which did not contain any pasture species, diets D1 to D5 which included 75% of the BD and 25% of the dried pasture species Lolium perenne (D1), Festuca arundinacea (D2), Agrostis capillaris (D3), Bromus staminius (D4) or Trifolium repens (D5) and D6 which contained 85% BD and 15% dried Plantago lanceolata. Seven purebred European wild boar (initial liveweight 24.4 ± 0.8 kg, average ± SEM) were given access to the diets following a Latin Square design. The animals received each diet for eight days, with faecal sampling on days 6, 7 and 8. The total apparent DE consumption from pasture by grazing wild boar was estimated using previously collected pasture consumption data from wild boar. The digestibility coefficients and DE contents of the pasture species ranged from 0.29 to 0.65, and 5.8 to 12.6 MJ/kg DM respectively, with L. perenne and P. lanceolata having the greatest digestibility coefficients and DE contents. The wild boar were estimated to satisfy between 52% and 142% of their maintenance energy requirements through pasture consumption. Grazing wild boar are able to utilise an important proportion of the energy present in pasture species. PMID:21575078

  3. Dominance and environmental correlates of alien annual plants in the Mojave Desert, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.L.; Berry, K.H.

    2006-01-01

    Land managers are concerned about the negative effects of alien annual plants on native plants, threatened and endangered species such as the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), and ecosystem integrity in the Mojave Desert. Management of alien plants is hampered by a lack of information regarding the dominance and environmental correlates of these species. The results of this study indicate that alien plant species comprised a small fraction of the total annual plant flora, but most of the annual plant community biomass. When rainfall was high in 1995, aliens comprised 6% of the flora and 66% of the biomass. When rainfall was low in 1999, aliens comprised 27% of the flora and 91% of the biomass. Bromus rubens, Schismus spp. (S. arabicus and S. barbatus), and Erodium cicutarium were the predominant alien species during both years, comprising 99% of the alien biomass. B. rubens was more abundant in relatively mesic microhabitats beneath shrub canopies and at higher elevations above 800-1000 m, whereas Schismus spp. and E. cicutarium were more abundant in the relatively arid interspaces between shrubs, and, for Schismus spp., at lower elevations as well. Disturbance variables were more reliable indicators of alien dominance than were productivity or native plant diversity variables, although relationships often varied between years of contrasting rainfall. The strongest environmental correlates occurred between dirt road density and alien species richness and biomass of E. cicutarium, and between frequency and size of fires and biomass of B. rubens.

  4. Total reflection X-ray fluorescence and energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence analysis of runoff water and vegetation from abandoned mining of Pb Zn ores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marques, A. F.; Queralt, I.; Carvalho, M. L.; Bordalo, M.

    2003-12-01

    The present work reports on the heavy metal content: Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Cd and Pb in running waters and vegetation around abandoned mining areas. Two species of mosses ( Dicranum sp. and Pleurocarpus sp.) and three different species of wild grass ( Bromus sp., Rumex sp. and Pseudoavena sp.) growing on the surrounding areas of old lead-zinc mines (Aran Valley, Pyrenees, NE Spain) have been analyzed. Both water and vegetation were collected in two different sampling places: (a) near the mine gallery water outlets and (b) on the landfill close to the abandoned mineral concentration factories. For the heavy metal content determination, two different techniques were used: total reflection X-ray fluorescence for water analysis and energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence for vegetation study. Surface waters around mine outlets exhibit anomalous content of Co, Ni, Zn, Cd. Stream waters running on mining landfills exhibit higher Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb than those of the waters at the mine gallery outlets. The results allow us to assess the extent of the environmental impact of the mining activities on the water quality. The intake of these elements by vegetation was related with the sampling place, reflecting the metal water content and the substrate chemistry. Accumulation of metals in mosses is higher than those exhibited in wild grasses. Furthermore, different levels of accumulation were found in different wild grass. Rumex sp. presented the lowest metal concentrations, while Pseudoavena sp. reported the highest metal content.

  5. Biotechnologically generating 'super chickpea' for food and nutritional security.

    PubMed

    Acharjee, Sumita; Sarmah, Bidyut Kumar

    2013-06-01

    Chickpea productivity is affected by various constraints that are biotic (Helicoverpa, Aphids, Callosobruchus, Bromus and Orobanche) and abiotic (drought and salinity). In addition, the grains of this legume are deficient in sulfur amino acids, methionine and cysteine. The possibilities for genetic improvement by marker-assisted breeding and selection approaches are limited in chickpeas due to their sexually incompatible gene pool. Transgenic chickpeas expressing either the cry1Ac/b or the cry2Aa gene and the bean α-amylase inhibitor gene are resistant to Helicoverpa and bruchids, respectively, but these chickpeas have yet to be commercialized. Unfortunately, attempts to generate transgenic chickpeas with increased tolerance to drought and salinity or with increased methionine content have been less successful. The commercialization of transgenic chickpeas containing a single transgene may not give adequate yield advantage, as chickpeas are affected by many production constraints in the field and in storage. Gene pyramiding by incorporating two or more genes may be useful because improving one trait at a time will be time-consuming, labor-intensive and costly. Use of modern multi-gene vectors that contain recognition sites for zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) and homing endonucleases may simplify the incorporation of multiple genes into chickpeas. This approach necessitates a collaborative effort between individuals, public and private organizations to generate 'super chickpeas' that harbor multiple transgenic traits. PMID:23602105

  6. Viral pathogen production in a wild grass host driven by host growth and soil nitrogen.

    PubMed

    Whitaker, Briana K; Rúa, Megan A; Mitchell, Charles E

    2015-08-01

    Nutrient limitation is a basic ecological constraint that has received little attention in studies on virus production and disease dynamics. Nutrient availability could directly limit the production of viral nucleic acids and proteins, or alternatively limit host growth and thus indirectly limit metabolic pathways necessary for viral replication. In order to compare direct and indirect effects of nutrient limitation on virus production within hosts, we manipulated soil nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) availability in a glasshouse for the wild grass host Bromus hordeaceus and the viral pathogen Barley yellow dwarf virus-PAV. We found that soil N additions increased viral concentrations within host tissues, and the effect was mediated by host growth. Specifically, in statistical models evaluating the roles of host biomass production, leaf N and leaf P, viral production depended most strongly on host biomass, rather than the concentration of either nutrient. Furthermore, at low soil N, larger plants supported greater viral concentrations than smaller ones, whereas at high N, smaller plants supported greater viral concentrations. Our results suggest that enhanced viral productivity under N enrichment is an indirect consequence of nutrient stimulation to host growth rate. Heightened pathogen production in plants has important implications for a world facing increasing rates of nutrient deposition. PMID:25782030

  7. Photoinhibition of germination in grass seed--implications for prairie revegetation.

    PubMed

    Mollard, Federico P O; Naeth, M Anne

    2014-09-01

    Germination photoinhibition is not a recognized cause of revegetation failure; yet prolonged sunlight exposure can inhibit germination of several grass species. This research addressed susceptibility to photoinhibition of selected native grass species used to restore Canadian prairies, and reclamation treatments to alter environmental conditions in order to release seeds from photoinhibition. Under laboratory conditions effects of photoinhibition were tested on the ability of seeds to germinate at low water potential and effects of daily alternating temperatures and nitrates to break photoinhibition. Whether surficial mulch can release seeds from photoinhibition was assessed in a field experiment. Germination photoinhibition was evident in Festuca hallii and Koeleria macrantha seeds even under very low irradiances. The prolonged exposure to light decreased germination rates and ability of seeds to germinate at low water potentials. Daily fluctuating temperatures released a fraction of Bromus carinatus and Elymus trachycaulus seeds from photoinhibition yet did not improve F. hallii or K. macrantha germinability. Nitrates failed to break seed photoinhibition in all species tested. In the field experiment, mulched F. hallii seeds (covered with an erosion control blanket) showed a tenfold increase in germination percentages relative to seeds exposed to direct sunlight, indicating the facilitative effects of mulching on attenuation of the light environment. We conclude that germination photoinhibition as a cause of emergence failures in land reclamation where seed is broadcast or shallow seeded should be recognized and germination photoinhibition included in the decision making process to select revegetation seeding techniques. PMID:24794519

  8. Optimal choice of dairy forages in eastern Australia.

    PubMed

    Neal, M; Neal, J; Fulkerson, W J

    2007-06-01

    Although several forage species such as perennial ryegrass are predominant, there is a wide range of forage species that could be grown in subtropical and temperate regions in Australia as dairy pastures. These species have differing seasonal patterns of growth, nutrient quality, and water-use efficiency, as demonstrated in a large experiment evaluating over 30 species at the University of Sydney (Camden, New South Wales, Australia). Some species can be grazed, whereas others require mechanical harvesting, which incurs a further cost. Previous comparisons of species that relied on yield of dry matter per unit of some input (typically land or water) did not simultaneously take into account the season in which forage is produced, or other factors related to the costs of production and delivery to the cows. To effectively compare the profitability of individual species, or combinations of species, requires the use of a whole-farm, multiperiod model. Linear programming was used to find the most profitable mix of forage species for an irrigated dairy farm in a warm temperate irrigation region of New South Wales, Australia. It was concluded that for a typical farmer facing the prevailing milk and purchased feed prices with average milk production per cow, the most profitable mix of species would include a large proportion of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and prairie grass (Bromus willdenowii). The result was robust to changes in seasonal milk pricing and a move from year-round to a more seasonal calving pattern. PMID:17517747

  9. Waterfowl in relation to land use and water levels on the Spring Run Area

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krapu, G.L.; Parsons, D.R.; Weller, M.W.

    1970-01-01

    Low water levels during critical phases of the breeding cycle appear to have caused population declines of waterfowl and other marsh birds on the Spring Run Game Management Area. Pair-counts indicated a decline from 70 pairs of waterfowl in 1965 to 2 pairs in 1968. Nest success of upland nesting blue-winged teal (Anas discors) averaged 33% and mallards (Anas platyrhyncos) averaged 23%. Blue-winged teal selected nest sites closer to water than did mallards (314 feet versus 424 feet). Teal nested in ungrazed bluegrass (Poa pratensis) in preference to alfalfa (Medicago sativa) hayland. Bromegrass (Bromus inermis) was readily used by teal and mallards when it became available for nesting. Nest success of species nesting overwater was considerably higher: Redheads (Aythya americana) were 55% successful and 93% of 75 coot (Fulica americana) nests hatched. A study of dummy-nests showed nest success significantly higher on ungrazed than on grazed bluegrass. Grazing did not significantly lower total mouse populations but did change species composition because deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) increased as other species declined with grazing.

  10. An adaptive approach to invasive plant management on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-owned native prairies in the Prairie Pothole Region: decision support under uncertainity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gannon, Jill J.; Moore, Clinton T.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Flanders-Wanner, Bridgette

    2011-01-01

    Much of the native prairie managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) is extensively invaded by the introduced cool-season grasses smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis). The central challenge to managers is selecting appropriate management actions in the face of biological and environmental uncertainties. We describe the technical components of a USGS management project, and explain how the components integrate and inform each other, how data feedback from individual cooperators serves to reduce uncertainty across the whole region, and how a successful adaptive management project is coordinated and maintained on a large scale. In partnership with the Service, the U.S. Geological Survey is developing an adaptive decision support framework to assist managers in selecting management actions under uncertainty and maximizing learning from management outcomes. The framework is built around practical constraints faced by refuge managers and includes identification of the management objective and strategies, analysis of uncertainty and construction of competing decision models, monitoring, and mechanisms for model feedback and decision selection. Nineteen Service field stations, spanning four states of the PPR, are participating in the project. They share a common management objective, available management strategies, and biological uncertainties. While the scope is broad, the project interfaces with individual land managers who provide refuge-specific information and receive updated decision guidance that incorporates understanding gained from the collective experience of all cooperators.

  11. Effects of high fire frequency in creosote bush scrub vegetation of the Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.L.

    2012-01-01

    Plant invasions can increase fire frequency in desert ecosystems where fires were historically infrequent. Although there are many resource management concerns associated with high frequency fire in deserts, fundamental effects on plant community characteristics remain largely unstudied. Here I describe the effects of fire frequency on creosote bush scrub vegetation in the Mojave Desert, USA. Biomass of the invasive annual grass Bromus rubens L. increased following fire, but did not increase further with additional fires. In contrast, density, cover and species richness of native perennial plants each decreased following fire and continued to decrease with subsequent fires, although not as dramatically as after the initial fire. Responses were similar 5 and 14 years post-fire, except that cover of Hymenoclea salsola Torr. & A. Gray and Achnatherum speciosa Trin. & Rupr. both increased in areas burnt once. These results suggest that control of B. rubens may be equally warranted after one, two or three fires, but revegetation of native perennial plants is most warranted following multiple fires. These results are valid within the scope of this study, which is defined as relatively short term vegetation responses (???14 years) to short fire return intervals (6.3 and 7.3 years for the two and three fire frequency levels) within creosote bush scrub of the Mojave Desert. ?? 2012 IAWF.

  12. Hydrology of a zero-order Southern Piedmont watershed through 45 years of changing agricultural land use. Part 1. Monthly and seasonal rainfall-runoff relationships

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Endale, Dinku M.; Fisher, Dwight S.; Steiner, Jean L.

    2006-01-01

    Few studies have reported runoff from small agricultural watersheds over sufficiently long period so that the effect of different cover types on runoff can be examined. We analyzed 45-yrs of monthly and annual rainfall-runoff characteristics of a small (7.8 ha) zero-order typical Southern Piedmont watershed in southeastern United States. Agricultural land use varied as follows: 1. Row cropping (5-yrs); 2. Kudzu ( Pueraria lobata; 5-yrs); 3. Grazed kudzu and rescuegrass ( Bromus catharticus; 7-yrs); and 4. Grazed bermudagrass and winter annuals ( Cynodon dactylon; 28-yrs). Land use and rainfall variability influenced runoff characteristics. Row cropping produced the largest runoff amount, percentage of the rainfall partitioned into runoff, and peak flow rates. Kudzu reduced spring runoff and almost eliminated summer runoff, as did a mixture of kudzu and rescuegrass (KR) compared to row cropping. Peak flow rates were also reduced during the kudzu and KR. Peak flow rates increased under bermudagrass but were lower than during row cropping. A simple process-based 'tanh' model modified to take the previous month's rainfall into account produced monthly rainfall and runoff correlations with coefficient of determination ( R2) of 0.74. The model was tested on independent data collected during drought. Mean monthly runoff was 1.65 times the observed runoff. Sustained hydrologic monitoring is essential to understanding long-term rainfall-runoff relationships in agricultural watersheds.

  13. Phytochrome Intermediates and Action Spectra for Light Perception by Dry Seeds 1

    PubMed Central

    Bartley, Michael R.; Frankland, Barry

    1984-01-01

    It has previously been demonstrated that far-red irradiation of dry Lactuca sativa L. seeds results in inhibition of subsequent germination. Although red has no effect on dry seeds, a red irradiation following a farred irradiation reverses the effect of far-red. This phenomenon is most noticeable in seeds with artificially raised levels of phytochrome in the far-red absorbing form. Qualitatively similar results have been found for the seeds of Plantago major L., Sinapis arvensis L., and Bromus sterilis L. Action spectra studies on Plantago seeds show that the action peaks for promotion and inhibition of germination of hydrated seeds are at 660 and 730 nanometers, respectively. The action spectrum for inhibition of subsequent germination following irradiation of dry seeds is qualitatively and quantitatively similar to that for hydrated seeds, with an action peak at 730 nanometers, indicating absorption by phytochrome in the far-red absorbing form. However, the action spectrum for the reversal of this far-red effect on dry seeds has a broad peak at 680 nanometers and subsidiary peaks at 650 and 600 nanometers. It is proposed that this effect is due to light absorption by the phytochrome intermediate complex meta-Fa, and that the action spectrum reflects the in vivo absorption properties of this intermediate. PMID:16663467

  14. Sonoran Desert winter annuals affected by density of red brome and soil nitrogen

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Salo, L.F.; McPherson, G.R.; Williams, D.G.

    2005-01-01

    Red brome [Bromus madritensis subsp. rubens (L.) Husn.] is a Mediterranean winter annual grass that has invaded Southwestern USA deserts. This study evaluated interactions among 13 Sonoran Desert annual species at four densities of red brome from 0 to the equivalent of 1200 plants ma??2. We examined these interactions at low (3 I?g) and high (537 I?g NO3a?? g soila??1) nitrogen (N) to evaluate the relative effects of soil N level on survival and growth of native annuals and red brome. Red brome did not affect emergence or survival of native annuals, but significantly reduced growth of natives, raising concerns about effects of this exotic grass on the fecundity of these species. Differences in growth of red brome and of the three dominant non nitrogen-fixing native annuals at the two levels of soil N were similar. Total species biomass of red brome was reduced by 83% at low, compared to high, N levels, whereas that of the three native species was reduced by from 42 to 95%. Mean individual biomass of red brome was reduced by 87% at low, compared to high, N levels, whereas that of the three native species was reduced by from 72 to 89%.

  15. Mercury in soils and plants in an abandoned cinnabar mining area (SW Spain).

    PubMed

    García-Sánchez, A; Murciego, A; Alvarez-Ayuso, E; Regina, I Santa; Rodríguez-González, M A

    2009-09-15

    An abandoned cinnabar mining area located in the South-West of Spain has been studied with the aim of assessing its mercury pollution level and enhancing the knowledge about the Hg soil/plant relationship. To do so, soils and plants were sampled near an inactive smelter and around two mining sites present in this area. Critical total Hg concentrations were found in the close environs of pollutant sources. These also show high levels of elemental Hg (up to 8 mg kg(-1)), but quite low exchangeable Hg contents (0.008-0.038 mg kg(-1)). Most plant specimens display in their aboveground tissues Hg concentrations comprised in the range 0.1-10 mg kg(-1), with a great proportion (50%) showing critical levels. Greater Hg contents were found in plant specimens growing in soils with higher elemental Hg concentrations. The plant species displaying the greatest Hg levels are either perennial species of small-medium size and/or showing medium-highly corrugated leaves, or annual plants of small size. Marrubium vulgare L., Bromus madritensis L. and Trifolium angustifolium L. are the plant species with the highest Hg contents (37.6, 12.7 and 9.0 mg kg(-1), respectively). Leaf specific surface seems an important feature in the atmospheric Hg uptake by plants. PMID:19345007

  16. Genotoxic effects of catmint (Nepeta meyeri Benth.) essential oils on some weed and crop plants.

    PubMed

    Kekeç, Güzin; Mutlu, Salih; Alpsoy, Lokman; Sakçali, M Serdal; Atici, Ökkes

    2013-07-01

    This study investigates the genotoxicity of the essential oils extracted from the aerial parts of catmint (Nepeta meyeri Benth.) against two weeds (Bromus danthoniae and Lactuca serriola) and two crop plants (Brassica napus and Zea mays). The essential oils of N. meyeri analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry contained 14 compounds, with 4aα, 7α, 7aβ-nepetalactone (83.4%), 4aα, 7α, and 7aα-nepetalactone (8.83%) as the major components. The oils were diluted (25, 50, 100, and 150 ppm) and the solutions were applied to seeds or leaves of these plants. The study compared the germination percentage and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) results with the control group. The results showed that the oils had a strong inhibitory activity and caused a change in RAPD profiles in terms of variation in band intensity, loss of bands, and appearance of new bands compared with the control group. The results suggested that RAPD analysis could be applied as a suitable biomarker assay for the detection of genotoxic effects of plant allelochemicals. This study indicates the genotoxical potential of N. meyeri essential oils on weed and crop plants. PMID:22434692

  17. Trace elements in wild grasses: a phytoavailability study on a remediated field.

    PubMed

    Burgos, P; Pérez-de-Mora, A; Madejón, P; Cabrera, F; Madejón, E

    2008-04-01

    There have been significant efforts to establish a widely usable method for the prediction of trace element bioavailability in soil. In this work, we used extraction with 0.01 M CaCl2 and 0.05 M ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) to estimate bioavailable concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn in a soil moderately contaminated with trace elements 1 and 2 years after the application of three amendments. The experiment took place in a field plot of a soil affected by the toxic spill of the Aznalcóllar mine. Four treatments were established: three with amendments (biosolid compost, sugar beet lime, and a combination of leonardite plus sugar beet lime) and a control without amendment. Trace element concentrations of two representative species in each year (Lamarckia aurea and Poa annua in 2004 and Lamarckia aurea and Bromus rubens in 2005) were analyzed. The results showed a positive effect of the amendments both on soil and vegetation. Trace element concentrations in plants growing in the amended subplots were lower than those in plants from nonamended subplots. As a rule, concentrations of CaCl2-soluble Cd, Cu, and Zn in soil were positively correlated with trace elements in plants, whereas EDTA extraction was scarcely correlated with plant concentration. For species of grasses, especially L. aurea, CaCl2 seems to be a more suitable extractant to predict trace element bioavailability in this contaminated soil. PMID:18253844

  18. Interference of condensed tannin in lignin analyses of dry bean and forage crops.

    PubMed

    Marles, M A Susan; Coulman, Bruce E; Bett, Kirstin E

    2008-11-12

    Legumes with high concentrations of condensed tannin (pinto bean [Phaseolus vulgaris L.], sainfoin [Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.], and big trefoil [Lotus uliginosus Hoff.]), were compared to a selection of forages, with low or zero condensed tannin (smooth bromegrass [ Bromus inermis Leyss], Lotus japonicus [Regel] K. Larsen, and alfalfa [Medicago sativa L.]), using four methods to estimate fiber or lignin. Protocols were validated by using semipurified condensed tannin polymers in adulteration assays that tested low-lignin tissue with polyphenolic-enriched samples. The effect on lignin assay methods by condensed tannin concentration was interpreted using a multivariate analysis. There was an overestimation of fiber or lignin in the presence of condensed tannin in the acid detergent fiber (ADF) and Klason lignin (KL) assays compared to that in the thioglycolic acid (TGA) and acid detergent lignin (ADL) methods. Sulfite reagents (present in TGA lignin method) or sequential acidic digests at high temperatures (ADF followed by ADL) were required to eliminate condensed tannin. The ADF (alone) and KL protocols are not recommended to screen nonwoody plants, such as forages, where condensed tannin has accumulated in the tissue. PMID:18841900

  19. Home range and habitat use by Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus) in Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bennett, J.R.; Bloom, P.H.

    2005-01-01

    Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus) are a common, widespread species that can be found in a variety of habitats across most of North America, but little is known about their space and habitat requirements. Using radiotelemetry, location data were collected on nine male and five female Great Horned Owls to determine home range and habitat use in southern California. Owls were tracked between January 1997 and September 1998 for periods ranging from 5-17 mo. Seven owls were also followed during 13 all-night observation periods. The mean 95% adaptive kernel home-range size for females was 180 ha (range = 88-282, SE = 36) and that for males was 425 ha (range = 147-1115 ha, SE = 105). Core areas estimated by the 50% adaptive kernel averaged 27 ha (range = 7-44, SE = 7) for females and 61 ha (range = 15-187, SE = 18) for males. Owls were located in areas with varying degrees of human disturbance ranging from almost entirely urban to native oak (Quercus agrifolia) woodland. Oak/sycamore (Quercus agrifolia/Platanus racemosa) woodland and ruderal grassland (Bromus spp., Avena spp., and various other non-native invasives), were used more often than expected based on availability, but we found no correlation between home-range size and any single habitat type or habitat groups. ?? 2005 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.

  20. Ecotoxicological diagnosis of a sealed municipal landfill.

    PubMed

    Hernández, A J; Bartolomé, C; Pérez-Leblic, M I; Rodríguez, J; Alvarez, J; Pastor, J

    2012-03-01

    Assessing the environmental impact of a soil-topped landfill requires an accurate ecotoxicological diagnosis. This paper describes various diagnostic protocols for this purpose and their application to a real case: the urban solid waste (USW) municipal landfill of Getafe (Madrid, Spain). After their initial sealing with soil from the surroundings about 20 years ago, most USW landfills in the autonomous community of Madrid have continued to receive waste. This has hindered precise assessment of their impact on their environment and affected ecosystems. The procedure proposed here overcomes this problem by assessing the situation in edaphic, aquatic and ecological terms. The present study focused on the most influential soil variables (viz. salinity due largely to the presence of anions, and heavy metals and organic compounds). These variables were also determined in surface waters of the wetland most strongly affected by leachates running down landfill slopes. Determinations included the characterization of plant communities and microbial biodiversity. The study was supplemented with a bioassay under controlled conditions in pots containing soil contaminated with variable concentrations of Zn (as ZnCl(2)) intended to assess ecochemical actions in a population of Bromus rubens, which grows profusely in the landfill. PMID:21075508

  1. Native fungal endophytes suppress an exotic dominant and increase plant diversity over small and large spatial scales.

    PubMed

    Afkhami, Michelle E; Strauss, Sharon Y

    2016-05-01

    Understanding community dynamics and processes, such as the factors that generate and maintain biodiversity, drive succession, and affect invasion susceptibility, is a central goal in ecology and evolution. While most studies of how species interactions affect communities have focused on highly visible macroorganisms, we show that mutualistic microfungal endophytes have community-level effects across their host plant's range and provide the first example of fungal endophytes enhancing plant diversity. A three-year field study in which we experimentally manipulated endophyte abundance in a native Californian grass showed that despite their minute biomass, endophytes dramatically increased plant community diversity (~110% greater increase with endophytes) by suppressing a dominant invasive grass, Bromus diandrus. This effect was also detectable, but smaller, across five additional common gardens spanning ecologically diverse habitats, different climates, and > 400 km of the host grass' range as well as at microspatial scales within gardens. Our study illustrates that mutualistic microbes, while often hidden players, can have unexpectedly large ecological impacts across a wide range of habitats and scales and may be important for promoting diverse communities and ecosystems. PMID:27349093

  2. Copper status of muskoxen: a comparison of wild and captive populations.

    PubMed

    Barboza, Perry S; Rombach, Emmajean P; Blake, John E; Nagy, John A

    2003-07-01

    We compared wild muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) on Banks Island (Northwest Territories, Canada) with captive animals maintained on grass (Bromus sp.) hay and supplemental minerals. We measured copper (Cu) in liver, whole serum, and deproteinated serum (unbound Cu) as well as serum activity of the Cu-enzyme ceruloplasmin. Unbound serum Cu concentrations did not change with season in captive animals (n = 53). Ceruloplasmin activity was similar between seasons in females but elevated in males during breeding in autumn. Increasing concentrations of Cu in whole sera were mainly associated with protein whereas unbound Cu predominated at low concentrations of whole serum Cu. Ceruloplasmin activity and serum Cu concentration were linearly related to liver Cu in female muskoxen. Measures of copper status in females were lower in the wild (n = 19) than in captivity (n = 16): 8 vs. 160 ug Cu.g-1 of whole liver; 0.67 vs. 1.15 microgram unbound Cu.ml-1 whole serum and; 22 vs. 33 IU.l-1 ceruloplasmin activity. Bioavailability of Cu may limit the population on Banks Island especially when density of animals is high. The wide range of hepatic Cu concentrations in muskoxen indicated accumulation of Cu without apparent ill effect in captive animals. Hepatic storage of Cu may allow wild muskoxen to contend with low and fluctuating availability of Cu in small foraging areas at high latitudes. PMID:14567223

  3. Spatiotemporal patterns of water table fluctuations and evapotranspiration induced by riparian vegetation in a semiarid area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yue, Weifeng; Wang, Tiejun; Franz, Trenton E.; Chen, Xunhong

    2016-03-01

    Groundwater evapotranspiration (ETg) links various ecohydrological processes and is an important component in regional water budgets. In this study, an extensive monitoring network was established in a semiarid riparian area to investigate various controls on the spatiotemporal pattern of water table fluctuations (WTFs) and ETg induced by riparian vegetation. Along a vegetation gradient (˜1200 m), diurnal WTFs were observed during a growing season in areas covered by woody species (Populus sect. Aigeiros and Juniperus virginiana) and wet slough vegetation (Panicum virgatum and Bromus inermis) with deeper root systems; whereas, no diurnal WTFs were found in the middle section with shallower-rooted grasses (Poa pratensis and Carex sp.). The occurrence of diurnal WTFs was related to temperature-controlled plant phenology at seasonal scales and to radiation at subdaily scales. Daily ETg in the mid-growing season was calculated using the White method. The results revealed that depth to water table (DTWT) was the dominant control on ETg, followed by potential evapotranspiration (ETp). By combining the effects of DTWT and ETp, it was found that at shallower depths, ETg was more responsive to changes in ETp, due to the closer linkage of land surface processes with shallower groundwater. Finally, exponential relationships between ETg/ETp and DTWT were obtained at the study site, although those relationships varied considerably across the sites. This study demonstrates the complex interactions of WTFs and ETg with surrounding environmental variables and provides further insight into modeling ETg over different time scales and riparian vegetation.

  4. Potential effects of hydrogen sulfide gas from geothermal energy conversion on two plant species native to northern New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Gonzales, G.J.

    1984-02-01

    Dry weight of topgrowth, water content of topgrowth, leaf nitrogen content, and leaf chlorophyll content were measured in well-watered, field-exposed little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium Nash.) and mountain brome (Bromus marginatus Nees.) plants fumigated with various mean levels of H/sub 2/S ranging from 0.05 to 3.58 ppM. The youngest fully expanded leaves were sampled for chlorophyll content after 60, 80, 100, and 140 and 60, 80, 120, and 140 h total of fumigation for little bluestem and mountain brome, respectively. All other responses were measured after 140 h total of fumigation. The plants received a 7-day fumigation-free period prior to the seventh week (140 h) of fumigations. Dry weight of little bluestem plants which received low concentrations of H/sub 2/S (0.11 ppM) increased by 94% of the control. Dry weight of little bluestem plants which received higher concentrations of H/sub 2/S (0.12 to 0.48 ppM) was reduced to the control level. At the highest H/sub 2/S concentration (2.39 ppM) dry weight of little bluestem was reduced by 44% of the control. Mountain brome was relatively unaffected at the different concentrations of H/sub 2/S until 3.58 ppM H/sub 2/S was received where dry weight was reduced by 37% of the control.

  5. Plant-bacterial combinations to phytoremediate soil contaminated with high concentrations of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene

    SciTech Connect

    Siciliano, S.D.; Greer, C.W.

    2000-02-01

    The explosive 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) is a contaminant of concern at abandoned manufacturing and military sites because of its mobility and toxicity. Phytoremediation may play a role in natural attenuation scenarios by reducing TNT levels at point sources. The purpose of this study was to develop a phytoremediation system suitable for use in soils contaminated with high TNT levels. Sixteen grasses were screened for their tolerance to 41 g TNT kg{sup 1} soil. Meadow bromegrass (Bromus erectus Huds.), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and sweet vernalgrass (Anthoxanthum odoratum L.) grew in this soil. Inoculating these grasses with Pseudomonas sp. Strain 14, capable of transforming TNT into mono- and di-amino metabolites, increased the growth of meadow bromegrass but was lethal to perennial ryegrass and sweet vernalgrass. Meadow bromegrass inoculated with strain 14 reduced TNT levels by 30% compared with the control soil and had 50% more plant biomass than noninoculated plants. Meadow bromegrass, combined with strain 14, increased the percentage of the culturable soil heterotrophic population containing the genes involved in 2-nitrotoluene (ntdAa) metabolism 3-fold, as well as the population containing the genes involved in 4-nitrotoluene (ntnM) metabolism 14-fold. strain 14 inoculation of meadow bromegrass altered the portion of the rhizosphere community involved in nitroaromatic metabolism and led to a reduction in soil TNT levels.

  6. Uptake of explosives from contaminated soil by existing vegetation at the Joliet Army Ammunition Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Schneider, J.F.; Tomczyk, N.A.; Zellmer, S.D.; Banwart, W.L. |

    1994-01-01

    This study examines the uptake of explosives by existing vegetation growing in TNT-contaminated soils on Group 61 at the Joliet Army Ammunition Plant (JAAP). The soils in this group were contaminated more than 40 years ago. In this study, existing plant materials and soil from the root zone were sampled from 15 locations and analyzed to determine TNT uptake by plants under natural field conditions. Plant materials were separated by species if more than one species was present at a sampling location. Standard methods were used to determine concentrations of explosives, their derivatives, and metabolites in the soil samples. Plant materials were also analyzed. No. explosives were detected in the aboveground portion of any plant sample. However, the results indicate that TNT, 2-amino DNT, and/or 4-amino DNT were found in some root samples of false boneset (Kuhnia eupatorioides), teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris), and bromegrass (Bromus inermis). It is possible that slight soil contamination remained on the roots, especially in the case of the very fine roots for species like bromegrass, where washing was difficult. The presence of 2-amino DNT and 4-amino DNT, which could be plant metabolites of TNT, increases the likelihood that explosives were taken up by plant roots, as opposed to their presence resulting from external soil contamination.

  7. Plant assemblage composition and soil P concentration differentially affect communities of AM and total fungi in a semi-arid grassland.

    PubMed

    Klabi, Rim; Bell, Terrence H; Hamel, Chantal; Iwaasa, Alan; Schellenberg, Mike; Raies, Aly; St-Arnaud, Marc

    2015-01-01

    Adding inorganic P- and N-fixing legumes to semi-arid grasslands can increase forage yield, but soil nutrient concentrations and plant cover may also interact to modify soil fungal populations, impacting short- and long-term forage production. We tested the effect of plant assemblage (seven native grasses, seven native grasses + the domesticated N-fixing legume Medicago sativa, seven native grasses + the native N-fixing legume Dalea purpurea or the introduced grass Bromus biebersteinii + M. sativa) and soil P concentration (addition of 0 or 200 P2O5 kg ha(-1) at sowing) on the diversity and community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and total fungi over two consecutive years, using 454-pyrosequencing of 18S rDNA and ITS amplicons. Treatment effects were stronger in the wet year (2008) than the dry year (2009). The presence of an N-fixing legume with native grasses generally increased AM fungal diversity, while the interaction between soil P concentration and plant assemblage modified total fungal community structure in 2008. Excluding interannual variations, which are likely driven by moisture and plant productivity, AM fungal communities in semi-arid grasslands appear to be primarily affected by plant assemblage composition, while the composition of other fungi is more closely linked to soil P. PMID:25764537

  8. Geomorphic and Chemical Characteristics of Dust and Soil in the Eastern Great Basin of Utah, U.S.A.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hahnenberger, M.; Nicoll, K.; Perry, K. D.

    2014-12-01

    This study identifies anthropogenically disturbed areas and barren playa surfaces as the two primary dust source types that repeatedly contribute to dust storm events in the eastern Great Basin of western Utah, U.S.A. Further, dust samples were found to be distinctally different elementally compared to soil samples in this region. This analysis used MODIS and USDA Land cover data to identify 4 major and 5 secondary source areas for dust in this region, which produce dust primarily during the spring and fall months and during moderate or greater drought conditions. The largest number of observed dust plumes (~ 60% of all plumes) originated from playas (ephemeral lakes) and are classified as barren land cover with a silty clay soil sediment surface. Anthropogenic disturbance is necessary to produce dust from the vegetated landscape in the eastern Great Basin, as evidenced by the new dust source active from 2008 to 2010 in the area burned by the 2007 Milford Flat Fire; this fire was the largest in Utah's history due to extensive cover of invasive cheatgrass along with drought conditions. Dust and soil samples contain similar enrichments of major soil elements, however, dust samples were significantly more enriched in Na derived from the surface salts of the Sevier Dry Lake. Trace elements were generally more enriched in dust samples and had larger enrichment values than seen in previous studies. Further, for dust and soil samples, the fine fraction (<2.5 μm) was more enriched in trace elements than the coarse fraction (2.5 to 10 μm). Composition of dust transported has influences on human health, ecosystem functioning, and biogeochemical cycling. Dust storms in the eastern Great Basin negatively impact air quality and transportation in the populated regions of Utah; this study details an improved forecasting protocol for dust storm events that will benefit transportation planning and improve public health.

  9. A synopsis of short-term response to alternative restoration treatments in sagebrush-steppe: the SageSTEP project

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McIver, James; Brunson, Mark; Bunting, Steve; Chambers, Jeanne; Doescher, Paul; Grace, James; Hulet, April; Johnson, Dale; Knick, Steven T.; Miller, Richard; Pellant, Mike; Pierson, Fred; Pyke, David; Rau, Benjamin; Rollins, Kim; Roundy, Bruce; Schupp, Eugene; Tausch, Robin; Williams, Jason

    2014-01-01

    best chance managers have for arresting woodland expansion and cheatgrass invasion that may accelerate in a future warming climate.

  10. Habitat associations of vertebrate prey within the controlled area study zone

    SciTech Connect

    Marr, N.V.; Brandt, C.A.; Fitzner, R.E.; Poole, L.D.

    1988-03-01

    Twelve study locations were established in nine habitat types in the vicinity of the proposed reference repository location. Eight species of small mammals were captured. Great Basin pocket mice (Perognathus parvus) comprised the majority of individuals captured, followed by deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), Northern pocket gopher (Thomomys talpoides), Western harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys megalotus), Grasshopper mouse (Onychomys leucogaster), Montane vole, (Microtus montanus), House mouse (Mus musculus), and the Bushy-tailed woodrat (Neotoma cinerea). Pocket mice were captured in all habitats sampled; deer mice were obtained in all habitats save hopsage and nearly pure cheatgrass stands. The highese capture rates were found in bitterbrush and riparian habitats. Capture sex ratios for both pocket mice and deer mice were significantly different from equality. Body weights for deer mice and pocket mice exhibited a great deal of heterogeneity across trap sites, although only the heterogeneity for pocket mice was significant. In general, body weights for both species were greater in the sagebrush habitats than elsewhere. These differences are interpreted in light of habitat evaluation methodologies. Six species of reptiles and one species of amphibian were captured. Side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana) were by far the most frequently captured species. The predominant snakes captured were the yellow-bellied racer (Coluber constrictor) and the Great Basin gopher snake (Pituophis melanoleucus). Two Great Basin spadefoot toads (Scaphiopus intermontanus) captured at the Rattlesnake Springs trap site. Species diversity was quite low (Shannon-Wiener H )equals) 1.03). Side-blotched lizards were found in all habitats save near the talus on Gable Mountain and on the gravel pad site. The only other lizard species (northern sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) and short-horned lizard (Phrynosoma douglasii)) were obtained in bitterbrush habitat. 20 refs., 1 fig., 9 tabs.

  11. Allelopathic cover crop prior to seeding is more important than subsequent grazing/mowing in grassland establishment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Milchunas, Daniel G.; Vandever, Mark W.; Ball, Leonard O.; Hyberg, Skip

    2011-01-01

    The effects of grazing, mowing, and type of cover crop were evaluated in a previous winter wheat–fallow cropland seeded to grassland under the Conservation Reserve Program in eastern Colorado. Prior to seeding, the fallow strips were planted to forage sorghum or wheat in alternating strips (cover crops), with no grazing, moderate to heavy grazing, and mowing (grazing treatments) superimposed 4 yr after planting and studied for 3 yr. Plots previously in wheat had more annual and exotic species than sorghum plots. Concomitantly, there were much greater abundances of perennial native grass and all native species in sorghum than wheat cropped areas. The competitive advantage gained by seeded species in sorghum plots resulted in large increases in rhizomatous western wheatgrass. Sorghum is known to be allelopathic and is used in crop agriculture rotations to suppress weeds and increase crop yields, consistent with the responses of weed and desired native species in this study. Grazing treatment had relatively minor effects on basal and canopy cover composition of annual or exotic species versus perennial native grass or native species. Although grazing treatment never was a significant main effect, it occasionally modified cover crop or year effects. Opportunistic grazing reduced exotic cheatgrass by year 3 but also decreased the native palatable western wheatgrass. Mowing was a less effective weed control practice than grazing. Vegetative basal cover and aboveground primary production varied primarily with year. Common management practices for revegetation/restoration currently use herbicides and mowing as weed control practices and restrict grazing in all stages of development. Results suggest that allelopathic cover crop selection and opportunistic grazing can be effective alternative grass establishment and weed control practices. Susceptibility, resistance, and interactions of weed and seeded species to allelopathic cover species/cultivars may be a fruitful area

  12. Allelopathic cover crop prior to seeding is more important than subsequent grazing/mowing in Grassland establishment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Milchunas, D.G.; Vandever, M.W.; Ball, L.O.; Hyberg, S.

    2011-01-01

    The effects of grazing, mowing, and type of cover crop were evaluated in a previous winter wheat-fallow cropland seeded to grassland under the Conservation Reserve Program in eastern Colorado. Prior to seeding, the fallow strips were planted to forage sorghum or wheat in alternating strips (cover crops), with no grazing, moderate to heavy grazing, and mowing (grazing treatments) superimposed 4 yr after planting and studied for 3 yr. Plots previously in wheat had more annual and exotic species than sorghum plots. Concomitantly, there were much greater abundances of perennial native grass and all native species in sorghum than wheat cropped areas. The competitive advantage gained by seeded species in sorghum plots resulted in large increases in rhizomatous western wheatgrass. Sorghum is known to be allelopathic and is used in crop agriculture rotations to suppress weeds and increase crop yields, consistent with the responses of weed and desired native species in this study. Grazing treatment had relatively minor effects on basal and canopy cover composition of annual or exotic species versus perennial native grass or native species. Although grazing treatment never was a significant main effect, it occasionally modified cover crop or year effects. Opportunistic grazing reduced exotic cheatgrass by year 3 but also decreased the native palatable western wheatgrass. Mowing was a less effective weed control practice than grazing. Vegetative basal cover and aboveground primary production varied primarily with year. Common management practices for revegetation/restoration currently use herbicides and mowing as weed control practices and restrict grazing in all stages of development. Results suggest that allelopathic cover crop selection and opportunistic grazing can be effective alternative grass establishment and weed control practices. Susceptibility, resistance, and interactions of weed and seeded species to allelopathic cover species/cultivars may be a fruitful area of

  13. Comparison of Carbon Sequestration Rates and Energy Balance of Turf in the Denver Urban Ecosystem and an Adjacent Native Grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thienelt, T. S.; Anderson, D. E.; Powell, K. M.

    2011-12-01

    Urban ecosystems are currently characterized by rapid growth, are expected to continually expand and, thus, represent an important driver of land use change. A significant component of urban ecosystems is lawns, potentially the single largest irrigated "crop" in the U.S. Beginning in March of 2011 (ahead of the growing season), eddy covariance measurements of net carbon exchange and evapotranspiration along with energy balance fluxes were conducted for a well-watered, fertilized lawn (rye-bluegrass-mix) in metropolitan Denver and for a nearby tallgrass prairie (big bluestem, switchgrass, cheatgrass, blue grama). Due to the semi-arid climate conditions of the Denver region, differences in management (i.e., irrigation and fertilization) are expected to have a discernible impact on ecosystem productivity and thus on carbon sequestration rates, evapotranspiration, and the sensible and latent heat partitioning of the energy balance. By mid-July, preliminary data indicated that cumulative evapotranspiration was approximately 270 mm and 170 mm for urban and native grasslands, respectively, although cumulative carbon sequestration at that time was similar for both (approximately 40 mg/m2). However, the pattern of carbon exchange differed between the grasslands. Both sites showed daily net uptake of carbon starting in late May, but the urban lawn displayed greater diurnal variability as well as greater uptake rates in general, especially following fertilization in mid-June. In contrast, the trend of carbon uptake at the prairie site was occasionally reversed following strong convective precipitation events, resulting in a temporary net release of carbon. The continuing acquisition of data and investigation of these relations will help us assess the potential impact of urban growth on regional carbon sequestration.

  14. Carbon Sequestration and Energy Balance of Turf in the Denver Urban Ecosystem and Adjacent Tallgrass Prairie

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thienelt, T.; Anderson, D. E.; Powell, K. M.

    2012-12-01

    Urban ecosystems are currently characterized by rapid growth and are expected to continually expand. They represent an important driver of land use change. A significant component of urban ecosystems is lawns, potentially the single largest irrigated "crop" in the U.S. Between March and October of 2011 and 2012, eddy covariance measurements of net carbon dioxide exchange and evapotranspiration along with energy balance fluxes were conducted for an irrigated, fertilized lawn (rye-bluegrass-mix) in metropolitan Denver and for a nearby tallgrass prairie (big bluestem, switchgrass, cheatgrass, blue grama). Due to the semi-arid climate conditions of the Denver region, differences in management (i.e., irrigation and fertilization) are expected to have a discernible impact on ecosystem productivity and thus on carbon sequestration rates, evapotranspiration, and the partitioning of sensible and latent heat. Data for the 2011 season showed that cumulative evapotranspiration was approximately 600 mm for the urban lawn and 305 mm for the tallgrass prairie; cumulative carbon sequestration was calculated to be 172 and 85 g C/m2, respectively. Also, patterns of carbon exchange differed between the grasslands. In 2011, both sites showed daily net uptake of carbon starting in late May, but the urban lawn displayed greater diurnal variability as well as greater uptake rates in general, especially following fertilization in mid-June. In contrast, the trend of carbon uptake at the prairie site was occasionally reversed following strong convective precipitation events, resulting in a temporary net release of carbon. Preliminary data for the 2012 season (up to early July) indicated an earlier start of net carbon uptake and higher cumulative evapotranspiration for both locations, likely due to a warm spring. The continuing acquisition of data and investigation of these relations will help assess the potential impact of urban growth on regional carbon sequestration.

  15. Timing is everything: using near-surface and remote sensing to monitor vegetation phenology in sagebrush steppe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chong, G.; Steltzer, H.; Shory, R.; Petach, A.; Wallenstein, M. D.

    2012-12-01

    Climate change models for the north¬ern Rocky Mountains predict changes in temperature and water availability that in turn may alter vegetation. Changes to vegetation may include timing of plant life-history events, or phenology, such as green-up, flower¬ing and senescence, and shifts in species composition. Moreover, climate changes may favor some species, such as non¬native, annual grasses over native species. Changes in vegetation could make forage for ungulates, sage-grouse, and livestock available earlier in the growing season, but could also result in earlier senescence (die-off or dormancy) and reduced overall production. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) is regularly used to quantify greenness over large areas using remotely sensed reflectance data. The timing and scale of data collection, however, may be insufficient to capture fine-scale differences in phenology that are important indicators of habitat quality. We used data from near-surface light sensors to construct NDVI curves in native sagebrush vegetation with and without herbicide application for reducing non-native cheatgrass. We fit piecewise linear models to the data to compare characteristics of near-surface NDVI curves such as rate of green-up and duration of maximum greenness. Treated, inter-space areas had a later onset of peak season, but longer duration of greenness (greater productivity) than untreated inter-space. Sagebrush shrubs maintained relatively high greenness throughout the snow-free season. We compared our near-surface NDVI curves to curves constructed using remotely sensed data both locally (9 cell neighborhood) and regionally (southwest Wyoming) to identify the lag between actual green-up and green-up detected remotely and differences in the shapes of the NDVI curves. Understanding phenology and productivity at fine scales can help guide resource management decisions related to habitat quality, and monitoring changes in phenology and productivity over the

  16. Surface stabilization and revegetation test plots. Fiscal year 1993 status report

    SciTech Connect

    Sackschewsky, M.R.; Kemp, C.J.; Hayward, W.M.

    1993-09-01

    Westinghouse Hanford Company Decommissioning and Decontamination Engineering Group and Environmental Technology and Assessment Groups are developing new technologies to improve revegetation techniques for interim stabilization control over underground waste sites within the Radiation Area Remedial Action Program. Successful revegetation is an integral aspect of waste isolation strategy. Unfortunately, revegetation can be very difficult to achieve on the Hanford Site due to several factors: low annual precipitation, unpredictable timing of precipitation, low fertility of available soils, and coarse physical texture of soils covering waste sites. The tests in this report were performed during fiscal years 1992 and 1993 and include the use of two soil sealants in combination with bare soil and a soil/compost mixture and a comparison of a wheatgrass mixture and a native seed mixture. Hydroprobe access ports were placed in one-half of the test plots and moisture data was collected. Soil fertility and plant community characteristics were monitored during the two years of the test. During the first year all sites with compost provided additional fertility and retained greater amounts of soil moisture than noncomposted sites. The use of Enduraseal soil fixative provided greater soil moisture than the use of Aerospray-77 soil fixative. During the second year the use of compost and soil fixative`s had a lesser effect on soil moisture. During late summer periods all treatments had very similar soil moisture profiles. The use of compost greatly increased vegetative cover and soil fertility in comparison to sites that had no compost added. Testing of the seed mixtures found that Siberian wheatgrass and Sandberg`s bluegrass were the most dominant of the seeded species observed. All plots exhibited a dominant plant cover of volunteer cheatgrass. Biomass production was significantly greater on plots with compost than on the noncomposted plots.

  17. Evaluating Current and Future Rangeland Health in the Great Basin Ecoregion Using NASA Earth Observing Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Essoudry, E.; Wilson, K.; Ely, J.; Patadia, N.; Zajic, B.; Torres-Perez, J. L.; Schmidt, C.

    2014-12-01

    The Great Basin ecoregion in the western United States represents one of the last large expanses of wild lands in the nation and is currently facing significant challenges due to human impacts, drought, invasive species encroachment such as cheatgrass, and climate change. Rangelands in the Great Basin are of important ecological and economic significance for the United States; however, 40% of public rangelands fail to meet required health standards set by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This project provided a set of assessment tools for researchers and land managers that integrate remotely-sensed and in situ datasets to quantify and mitigate threats to public lands in the Great Basin ecoregion. The study area, which accounts for 20% of the total Great Basin ecoregion, was analyzed using 30 m resolution data from Landsat 8. Present conditions were evaluated from vegetation indices, landscape features, hydrological processes, and atmospheric conditions derived from the remotely-sensed data and validated with available in situ ground survey data, provided by the BLM. Rangeland health metrics were developed and landscape change drivers were identified. Subsequently, projected climate conditions derived from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) were used to forecast the impact of changing climatic conditions within the study area according to the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 projections. These forecasted conditions were used in the Maximum Entropy Model (MaxEnt) to predict areas at risk for rangeland degradation on 30 year intervals for 2040, 2070, and 2100. Finally, vegetation health risk maps were provided to the project partners to aid in future land management decisions in the Great Basin ecoregion. These tools provide a low cost solution to assess landscape conditions, provide partners with a metric to identify potential problematic areas, and mitigate serious threats to the ecosystems.

  18. Interim reclamation report, Basalt Waste Isolation Project Near Surface Test Facility 1990

    SciTech Connect

    Brandt, C.A.; Rickard, W.H. Jr.; Hefty, M.G.; Cadoret, N.A.

    1991-01-01

    This report describes the development of the reclamation project for the Hanford Site Near Surface Test Facility (NSTF), its implementation, and preliminary estimates of its success. The goal of the reclamation project is to return disturbed sites as nearly as practicable to their original conditions using native species. Gable Mountain is dominated by two plant communities: a big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) -- Sandberg's bluegrass (Poa sandbergii) community and a stiff sagebrush (Artemisia rigida) -- Sandberg's bluegrass community. Disassembly of the site installations began on March 15, 1988, and the site was returned to original contours by December 12, 1988. Two separate revegetation methods were employed at the NSTF to meet differing site constraints. Vegetative cover and density in the revegetation plots were assessed in April 1989 and again in June 1989 and 1990. It is extremely unlikely that the sand pit, borrow pit, box cuts, generator pad area, or ventilation fan area will reach the reclamation objectives set for these areas within the next 50 years without further intervention. These areas currently support few living plants. Vegetation on revegetated native soils appears to be growing as expected. Vegetation growth on the main waterline is well below the objective. To date, no shrubs have grown on the area, growth of native grasses is well below the objective, and much of the area has been covered with the pit run material, which may not support adequate growth. Without further treatments, the areas without the pit run material will likely revert to a nearly pure cheatgrass condition. 44 refs., 13 figs., 7 tabs.

  19. Preparation, characterization and in vitro/vivo evaluation of tectorigenin solid dispersion with improved dissolution and bioavailability.

    PubMed

    Shuai, Shuping; Yue, Shanlan; Huang, Qingting; Wang, Wei; Yang, Junyi; Lan, Ke; Ye, Liming

    2016-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a novel amorphous solid dispersion system for tectorigenin (TG). TG is one of isoflavone aglycones extracted from Iris tectorum and flowers of Pueraria thunbergiana, but its poor water solubility and low membrane permeability have severely restricted the clinical application. To increase the aqueous solubility and oral bioavailability of TG, we prepared the solid dispersions of tectorigenin (TG-SD) using a simple solvent evaporation process with TG, polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) and PEG4000 at weight ratio of 7:54:9 after tested in several ratios. The prepared solid dispersions of tectorigenin are duly characterized for drug morphological conversion, in vitro dissolution and in vivo bioavailability. The X-ray diffraction (XRD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies have indicated the morphological conversion of tectorigenin to amorphous form. In vitro release profiles revealed that the % release of TG-SD was achieved 4.35-fold higher than that of the pure drug after 150 min. The oral bioavailability of the solid dispersion in rats was also increased based on AUC0-t and C max of TG-SD, which were 4.8- and 13.1-fold higher than that of TG crystal, respectively. It is worth noting that physical mixture containing TG, PEG4000 and PVP produced a similar level of oral exposure as TG-SD, suggesting that PEG4000 and PVP were able to enhance bioavailability of TG in rats. However, with the reduction of particle size, TG-SD provided the fastest oral absorption compared to physical mixture and pure drug. These results demonstrated that the efficacy of solid dispersions for the enhancement of TG oral bioavailability was by increasing its aqueous solubility and the solid dispersion formulation could be a viable option for enhancing the oral bioavailability of TG. PMID:25669445

  20. Removal of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes from domestic sewage by constructed wetlands: Effect of flow configuration and plant species.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jun; Ying, Guang-Guo; Wei, Xiao-Dong; Liu, You-Sheng; Liu, Shuang-Shuang; Hu, Li-Xin; He, Liang-Ying; Chen, Zhi-Feng; Chen, Fan-Rong; Yang, Yong-Qiang

    2016-11-15

    This study aims to investigate the removal of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in raw domestic wastewater by various mesocosm-scale constructed wetlands (CWs) with different flow configurations or plant species including the constructed wetland with or without plant. Six mesocosm-scale CWs with three flow types (surface flow, horizontal subsurface flow and vertical subsurface flow) and two plant species (Thaliadealbata Fraser and Iris tectorum Maxim) were set up in the outdoor. 8 antibiotics including erythromycin-H2O (ETM-H2O), monensin (MON), clarithromycin (CTM), leucomycin (LCM), sulfamethoxazole (SMX), trimethoprim (TMP), sulfamethazine (SMZ) and sulfapyridine (SPD) and 12 genes including three sulfonamide resistance genes (sul1, sul2 and sul3), four tetracycline resistance genes (tetG, tetM, tetO and tetX), two macrolide resistance genes (ermB and ermC), two chloramphenicol resistance genes (cmlA and floR) and 16S rRNA (bacteria) were determined in different matrices (water, particle, substrate and plant phases) from the mesocosm-scale systems. The aqueous removal efficiencies of total antibiotics ranged from 75.8 to 98.6%, while those of total ARGs varied between 63.9 and 84.0% by the mesocosm-scale CWs. The presence of plants was beneficial to the removal of pollutants, and the subsurface flow CWs had higher pollutant removal than the surface flow CWs, especially for antibiotics. According to the mass balance analysis, the masses of all detected antibiotics during the operation period were 247,000, 4920-10,600, 0.05-0.41 and 3500-60,000μg in influent, substrate, plant and effluent of the mesocosm-scale CWs. In the CWs, biodegradation, substrate adsorption and plant uptake all played certain roles in reducing the loadings of nutrients, antibiotics and ARGs, but biodegradation was the most important process in the removal of these pollutants. PMID:27443461

  1. Monitoring Soil Erosion on a Burned Site in the Mojave-Great Basin Transition Zone: Final Report for the Jacob Fire Site

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Julianne; Etyemezian, Vic; Cablk, Mary E.; Shillito, Rose; Shafer, David

    2013-06-01

    study period. Seldom, if ever, did runoff and sediment occur in burned drainage area soils. For burned soils where runoff occurred at 1 MAB, the sediment size was finer than on unburned sites, but this effect disappeared by 3 MAB. For the three year study under the conditions tested at the Jacob Fire site, the potential for water erosion appeared relatively unaffected by the fire. Vegetation responses were documented for each year following the fire. By the end of the study, there was a substantial difference in plant densities and richness between drainage and ridge sites. Cheatgrass densities were higher in unburned plots, and cheatgrass was also more dominant in the community composition in unburned plots. Cheatgrass had increased in the burned area but so did other native species. Three years after the fire, the burned landscape continued to revegetate but had yet to approximate the condition of an unburned landscape. The results from the vegetation surveys support the wind erosion results, where the primary source of windborne particles originate from the understory, where lower plant diversity and densities were found. The soil appears to be more resilient and have a much shorter recovery time than the vegetation in this particular community.

  2. Status of the flora and fauna on the Nevada Test Site: Results of continuing basic environmental research, January--December 1987

    SciTech Connect

    Hunter, R.B.; Medica, P.A.

    1989-02-09

    In 1987, three pristine sites in the Mojave Desert and Mojave-Great Basin transition zone were selected as ''pristine'' plots. They were surveyed and gridded for animal studies, and perennial plants were measured. In addition, ephemeral and perennial plants, lizards, and mammals were sampled on a two-year-old burned area in Yucca Flat and perennial plants measured on a one-year-old burned site in Mid Valley. On the five areas sampled, there were a total of 29 perennial plant species measured on belt transects. Cover on undisturbed areas varied from 22 to 38 percent as ranging from 3010 to 5580 kg-dry wt/ha on pristine sites and from 40 to 127 kg/ha on burned areas. Plant density varied from one to four plants per square meter. Perennial plants on the two burned areas considered largely of species which resprout from below-ground after a fire. Desert ephemeral plants were sampled on six sites, and species were also recorded on five plots in Yucca Flat. Of 36 species recorded, by far the most common was Bromus rubens, a European species introduced to the western United States in the late 19th century. It was present on all sites, but at low density on the dry sandy soils of Jackass Flats. Comparison with data of Dr. Beatley suggests its density in rock valley had increased from less than ten per square meter in the 1960s to greater than 500 per square meter in 1987. 101 refs., 15 figs., 31 tabs.

  3. Differential Impacts of Virus Diversity on Biomass Production of a Native and an Exotic Grass Host.

    PubMed

    Mordecai, Erin A; Hindenlang, Madeleine; Mitchell, Charles E

    2015-01-01

    Pathogens are common and diverse in natural communities and have been implicated in the success of host invasions. Yet few studies have experimentally measured how pathogens impact native versus exotic hosts, particularly when individual hosts are simultaneously coinfected by diverse pathogens. To estimate effects of interactions among multiple pathogens within host individuals on both transmission of pathogens and fitness consequences for hosts, we conducted a greenhouse experiment using California grassland species: the native perennial grass Nassella (Stipa) pulchra, the exotic annual grass Bromus hordeaceus, and three virus species, Barley yellow dwarf virus-PAV, Barley yellow dwarf virus-MAV, and Cereal yellow dwarf virus-RPV. In terms of virus transmission, the native host was less susceptible than the exotic host to MAV. Coinfection of PAV and MAV did not occur in any of the 157 co-inoculated native host plants. In the exotic host, PAV infection most strongly reduced root and shoot biomass, and coinfections that included PAV severely reduced biomass. Infection with single or multiple viruses did not affect biomass in the native host. However, in this species the most potentially pathogenic coinfections (PAV + MAV and PAV + MAV + RPV) did not occur. Together, these results suggest that interactions among multiple pathogens can have important consequences for host health, which may not be predictable from interactions between hosts and individual pathogens. This work addresses a key empirical gap in understanding the impact of multiple generalist pathogens on competing host species, with potential implications for population and community dynamics of native and exotic species. It also demonstrates how pathogens with relatively mild impacts independently can more substantially reduce host performance in coinfection. PMID:26230720

  4. Relative Performance of Non-Local Cultivars and Local, Wild Populations of Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) in Competition Experiments

    PubMed Central

    Palik, D. J.; Snow, A. A.; Stottlemyer, A. L.; Miriti, M. N.; Heaton, E. A.

    2016-01-01

    The possibility of increased invasiveness in cultivated varieties of native perennial species is a question of interest in biofuel risk assessment. Competitive success is a key factor in the fitness and invasive potential of perennial plants, and thus the large-scale release of high-yielding biomass cultivars warrants empirical comparisons with local conspecifics in the presence of competitors. We evaluated the performance of non-local cultivars and local wild biotypes of the tallgrass species Panicum virgatum L. (switchgrass) in competition experiments during two growing seasons in Ohio and Iowa. At each location, we measured growth and reproductive traits (plant height, tiller number, flowering time, aboveground biomass, and seed production) of four non-locally sourced cultivars and two locally collected wild biotypes. Plants were grown in common garden experiments under three types of competition, referred to as none, moderate (with Schizachyrium scoparium), and high (with Bromus inermis). In both states, the two “lowland” cultivars grew taller, flowered later, and produced between 2x and 7.5x more biomass and between 3x and 34x more seeds per plant than local wild biotypes, while the other two cultivars were comparable to wild biotypes in these traits. Competition did not affect relative differences among biotypes, with the exception of shoot number, which was more similar among biotypes under high competition. Insights into functional differences between cultivars and wild biotypes are crucial for developing biomass crops while mitigating the potential for invasiveness. Here, two of the four cultivars generally performed better than wild biotypes, indicating that these biotypes may pose more of a risk in terms of their ability to establish vigorous feral populations in new regions outside of their area of origin. Our results support an ongoing assessment of switchgrass cultivars developed for large-scale planting for biofuels. PMID:27120201

  5. Soil sulfur amendments suppress selenium uptake by alfalfa and Western wheatgrass.

    PubMed

    Mackowiak, C L; Amacher, M C

    2008-01-01

    Selenium (Se) is a potential soil contaminant in many parts of the world where it can pose a health risk to livestock and wildlife. Phosphate ore mining in Southeast Idaho has resulted in numerous waste rock dumps revegetated with forages to stabilize the dumps and support grazing. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), smooth brome (Bromus inermis Leyss.), and western wheat grass [Pascopyrum smithii (Rydb.) A. Löve] are the dominant forage species on these lands. To demonstrate the feasibility of using sulfur (S) as a soil amendment to restrict plant Se uptake, 3 kg pots containing 50:50 w/w soil and waste shale were uniformly mixed with 0, 0.5, 1.0, or 2.0 Mg ha(-1) S as either elemental S or gypsum. Pots were seeded with alfalfa or western wheat grass. Dry mass and tissue Se were monitored over several clippings. Soils were sampled at the conclusion of the study and analyzed for water-soluble, oxalate-extractable, and total Se. Sulfur amendments as either elemental S or gypsum at 1.0 Mg ha(-1) or greater equally suppressed Se uptake over 60% in both forage species. Alfalfa accumulated more Se than western wheat grass. Plant removal via successive clippings resulted in lower tissue Se accumulation over time than the use of S soil amendments alone. Alfalfa-planted soils contained lower water-soluble and oxalate-extractable Se than did the non-planted controls while western wheat grass-planted soils contained lower water-soluble Se. Applying S to these shale-based soils may be an economically viable option for treating Se-impacted, revegetated lands. PMID:18453397

  6. Grassland fires may favor native over introduced plants by reducing pathogen loads.

    PubMed

    Roy, Bitty A; Hudson, Kenneth; Visser, Matt; Johnson, Bart R

    2014-07-01

    Grasslands have been lost and degraded in the United States since Euro-American settlement due to agriculture, development, introduced invasive species, and changes in fire regimes. Fire is frequently used in prairie restoration to control invasion by trees and shrubs, but may have additional consequences. For example, fire might reduce damage by herbivore and pathogen enemies by eliminating litter, which harbors eggs and spores. Less obviously, fire might influence enemy loads differently for native and introduced plant hosts. We used a controlled burn in a Willamette Valley (Oregon) prairie to examine these questions. We expected that, without fire, introduced host plants should have less damage than native host plants because the introduced species are likely to have left many of their enemies behind when they were transported to their new range (the enemy release hypothesis, or ERH). If the ERH holds, then fire, which should temporarily reduce enemies on all species, should give an advantage to the natives because they should see greater total reduction in damage by enemies. Prior to the burn, we censused herbivore and pathogen attack on eight plant species (five of nonnative origin: Bromus hordaceous, Cynosuros echinatus, Galium divaricatum, Schedonorus arundinaceus (= Festuca arundinacea), and Sherardia arvensis; and three natives: Danthonia californica, Epilobium minutum, and Lomatium nudicale). The same plots were monitored for two years post-fire. Prior to the burn, native plants had more kinds of damage and more pathogen damage than introduced plants, consistent with the ERH. Fire reduced pathogen damage relative to the controls more for the native than the introduced species, but the effects on herbivory were negligible. Pathogen attack was correlated with plant reproductive fitness, whereas herbivory was not. These results suggest that fire may be useful for promoting some native plants in prairies due to its negative effects on their pathogens. PMID

  7. Mycorrhizal fungi affect root stele tissue in grasses.

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, R. M.; Hetrick, B. A. D.; Wilson, G. W. T.; Environmental Research; Northern Iowa Univ.; Kansas State Univ.

    1997-01-01

    Although arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis was initially believed to have little or no impact on root morphology, we now recognize that subtle changes do occur and that these changes may be of considerable consequence to host growth and nutrition, as well as functional growth strategy. In examining the stele and root diameters of C3 and C4 grasses, C4 grasses were demonstrated to have a significantly larger proportion of their fibrous roots occupied by stele tissue than do C3 grasses. In fact, functional growth strategy (C3 versus C4) was observed to be a relatively good predictor of stele area. Mycorrhizal fungi also influenced the amount of stele tissue, but the effect was not the same for both C3 and C4 grasses. The stele area of all C4 grasses except for Sorghastrum nutans was greater in the presence of mycorrhizal colonization. Among the C3 grasses, only Bromus inermis showed a significant increase, although Elymus cinereus and Lolium perenne displayed significant decreases in response to arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization. Changes in the stele area of the plant species were closely related to their responsiveness to mycorrhizal symbiosis and might in part explain both beneficial and detrimental responses of plants to mycorrhizae. An increase in stele circumference induced by mycorrhizae would allow for greater uptake and passage of water and nutrients to the vascular cylinder, and growth depressions could be a direct outcome of reduced stele circumference. Thus, differences in stele circumference represent a possible mechanism for mycorrhizal impacts on host plants. These findings indicate that structural differences among grasses are related to different functional capabilities and further emphasize the need for better integration of comparative anatomy and morphology procedures in the study of mycorrhizal symbiosis.

  8. The effect of different land uses on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in the northwestern Black Sea Region.

    PubMed

    Palta, Şahin; Lermi, Ayşe Genç; Beki, Rıdvan

    2016-06-01

    The object of the present research was to establish correlations between the status of root colonization of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and different types of land use. In order to achieve this aim, rhizosphere soil samples from grassland crops were taken during June and July of 2013 in order to use for determining several soil characteristics. The 27 different taxa and 60 soil samples were collected from the rhizosphere level in the study areas. The existence of AMF was confirmed in 100 % of these plants with different rations of colonization (approximately 12-89 %). Bromus racemosus L. (pasture) was the most dense taxon with the percentage of AMF colonization of 88.9 %, and Trifolium pratense L. (forest) was the least dense taxon with the percentage of AMF colonization of 12.2 % (average 52.0 %). As a result of the statistical analysis, a positive relationship was found between the botanical composition of legumes and AMF colonization (r = 0.35; p = 0.006). However, a negative relationship was determined between botanical composition of other plant families and AMF colonization (r = -0.39; p = 0.002). In addition, a positive relationship was defined between soil pH (H2O) and the root colonization of AMF (r = 0.35; p = 0.005). The pasture had the highest mean value of AMF root colonization. However, the pasture and gap in the forest were in the same group, according to the results of the S-N-K test. PMID:27178052

  9. Documenting and comparing plant species diversity by using numerical and parametric methods in Khaje Kalat, NE Iran.

    PubMed

    Ejtehadi, H; Soltani, R; Zahedi Pour, H

    2007-10-15

    The aim was to examine and document several aspects of numerical diversity such as species richness, species diversity and evenness and to compare diversity in different slope aspects of the area by using numerical and parametric methods. About 193 quadrats of 4 m2 were located according to the nature of vegetation. Species composition and their abundance were recorded in a two-year period (2005 to 2006). The result of field investigation was collecting and identifying of the total 225 plant species belonging to 154 genera and 37 families. The abundance data were subjected to analyses by specific diversity packages to characterize and obtain numerical indices (Shannon, Simpson, Brillouin, McIntosh, etc.,) and parametric families of species diversity. Numerical indices were calculated and documented for monitoring purposes. The results of diversity in main slope aspects (N, S, E, W) showed higher species richness and species diversity indices in the north aspect than in the others but it was not true with evenness indices. About 30 species such as Acanthophyllum glandulosum, Acroptilon repens, Alcea tiliacea, Bromus sericeous, Astragalus turbinatus, Centaurea balsamita etc., were detected exclusively in the north aspect. This can be important in reducing the evenness. Diversity comparing by using rank-abundance plot as well as diversity ordering of Hill, Renyi and Patil and Taillie confirmed high species diversity in the north yet the result of ANOVA showed no significant differences in the four aspects. The result of diversity based on the models revealed that the whole area, the south and the west aspects follow lognormal distribution, north aspect follows logarithmic whereas the east follows both lognormal and logarithmic distribution. In other word, a shift from being lognormal to logarithmic model was observed in the east aspect. PMID:19093482

  10. Reaction of Five Non-cereal Grasses to Five Races and Two Host Selective Toxins of Pyrenophora tritici-repentis.

    PubMed

    Ali, Shaukat; Langham, M A C

    2015-09-01

    Alternative hosts increase the difficulty of disease management in crops because these alternate hosts provide additional sources of primary inoculum or refuges for diversity in the pathogen gene pool. Agropyron cristatum (crested wheatgrass), Bromus inermis (smooth bromegrass), Pascopyrum smithii (western wheatgrass), Stipa viridula (green needlegrass), and Thinopyrum intermedium (intermediate wheatgrass), commonly identified in range, prairie, verge, and soil reclamation habitats, serve as additional hosts for Pyrenophora tritici-repentis, the cause of tan spot in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). A. cristatum (five lines), B. inermis (seven lines), P. smithii (four lines), S. viridula (two lines), and T. intermedium (six lines) were tested for their reactions to 30 representative P. tritici-repentis isolates from races 1-5. Plants were grown until the two-three-leaf stage in a greenhouse, inoculated individually with the 30 isolates, held at high humidity for 24 h, and rated after 7 days. All lines developed lesion types 1-2 (resistant) based on a 1-5 rating scale. Also, leaves from an additional plant set were infiltrated with two host selective toxins, Ptr ToxA as a pure preparation and Ptr ToxB as a dilute crude culture filtrate. All lines were insensitive to the toxins. Results indicate that these grass hosts have a limited or nonsignificant role in tan spot epidemiology on wheat in the northern Great Plains. Additionally, the resistant reactions demonstrated by the grass species in this research indicate the presence of resistance genes that can be valuable to wheat breeding programs for improving wheat resistance to P. tritici-repentis. PMID:26361472

  11. The effect of AMF suppression on plant species composition in a nutrient-poor dry grassland.

    PubMed

    Dostálek, Tomáš; Pánková, Hana; Münzbergová, Zuzana; Rydlová, Jana

    2013-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are expected to be one of the key drivers determining the diversity of natural plant communities, especially in nutrient-poor and dry habitats. Several previous studies have explored the importance of AMF for the composition of plant communities in various types of habitats. Surprisingly, studies of the role of AMF in nutrient-poor dry grassland communities dominated by less mycotrophic plant species are still relatively rare. We present the results of a 3-year study in which a plant community in a species-rich dry grassland was subjected to the fungicide carbendazim to suppress AMF colonization. We tested the effect of the fungicide on the following parameters: the plant species composition; the number of plant species; the cover of the rare, highly mycorrhiza-dependent species Aster amellus; the cover of the dominant, less mycorrhiza-dependent species Brachypodium pinnatum; and the cover of graminoids and perennial forbs. In addition, we examined the mycorrhizal inoculation potential of the soil. We found that the suppression of AMF with fungicide resulted in substantial changes in plant species composition and significant decrease in species richness, the cover of A. amellus and the cover of perennial forbs. In contrast the species increasing their cover after fungicide application were graminoids--the C3 grasses B. pinnatum and Bromus erectus and the sedge Carex flacca. These species appear to be less mycorrhiza dependent. Moreover, due to their clonal growth and efficient nutrient usage, they are, most likely, better competitors than perennial forbs under fungicide application. Our results thus suggest that AMF are an essential part of the soil communities supporting a high diversity of plant species in species-rich dry grasslands in nutrient-poor habitats. The AMF are especially important for the maintenance of the populations of perennial forbs, many of which are rare and endangered in the area. PMID:24265829

  12. The Effect of AMF Suppression on Plant Species Composition in a Nutrient-Poor Dry Grassland

    PubMed Central

    Dostálek, Tomáš; Pánková, Hana; Münzbergová, Zuzana; Rydlová, Jana

    2013-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are expected to be one of the key drivers determining the diversity of natural plant communities, especially in nutrient-poor and dry habitats. Several previous studies have explored the importance of AMF for the composition of plant communities in various types of habitats. Surprisingly, studies of the role of AMF in nutrient-poor dry grassland communities dominated by less mycotrophic plant species are still relatively rare. We present the results of a 3-year study in which a plant community in a species-rich dry grassland was subjected to the fungicide carbendazim to suppress AMF colonization. We tested the effect of the fungicide on the following parameters: the plant species composition; the number of plant species; the cover of the rare, highly mycorrhiza-dependent species Aster amellus; the cover of the dominant, less mycorrhiza-dependent species Brachypodium pinnatum; and the cover of graminoids and perennial forbs. In addition, we examined the mycorrhizal inoculation potential of the soil. We found that the suppression of AMF with fungicide resulted in substantial changes in plant species composition and significant decrease in species richness, the cover of A. amellus and the cover of perennial forbs. In contrast the species increasing their cover after fungicide application were graminoids—the C3 grasses B. pinnatum and Bromus erectus and the sedge Carex flacca. These species appear to be less mycorrhiza dependent. Moreover, due to their clonal growth and efficient nutrient usage, they are, most likely, better competitors than perennial forbs under fungicide application. Our results thus suggest that AMF are an essential part of the soil communities supporting a high diversity of plant species in species-rich dry grasslands in nutrient-poor habitats. The AMF are especially important for the maintenance of the populations of perennial forbs, many of which are rare and endangered in the area. PMID:24265829

  13. Responses to invasion and invader removal differ between native and exotic plant groups in a coastal dune.

    PubMed

    Magnoli, Susan M; Kleinhesselink, Andrew R; Cushman, J Hall

    2013-12-01

    The spread of exotic, invasive species is a global phenomenon that is recognized as a major source of environmental change. Although many studies have addressed the effects of exotic plants on the communities they invade, few have quantified the effects of invader removal on plant communities, or considered the degree to which different plant groups vary in response to invasion and invader removal. We evaluated the effects of an exotic succulent, iceplant (Carpobrotus edulis), on a coastal dune plant community in northern California, as well as the community responses to its removal. To assess possible mechanisms by which iceplant affects other plants, we also evaluated its above- and belowground influences on the germination and growth of a dominant exotic annual grass, Bromus diandrus. We found that iceplant invasion was associated with reduced native plant cover as well as increased cover and density of some exotic plants-especially exotic annual grasses. However, iceplant removal did not necessarily lead to a reversal of these effects: removal increased the cover and density of both native and exotic species. We also found that B. diandrus grown in iceplant patches, or in soil where iceplant had been removed, had poorer germination and growth than B. diandrus grown in soil not influenced by iceplant. This suggests that the influence of iceplant on this dune plant community occurs, at least in part, due to belowground effects, and that these effects remain after iceplant has been removed. Our study demonstrates the importance of considering how exotic invasive plants affect not only native species, but also co-occurring exotic taxa. It also shows that combining observational studies with removal experiments can lead to important insights into the influence of invaders and the mechanisms of their effects. PMID:23839266

  14. Diversity of bacteria nesting the plant cover of north Sinai deserts, Egypt.

    PubMed

    Hanna, Amira L; Youssef, Hanan H; Amer, Wafaa M; Monib, Mohammed; Fayez, Mohammed; Hegazi, Nabil A

    2013-01-01

    North Sinai deserts were surveyed for the predominant plant cover and for the culturable bacteria nesting their roots and shoots. Among 43 plant species reported, 13 are perennial (e.g. Fagonia spp., Pancratium spp.) and 30 annuals (e.g. Bromus spp., Erodium spp.). Eleven species possessed rhizo-sheath, e.g. Cyperus capitatus, Panicum turgidum and Trisetaria koelerioides. Microbiological analyses demonstrated: the great diversity and richness of associated culturable bacteria, in particular nitrogen-fixing bacteria (diazotrophs); the majority of bacterial residents were of true and/or putative diazotrophic nature; the bacterial populations followed an increasing density gradient towards the root surfaces; sizeable populations were able to reside inside the root (endorhizosphere) and shoot (endophyllosphere) tissues. Three hundred bacterial isolates were secured from studied spheres. The majority of nitrogen-fixing bacilli isolates belonged to Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus pumilus, Bacillus polymexa, Bacillus macerans, Bacillus circulans and Bacillus licheniformis. The family Enterobacteriaceae represented by Enterobacter agglomerans, Enterobacter sackazakii, Enterobacter cloacae, Serratia adorifera, Serratia liquefaciens and Klebsiella oxytoca. The non-Enterobacteriaceae population was rich in Pantoae spp., Agrobacterium rdiobacter, Pseudomonas vesicularis, Pseudomonas putida, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Ochrobactrum anthropi, Sphingomonas paucimobilis and Chrysemonas luteola. Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus were reported inside root and shoot tissues of a number of tested plants. The dense bacterial populations reported speak well to the very possible significant role played by the endophytic bacterial populations in the survival, in respect of nutrition and health, of existing plants. Such groups of diazotrophs are good candidates, as bio-preparates, to support the growth of future field crops grown in deserts of north Sinai and irrigated by the water of El

  15. Bacterial inoculants of forage grasses that enhance degradation of 2-chlorobenzoic acid in soil

    SciTech Connect

    Siciliano, S.D.; Germida, J.J.

    1997-06-01

    Biological remediation of contaminated soil is an effective method of reducing risk to human and ecosystem health. Bacteria and plants might be used to enhance remediation of soil pollutants in situ. This study assessed the potential of bacteria, plants, and plant-bacteria associations to remediate 2-chlorobenzoic acid (2CBA) contaminated soil. Initially, grass viability was assessed in 2CBA-contaminated soil. Soil was contaminated with 2CBA, forage grasses were grown under growth chamber conditions for 42 or 60 d, and the 2CBA concentration in soil was determined by gas chromatography. Only five of 16 forage grasses grew in 2CBA-treated soil. Growth of Bromus inermis had no effect on 2CBA concentration, whereas Agropyron intermedium, B. biebersteinii, A. riparum, and Elymus dauricus decreased 2CBA relative to nonplanted control soil by 32 to 42%. The 12 bacteria isolates were screened for their ability to promote the germination of the five grasses in 2CBA-contaminated soil. Inoculation of A. riparum with Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain R75, a proven plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium, increased seed germination by 80% and disappearance of 2CBA by 20% relative to noninoculated plants. Inoculation of E. dauricus with a mixture of P. savastanoi strain CB35, a 2CBA-degrading bacterium, and P. aeruginosa strain R75 increased disappearance of 2CBA by 112% relative to noninoculated plants. No clear relationship between enhanced 2CBA disappearance and increased plant biomass was found. These results suggest that specific plant-microbial systems can be developed to enhance remediation of pollutants in soil.

  16. Plant selection for dewatering and reclamation of tailings

    SciTech Connect

    Silva, M.J.; Naeth, M.A.; Biggar, K.W.; Chanasyk, D.S.; Sego, D.C.

    1998-12-31

    A two-phase greenhouse experiment was conducted to identify the most suitable species for dewatering and reclamation of Composite Tailings (CT) from Alberta oil sands operated by Syncrude Canada Ltd. and Copper Mine Tailings (CMT) from the Kennecott site in Utah. A total of 15 and 9 plant species were selected for testing in CT and CMT, respectively. In Phase 1, distilled water was added weekly to simulate local precipitation. The initial solids content were 80% and 76% and the electrical conductivities were 1.1 dS/m and 3.2 dS/m for CT and CMT, respectively. All plants survived after a ten-week period. In Phase 2 only process water was added weekly to provide a worst case scenario of no precipitation and water recharge due only to process water being released from within the tailings. The initial solids contents were 65% and 76% for CT and CMT, respectively. Surface (0--3 in.) salinity increased dramatically due to the application of process water only; at the end of Phase 2 it had reached toxic levels of approximately 18.9 dS/m and 35.0 dS/m in CT and CMT, respectively. Many plants showed signs of stress due to the high salinity level. The plants which performed the best under both phases in Composite Tailings were creeping foxtail (Alopecurus arundinaceus), reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea), Altai wildrye (Elymus angustus), and red top (Agrostis stolonifera); and in Copper Mine Tailings were Altai wildrye, smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis) and creeping foxtail.

  17. 1983 biotic studies of Yucca Mountain, Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    O`Farrell, T.P.; Collins, E.

    1984-04-01

    A 27.5-square-mile portion of Yucca Mountain on and adjacent to the US Department of Energy`s Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada, is being considered as a potential location for a national high-level radioactive waste repository. Preliminary geologic and environmental characterization studies have been supported and more extensive studies are planned. Goals of the biotic surveys were to identify species of concern, describe major floral and faunal associations, and assess possible impacts of characterization and operational activities. Floral associations observed were characteristic of either the Mojave or Transition deserts that are widely distributed in southern Nevada. Diversity, in terms of total number of perennial species represented, was higher in Transition Desert associations than in Mojave Desert associations. Canopy coverage of associations fell within the range of reported values, but tended to be more homogeneous than expected. Annual vegetation was found to be diverse only where the frequency of Bromus rubens was low. Ground cover of winter annuals, especially annual grasses, was observed to be very dense in 1983. The threat of range fires on Yucca Mountain was high because of the increased amount of dead litter and the decreased amount of bare ground. Significant variability was observed in the distribution and relative abundance of several small mammal species between 1982 and 1983. Desert tortoise were found in low densities comparable with those observed in 1982. Evidence of recent activity, which included sighting of two live tortoises, was found in five areas on Yucca Mountain. Two of these areas have a high probability of sustaining significant impacts if a repository is constructed. Regeneration of aboveground shrub parts from root crowns was observed in areas damaged in 1982 by seismic testing with Vibroseis machines. These areas, which had been cleared to bare dirt by passage of the machines, also supported lush stands of winter annuals.

  18. Land application of chemically treated sewage sludge. II. Effects on soil and plant heavy metal content

    SciTech Connect

    Soon, Y.K.; Bates, T.E.; Moyer, J.R.

    1980-07-01

    Anaerobically digested sewage sludges resulting from treatment of sewage with Ca(OH)/sub 2/, Al/sub 2/(SO/sub 4/)/sub 3/, or FeCl/sub 3/ for phosphorus precipitation were applied to corn (Zea mays L.) and bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyess) grown on a soil having an initial pH of 7.3. Rates of sludge supplied 200, 400, 800, and and 1,600 kg N/ha each year for 5 years. Treatments with NH/sub 4/NO/sub 3/ supplying 0, 100, 20, and 400 kg N/ha were included for comparison. Plant tissue was analyzed for Cu, Zn, Mn, Cd, Ni, Cr, and Pb. No toxicity or deficiency symptoms were noted. Soil Zn, Cd, and Ni extracted by NTA (nitrilotriacetic acid) were increased by continued sludge application. The NTA-extractable Zn and Cd were positively correlated with the Zn and Cd concentrations in corn stover. Soil pH was reduced by the Fe-sludge application, slightly affected by the Al-sludge, and increased by the Ca-sludge. Increases in Cu concentrations in bromegrass and corn stover were associated with increases in the N content rather than the source of N, and plant Cu concentrations remained relatively constant across years. Sewage sludge application increased Zn, Cd, and Ni concentrations in bromegrass and corn stover, and Zn and Ni concentrations in corn grain, particularly at the higher metal loadings from sludge application. Zinc and Cd concentrations, especially in corn stover, increased with continued sludge application during the 5-year period. The inclusion of soil pH as a factor, in addition to cummulative amounts of Zn or Cd added as a constituent of sludge, improved the regression equations predicting Zn or Cd uptake.

  19. Germination sensitivities to water potential among co-existing C3 and C4 grasses of cool semi-arid prairie grasslands.

    PubMed

    Mollard, F P O; Naeth, M A

    2015-03-01

    An untested theory states that C4 grass seeds could germinate under lower water potentials (Ψ) than C3 grass seeds. We used hydrotime modelling to study seed water relations of C4 and C3 Canadian prairie grasses to address Ψ divergent sensitivities and germination strategies along a risk-spreading continuum of responses to limited water. C4 grasses were Bouteloua gracilis, Calamovilfa longifolia and Schizachyrium scoparium; C3 grasses were Bromus carinatus, Elymus trachycaulus, Festuca hallii and Koeleria macrantha. Hydrotime parameters were obtained after incubation of non-dormant seeds under different Ψ PEG 6000 solutions. A t-test between C3 and C4 grasses did not find statistical differences in population mean base Ψ (Ψb (50)). We found idiosyncratic responses of C4 grasses along the risk-spreading continuum. B. gracilis showed a risk-taker strategy of a species able to quickly germinate in a dry soil due to its low Ψb (50) and hydrotime (θH ). The high Ψb (50) of S. scoparium indicates it follows the risk-averse strategy so it can only germinate in wet soils. C. longifolia showed an intermediate strategy: the lowest Ψb (50) yet the highest θH . K. macrantha, a C3 grass which thrives in dry habitats, had the highest Ψb (50), suggesting a risk-averse strategy for a C3 species. Other C3 species showed intermediate germination patterns in response to Ψ relative to C4 species. Our results indicate that grasses display germination sensitivities to Ψ across the risk-spreading continuum of responses. Thus seed water relations may be poor predictors to explain differential recruitment and distribution of C3 and C4 grasses in the Canadian prairies. PMID:25580949

  20. Plant-bacteria bioremediation agents affect the response of plant bioindicators independent of 2-chlorobenzoic acid degradation

    SciTech Connect

    Siciliano, S.D.; Germida, J.J.

    1995-12-31

    Plants are known to degrade toxicants in soil and are potentially useful bioremediation agents. The authors developed plant-bacteria associations (e.g., Meadow brome [Bromus riparius] and Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain R75) that degrade 2-chlorobenzoic acid (2CBA) in soil, and assessed their success using Slender wheatgrass (Agropyron trachycaulum) germination as a bioindicator of 2CBA levels. Gas chromatography was used to chemically assess 2CBA levels. Specific plant-bacteria bioremediation treatments decreased soil 2CBA levels by 17 to 52%, but bioindicator response did not correspond to chemical analysis. Contaminated and uncontaminated soil was subjected to bioremediation treatments. After 42 days, uncontaminated soil was collected and amended to various 2CBA levels. This soil and the remediated soil were analyzed by the plant bioindicator and gas chromatography. Bioremediation treatments altered germination of Slender wheatgrass in both contaminated and noncontaminated soils to a similar extent. These treatments decreased the toxicity of 2CBA to Slender wheatgrass in both contaminated and noncontaminated soils to a similar extent. These treatments decreased the toxicity of 2CBA to Slender wheatgrass at low 2CBA levels, but increased the toxicity of 2CBA at high 2CBA levels. For example, germination in soil subjected to the Meadow brome and R75 treatment was increased by ca. 30% at 50 mg kg{sup {minus}1} 2CBA, but decreased by ca. 50% at 150 mg kg{sup {minus}1} 2CBA. The results indicate that specific plant-bacteria bioremediation treatments affect plant bioindicator response independent of 2CBA degradation, and may confound efforts to determine the toxicity of 2CBA in soil.

  1. An emerging crisis across northern prairie refuges: Prevalence of invasive plants and a plan for adaptive management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, T.A.; Flanders-Wanner, B.; Shaffer, T.L.; Murphy, R.K.; Knutsen, G.A.

    2009-01-01

    In the northern Great Plains, native prairies managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) can be pivotal in conservation of North America's biological diversity. From 2002 to 2006, we surveyed 7,338 belt transects to assess the general composition of mixed-grass and tallgrass prairie vegetation across five "complexes" (i.e., administrative groupings) of national wildlife refuges managed by the Service in North Dakota and South Dakota. Native grasses and forbs were common (mean frequency of occurrence 47%-54%) on two complexes but uncommon (4%-13%) on two others. Conversely, an introduced species of grass, smooth brome (Bromus inermis), accounted for 45% to 49% of vegetation on two complexes and another species, Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) accounted for 27% to 36% of the vegetation on three of the complexes. Our data confirm prior suspicions of widespread invasion by introduced species of plants on Service-owned tracts of native prairie, changes that likely stem in part from a common management history of little or no disturbance (e.g., defoliation by grazing or fire). However, variability in the degree and type of invasion among prairie tracts suggests that knowledge of underlying causes (e.g., edaphic or climatic factors, management histories) could help managers more effectively restore prairies. We describe an adaptive management approach to acquire such knowledge while progressing with restoration. More specifically, we propose to use data from inventories of plant communities on Service-owned prairies to design and implement, as experiments, optimal restoration strategies. We will then monitor these experiments and use the results to refine future strategies. This comprehensive, process-oriented approach should yield reliable and robust recommendations for restoration and maintenance of native prairies in the northern Great Plains. ??2009 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.

  2. Leaf Photosynthesis and Plant Competitive Success in a Mixed-grass Prairie: With Reference to Exotic Grasses Invasion

    SciTech Connect

    Dong, Dr. Xuejun; Patton, J.; Gu, Lianhong; Wang, J.; Patton, B.

    2014-11-26

    The widespread invasion of exotic cool-season grasses in mixed-grass rangeland is diminishing the hope of bringing back the natural native plant communities. However, ecophysiological mechanisms explaining the relative competitiveness of these invasive grasses over the native species generally are lacking. In this study, we used experimental data collected in south-central North Dakota, USA to address this issue. Photosynthetic potential was obtained from the net assimilation (A) vs. internal CO2 (Ci) response curves from plants grown in a greenhouse. Plant success was defined as the average frequency measured over 25 years (1988 to 2012) on overflow range sites across five levels of grazing intensity. In addition, estimated leaf area index of individual species under field conditions was used to indicate plant success. The correlation between photosynthetic potential based on A/Ci curves and plant frequency was negative. The correlation between leaf photosynthesis and plant success (defined as leaf area within a unit land area) was also negative, although statistically weak. These results suggest that the two cool-season grasses, Poa pratensis and Bromus inermis, do not rely on superior leaf-level photosynthesis for competitive success. Instead, some other traits, such as early and late-season growth, may be more important for them to gain dominance in the mixed-grass prairie. We propose that the negative photosynthesis-frequency relation as observed in this study results from a strong competition for limited soil nutrients in the mixed-grass prairie. In conclusion, it has implications for the stability and productivity of the grassland under various human disruptions influencing the soil nutrient status.

  3. Lignin degradation during plant litter photodegradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Y.; King, J. Y.

    2014-12-01

    Lignin is the second most abundant compound, after cellulose, synthesized by plants. Numerous studies have demonstrated that initial lignin concentration is negatively correlated with litter decomposition rate under both laboratory and field conditions. Thus lignin is commonly considered to be a "recalcitrant" compound during litter decomposition. However, lignin can also serve as a radiation-absorbing compound during photodegradation, the process through which solar radiation breaks down organic matter. Here, we synthesize recent studies concerning lignin degradation during litter photodegradation and report results from our study on how photodegradation changes lignin chemistry at a molecular scale. Recent field studies have found that litter with high initial lignin concentration does not necessarily exhibit high mass loss during photodegradation. A meta-analysis (King et al. 2012) even found a weak negative correlation between initial lignin concentration and photodegradation rate. Contradicting results have been reported with regard to the change in lignin concentration during photodegradation. Some studies have found significant loss of lignin during photodegradation, while others have not. In most studies, loss of lignin only accounts for a small proportion of the overall mass loss. Using NMR spectroscopy, we found significant loss of lignin structural units containing beta-aryl ether linkages during photodegradation of a common grass litter, Bromus diandrus, even though conventional forage fiber analysis did not reveal changes in lignin concentration. Both our NMR and fiber analyses supported the idea that photodegradation induced loss of hemicellulose, which was mainly responsible for the litter mass loss during photodegradation. Our results suggest that photodegradation induces degradation, but not necessarily complete breakdown, of lignin structures and consequently exposes hemicellulose and cellulose to microbial decomposition. We conclude that lignin

  4. Contrasting responses of heterotrophic and autotrophic respiration to experimental warming in a winter annual-dominated prairie.

    PubMed

    Li, Dejun; Zhou, Xuhui; Wu, Liyou; Zhou, Jizhong; Luo, Yiqi

    2013-11-01

    Understanding how soil respiration (Rs) and its source components respond to climate warming is crucial to improve model prediction of climate-carbon (C) feedback. We conducted a manipulation experiment by warming and clipping in a prairie dominated by invasive winter annual Bromus japonicas in Southern Great Plains, USA. Infrared radiators were used to simulate climate warming by 3 °C and clipping was used to mimic yearly hay mowing. Heterotrophic respiration (Rh) was measured inside deep collars (70 cm deep) that excluded root growth, while total soil respiration (Rs) was measured inside surface collars (2-3 cm deep). Autotrophic respiration (Ra) was calculated by subtracting Rh from Rs. During 3 years of experiment from January 2010 to December 2012, warming had no significant effect on Rs. The neutral response of Rs to warming was due to compensatory effects of warming on Rh and Ra. Warming significantly (P < 0.05) stimulated Rh but decreased Ra. Clipping only marginally (P < 0.1) increased Ra in 2010 but had no effect on Rh. There were no significant interactive effects of warming and clipping on Rs or its components. Warming stimulated annual Rh by 22.0%, but decreased annual Ra by 29.0% across the 3 years. The decreased Ra was primarily associated with the warming-induced decline of the winter annual productivity. Across the 3 years, warming increased Rh/Rs by 29.1% but clipping did not affect Rh/Rs. Our study highlights that climate warming may have contrasting effects on Rh and Ra in association with responses of plant productivity to warming. PMID:23728995

  5. Influence of richness and seeding density on invasion resistance in experimental tallgrass prairie restorations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nemec, Kristine T.; Allen, Craig R.; Helzer, Christopher J.; Wedin, David A.

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, agricultural producers and non-governmental organizations and agencies have restored thousands of hectares of cropland to grassland in the Great Plains of the United States. However, little is known about the relationships between richness and seeding density in these restorations and resistance to invasive plant species. We assessed the effects of richness and seeding density on resistance to invasive and other unseeded plant species in experimental tallgrass prairie plots in central Nebraska. In 2006, twenty-four 55 m × 55 m plots were planted with six replicates in each of four treatments: high richness (97 species typically planted by The Nature Conservancy), at low and high seeding densities, and low richness (15 species representing a typical Conservation Reserve Program mix, CP25), at low and high seeding densities. There was a significant negative relationship between richness and basal cover of unseeded perennial forbs/legumes and unseeded perennial/annual grasses, abundance of bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare), and the number of inflorescences removed from smooth brome (Bromus inermis) transplants. Invasion resistance may have been higher in the high richness treatments because of the characteristics of the dominant species in these plots or because of greater interspecific competition for limiting resources among forbs/legumes with neighboring plants belonging to the same functional group. Seeding density was not important in affecting invasion resistance, except in the cover of unseeded grasses. Increasing seed mix richness may be more effective than increasing the seeding density for decreasing invasion by unseeded perennial species, bull thistle, and smooth brome.

  6. Leaf Photosynthesis and Plant Competitive Success in a Mixed-grass Prairie: With Reference to Exotic Grasses Invasion

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Dong, Dr. Xuejun; Patton, J.; Gu, Lianhong; Wang, J.; Patton, B.

    2014-11-26

    The widespread invasion of exotic cool-season grasses in mixed-grass rangeland is diminishing the hope of bringing back the natural native plant communities. However, ecophysiological mechanisms explaining the relative competitiveness of these invasive grasses over the native species generally are lacking. In this study, we used experimental data collected in south-central North Dakota, USA to address this issue. Photosynthetic potential was obtained from the net assimilation (A) vs. internal CO2 (Ci) response curves from plants grown in a greenhouse. Plant success was defined as the average frequency measured over 25 years (1988 to 2012) on overflow range sites across five levelsmore » of grazing intensity. In addition, estimated leaf area index of individual species under field conditions was used to indicate plant success. The correlation between photosynthetic potential based on A/Ci curves and plant frequency was negative. The correlation between leaf photosynthesis and plant success (defined as leaf area within a unit land area) was also negative, although statistically weak. These results suggest that the two cool-season grasses, Poa pratensis and Bromus inermis, do not rely on superior leaf-level photosynthesis for competitive success. Instead, some other traits, such as early and late-season growth, may be more important for them to gain dominance in the mixed-grass prairie. We propose that the negative photosynthesis-frequency relation as observed in this study results from a strong competition for limited soil nutrients in the mixed-grass prairie. In conclusion, it has implications for the stability and productivity of the grassland under various human disruptions influencing the soil nutrient status.« less

  7. Diversity of bacteria nesting the plant cover of north Sinai deserts, Egypt

    PubMed Central

    Hanna, Amira L.; Youssef, Hanan H.; Amer, Wafaa M.; Monib, Mohammed; Fayez, Mohammed; Hegazi, Nabil A.

    2012-01-01

    North Sinai deserts were surveyed for the predominant plant cover and for the culturable bacteria nesting their roots and shoots. Among 43 plant species reported, 13 are perennial (e.g. Fagonia spp., Pancratium spp.) and 30 annuals (e.g. Bromus spp., Erodium spp.). Eleven species possessed rhizo-sheath, e.g. Cyperus capitatus, Panicum turgidum and Trisetaria koelerioides. Microbiological analyses demonstrated: the great diversity and richness of associated culturable bacteria, in particular nitrogen-fixing bacteria (diazotrophs); the majority of bacterial residents were of true and/or putative diazotrophic nature; the bacterial populations followed an increasing density gradient towards the root surfaces; sizeable populations were able to reside inside the root (endorhizosphere) and shoot (endophyllosphere) tissues. Three hundred bacterial isolates were secured from studied spheres. The majority of nitrogen-fixing bacilli isolates belonged to Bacillus megaterium,Bacillus pumilus, Bacillus polymexa,Bacillus macerans,Bacillus circulans and Bacillus licheniformis. The family Enterobacteriaceae represented by Enterobacter agglomerans,Enterobacter sackazakii, Enterobacter cloacae, Serratia adorifera,Serratia liquefaciens and Klebsiella oxytoca. The non-Enterobacteriaceae population was rich in Pantoae spp., Agrobacterium rdiobacter, Pseudomonas vesicularis, Pseudomonas putida, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Ochrobactrum anthropi, Sphingomonas paucimobilis and Chrysemonas luteola.Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus were reported inside root and shoot tissues of a number of tested plants. The dense bacterial populations reported speak well to the very possible significant role played by the endophytic bacterial populations in the survival, in respect of nutrition and health, of existing plants. Such groups of diazotrophs are good candidates, as bio-preparates, to support the growth of future field crops grown in deserts of north Sinai and irrigated by the water of El

  8. Using soil island plantings as dispersal vectors in large area copper tailings reforestation

    SciTech Connect

    Scherer, G.; Everett, R.

    1998-12-31

    The Wenatchee National Forest undertook the reforestation of the 80 acre (35 ha) Holden copper mine tailings of Washington State in 1989 by using 20, one-fourth acre, triangular shaped soil islands as a source of plant propagules targeted for gravel-covered tailings surfaces. The islands were constructed of soil and surface litter transported from a nearby gravel pit, and planted with four species of conifer seedlings, the shrub Sitka alder (Alnus sinuata) and eight species of grasses. Conifer and alder seedlings were also planted in graveled covered tailings with amendments. Since reproductive status of the conifers would not occur for several years, this propagule vector hypothesis was tested by measuring the distances traveled onto the tailings surface by grass seeds. The number of grass shoots established in four treatment blocks in target plots downwind from the soil island source plantings was also determined. After 36 months, grass seed had migrated to a distance of 32 feet (11 m) from the soil island source. Grass shoots were present within 10 feet (3 m) downwind of the soil island, the most frequent being Mountain brome (Bromus marginatus). Among the tree species, lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and Sitka alder grew an average of 6 inches (15--16 cm) after 40 months on the soil islands but somewhat less on the tailing surface. By the third growing season, the only tree species in reproductive condition on the tailings was alder. The soil-island technique is successful for grass dispersal and may have potential for conifer and alder migration.

  9. Mixed artificial grasslands with more roots improved mine soil infiltration capacity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Gao-Lin; Yang, Zheng; Cui, Zeng; Liu, Yu; Fang, Nu-Fang; Shi, Zhi-Hua

    2016-04-01

    Soil water is one of the critical limiting factors in achieving sustainable revegetation. Soil infiltration capacity plays a vital role in determining the inputs from precipitation and enhancing water storage, which are important for the maintenance and survival of vegetation patches in arid and semi-arid areas. Our study investigated the effects of different artificial grasslands on soil physical properties and soil infiltration capacity. The artificial grasslands were Medicago sativa, Astragalus adsurgens, Agropyron mongolicum, Lespedeza davurica, Bromus inermis, Hedysarum scoparium, A. mongolicum + Artemisia desertorum, A. adsurgens + A. desertorum and M. sativa + B. inermis. The soil infiltration capacity index (SICI), which was based on the average infiltration rate of stage I (AIRSI) and the average infiltration rate of stage III (AIRS III), was higher (indicating that the infiltration capacity was greater) under the artificial grasslands than that of the bare soil. The SICI of the A. adsurgens + A. desertorum grassland had the highest value (1.48) and bare soil (-0.59) had the lowest value. It was evident that artificial grassland could improve soil infiltration capacity. We also used principal component analysis (PCA) to determine that the main factors that affected SICI were the soil water content at a depth of 20 cm (SWC20), the below-ground root biomasses at depths of 10 and 30 cm (BGB10, BGB30), the capillary porosity at a depth of 10 cm (CP10) and the non-capillary porosity at a depth of 20 cm (NCP20). Our study suggests that the use of Legume-poaceae mixtures and Legume-shrub mixtures to create grasslands provided an effective ecological restoration approach to improve soil infiltration properties due to their greater root biomasses. Furthermore, soil water content, below-ground root biomass, soil capillary porosity and soil non-capillary porosity were the main factors that affect the soil infiltration capacity.

  10. Contrasted nitrogen utilization in annual C 3 grass and legume crops: Physiological explorations and ecological considerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Del Pozo, Alejandro; Garnier, Eric; Aronson, James

    2000-01-01

    Although it is well known that legumes have unusually high levels of nitrogen in both reproductive and vegetative organs, the physiological implications of this pattern have been poorly assessed. We conducted a literature survey and used data from two (unpublished) experiments on annual legumes and C 3 grasses in order to test whether these high nitrogen concentrations in legumes are correlated to high rates of carbon gain. Three different temporal/spatial scales were considered: full growing season/stand, days to month/whole plant and seconds/leaf. At the stand level, and for plants grown under both extratropical and tropical settings, biomass per unit organic-nitrogen was lower in legume than in grass crops. At a shorter time scale, the relative growth rate per unit plant nitrogen (`nitrogen productivity') was lower in faba bean ( Vicia faba var. minor cv. Tina) than in wheat ( Triticum aestivum cv. Alexandria), and this was confirmed in a comparison of two wild, circum-Mediterranean annuals - Medicago minima, a legume, and Bromus madritensis, a grass. Finally, at the leaf level, a synthesis of published data comparing soybean ( Glycine max) and rice ( Oryza sativa) on the one hand, and our own data on faba bean and wheat on the other hand, demonstrates that the photosynthetic rate per unit leaf nitrogen (the photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency) is consistently lower in legumes than in grasses. These results demonstrate that, regardless of the scale considered and although the organic-nitrogen concentration in vegetative organs of legumes is higher than in grasses, this does not lead to higher rates of carbon gain in the former. Various physiological factors affecting the efficiency of nitrogen utilization at the three time scales considered are discussed. The suggestion is made that the ecological significance of the high nitrogen concentration in legumes may be related to a high nitrogen demand for high quality seed production at a time when nitrogen

  11. Assessing the biophysical naturalness of grassland in eastern North Dakota with hyperspectral imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Qiang

    Over the past two decades, non-native species within grassland communities have quickly developed due to human migration and commerce. Invasive species like Smooth Brome grass (Bromus inermis) and Kentucky Blue Grass (Poa pratensis), seriously threaten conservation of native grasslands. This study aims to discriminate between native grasslands and planted hayfields and conservation areas dominated by introduced grasses using hyperspectral imagery. Hyperspectral imageries from the Hyperion sensor on EO-1 were acquired in late spring and late summer on 2009 and 2010. Field spectra for widely distributed species as well as smooth brome grass and Kentucky blue grass were collected from the study sites throughout the growing season. Imagery was processed with an unmixing algorithm to estimate fractional cover of green and dry vegetation and bare soil. As the spectrum is significantly different through growing season, spectral libraries for the most common species are then built for both the early growing season and late growing season. After testing multiple methods, the Adaptive Coherence Estimator (ACE) was used for spectral matching analysis between the imagery and spectral libraries. Due in part to spectral similarity among key species, the results of spectral matching analysis were not definitive. Additional indexes, "Level of Dominance" and "Band variance", were calculated to measure the predominance of spectral signatures in any area. A Texture co-occurrence analysis was also performed on both "Level of Dominance" and "Band variance" indexes to extract spatial characteristics. The results suggest that compared with disturbed area, native prairie tend to have generally lower "Level of Dominance" and "Band variance" as well as lower spatial dissimilarity. A final decision tree model was created to predict presence of native or introduced grassland. The model was more effective for identification of Mixed Native Grassland than for grassland dominated by a single

  12. Nutrient removal by grasses irrigated with wastewater and nitrogen balance for reed canarygrass

    SciTech Connect

    Geber, U.

    2000-04-01

    To develop complementary wastewater treatment systems that increase nutrient reduction and recycling, an experiment was conducted to evaluate the efficiency of three grass species as catch crops for N, P, and K at Aurahammar wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in the southern part of Sweden. Another objective was also to assess soil accumulation of N, P, and K and the risk of N leaching by drainage. Three grasses--reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.), meadow foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis L.), and smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss.)--were irrigated with a mixture of treated effluent and supernatant at two levels of intensity [optimum level (equal to evapotranspiration) and over-optimal level] and at two nutrient levels, approximately 150 and 300 kg N ha{sup {minus}1}. There were small differences in dry matter (DM) yield between grass species and no difference in N removal among species. The amount of N removed in harvested biomass to N applied was 0.58 in 1995 and 0.63 in 1996. The amount of N removed increased with increased nutrient load. Applied amounts of P were the same as P in harvested biomass. All species removed K amounts several times greater than applied amounts. Increased nutrient load increased overall K removal. The low amount of mineral N and especially NO{sub 3}{sup {minus}}-N in the soil profile in autumn samplings indicate the risk for leaching is small. Soil water NO{sub 3}{sup {minus}} contents were also low, <2.5 mg NO{sub 3}{sup {minus}}-N L{sup {minus}1} during the growing season, with a mean value of <1 mg NO{sub 3}{sup {minus}}-N L{sup {minus}1}.

  13. Carbon balances during land conversion in early bioenergy systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zenone, T.; Chen, J.; Gelfand, I.; Robertson, G. P.; Hamilton, S. K.

    2012-12-01

    In this study, we established a field experiment and deployed seven eddy-covariance towers to quantify the roles of land use change and the subsequent carbon (C) balances of three different bioenergy systems (corn, switchgrass, and mixed prairie species) that were developed from two historical land use types: monocultural grasslands dominated by smooth brome (Bromus inermis Leyss) and lands in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Three CRP fields and three cropland fields were converted to soybean in 2009 (conversion year) before establishing the cellulosic biofuel cropping systems in 2010 (establishment year). A CRP perennial grassland site was kept undisturbed as a reference. Conversion of CRP to soybean induced net C emissions during the conversion year (134 -262 g C m-2 yr-1), while in the same year the net C balance at the CRP grassland reference was -35 g C m-2 yr-1 (i.e., net C sequestration). The establishment of switchgrass and mixed prairie induced a cumulative C balance of -113 g C m-2 (switchgrass from CRP), 250 g C m-2 (switchgrass from cropland), 706 g C m-2 (mixed prairie from CRP), and 59 g C m-2 (mixed prairie from cropland) over the three-year study period. The cumulative three-year C balance of corn converted from CRP and from cropland was -151 g C m-2 and -183 g C m-2, respectively. Eddy flux measurements during cellulosic biofuel crop establishment reveal annual changes in C balance that cannot be detected using conventional mass balance approaches. When end-use of harvested biomass was considered, the C balances for all studied systems, except the reference site, exhibited large C emissions ranging from 150 to 990 g C m-2 over the three-year conversion phase.

  14. Overland and near-surface transport of Cryptosporidium parvum from vegetated and nonvegetated surfaces.

    PubMed

    Trask, Jennifer R; Kalita, Prasanta K; Kuhlenschmidt, Mark S; Smith, Ronald D; Funk, Ted L

    2004-01-01

    Understanding microbial pathogen transport patterns in overland flow is important for developing best management practices for limiting microbial transport to water resources. Knowledge about the effectiveness of vegetative filter strips (VFS) to reduce pathogen transport from livestock confinement areas is limited. In this study, overland and near-surface transport of Cryptosporidium parvum has been investigated. Effects of land slopes, vegetation, and rainfall intensities on oocyst transport were examined using a tilting soil chamber with two compartments, one with bare ground and the other with brome (Bromus inermis Leyss.) vegetation. Three slope conditions (1.5, 3.0, and 4.5%) were used in conjunction with two rainfall intensities (25.4 and 63.5 mm/h) for 44 min using a rainfall simulator. The vegetative surface was very effective in reducing C. parvum in surface runoff. For the 25.4 mm/h rainfall, the total percent recovery of oocysts in overland flow from the VFS varied from 0.6 to 1.7%, while those from the bare ground condition varied from 4.4 to 14.5%. For the 63.5 mm/h rainfall, the recovery percentages of oocysts varied from 0.8 to 27.2% from the VFS, and 5.3 to 59% from bare-ground conditions. For all slopes and rainfall intensities, the total (combining both surface and near-surface) recovery of C. parvum oocysts was considerably less from the vegetated surface than those from the bare-ground conditions. These results indicate that the VFS can be a best management practice for controlling C. parvum in runoff from animal production facilities. PMID:15224935

  15. Mineral concentration in selected native temperate grasses with potential use as biofuel feedstock.

    PubMed

    El-Nashaar, H M; Griffith, S M; Steiner, J J; Banowetz, G M

    2009-07-01

    Stands of native grasses along roadways, in buffer strips, riparian zones and grass prairies have potential utility as feedstock for bioenergy production. The sustainability of harvesting these stands is reliant, in part, on knowledge of the mineral concentration of the harvested grasses because removal of mineral nutrients such as phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) can impact subsequent biomass production and ecosystem services associated with these stands. Mineral content of biomass, particularly that of silicon (Si), chlorine (Cl), and sulfur (S) also impacts thermochemical conversion approaches that convert grasses into bioproducts. This study quantified Cl, S, Si, P and K in Bromus marginatus, Elymus glaucus, Poa secunda, Pseudoroegneria, Elymus lanceolatus, Elymus trachycaulus, Leymus cinereus, Leymus triticoides, and Pseudoroegneria spicata collected at three growth developmental stages from four plant introduction stations located in the western US. Differences (P< or =0.05) in mineral concentrations were associated with developmental stage, species, and location. Variability was greatest in Si concentrations which ranged from 1847 to 28620 mg kg(-1), similar to those recorded in other grasses. Variability in Cl and S concentrations also occurred, but at less magnitude than that of Si. Concentrations of P and K, two mineral fertilizer components, varied approximately threefold among these grasses. Differences in mineral concentrations among these grasses were not completely dependent upon soil mineral content. Long-term evaluations of available soil mineral concentrations under contrasting management practices are needed to quantify how local conditions impact mineral cycling, and in turn, the sustainability of harvesting these stands. The data presented here establish baselines for these species in locations subject to contrasting environmental and microbiological conditions that affect mineral cycling and availability. PMID:19329307

  16. Feeding behaviour of juvenile snails ( Helix pomatia) to four plant species grown at elevated atmospheric CO 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ledergerber, S.; Leadley, P. W.; Stöcklin, J.; Baur, Bruno

    1998-02-01

    The feeding behaviour of juveniles of the land snail Helix pomatia was examined in model plant communities consisting of Trifolium repens, Hieracium pilosella, Bromus erectus and Prunella vulgaris that are common species in extensively managed calcareous grasslands in the Swiss Jura mountains. The plant communities were grown either at ambient (350 ppm) or elevated (600 ppm) CO 2 concentrations. Leaves of T. repens and P. vulgaris grown in elevated atmospheric CO 2 had a lower specific leaf area, and leaves of T. repens had lower percentage N on a dry weight basis than leaves grown under ambient CO 2 concentration. Snails fed on all four plant species, but showed a overwhelming preference for T. repens (percentages of total biomass consumed were 91.9% at 350 ppm and 97.6% at 600 ppm). The species-specific feeding intensity of juvenile H. pomatia did not differ between the two treatments. The total dry weight of T. repens consumed by the snails was marginally greater ( P = 0.06) at elevated CO 2, but there were no significant differences in leaf N or leaf area eaten. These findings are similar to numerous other studies showing that invertebrates increase their consumption of plant material to balance reductions in plant N concentrations at elevated CO 2. The leaf biomass, leaf area and amount of nitrogen consumed of the other three plant species did not differ significantly between the two CO 2 treatments. Helix pomatia that fed on plants grown at elevated CO 2 atmosphere showed a larger increase in relative wet weight than those that fed on plants from ambient CO 2 conditions. However, the weight gain of H. pomatia was poorly correlated with amount of plant tissue consumed, so we suggest that the effect of CO 2 on weight gain in H. pomatia was due to a change in the quality of T. repens leaves.

  17. Analysis of serpentinophytes from north-east of Portugal for trace metal accumulation--relevance to the management of mine environment.

    PubMed

    Freitas, H; Prasad, M N V; Pratas, J

    2004-03-01

    In north-east of Portugal, the serpentinized area is about 8000 ha with a characteristic geology and flora. The serpentine plant community and respective soils were analyzed to examine the trace metal budget in different tissues of the plants exhibiting resistance to trace metals. One hundred and thirty five plant species belonging to 39 families and respective soils have been analyzed for total Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn. Substantial amounts of Ni, Cr, Co and Mn were detected in plant tissues which are listed below: NI: Alyssum serpyllifolium (38105); Bromus hordeaceus (1467); Linaria spartea (492); Plantago radicata (140); Lavandula stoechas (118) and Cistus salvifolius (114); CR: L. spartea (706.7); Ulmus procera (173.4); A. serpyllifolium (129.3); Cistus ladanifer (40.8); L. stoechas (29.5); P. radicata (27.81); Setariopsis verticillata (25.7); Plantago lanceolata (24); Digitalis purpurea (23.4); Logfia minima (23.1); Arenaria querioides (23); Hieracium peleteranum (22.7); Arenaria montana (14.5); CO: A. serpyllifolium (145.1); L. spartea (63.2); P. radicata (10.4); H. peleteranum (7.3); Lepidium heterophyllum (6.9); A. querioides (6.6); C. salvifolius (6.5); C. ladanifer (6.3); L. stoechas (6.1); Anthyllis lotoides (6.1); L. minima (6.1); Euphorbia falcata (5.7) and B. hordeaceus (5.6); MN: A. serpyllifolium (830); L. spartea (339); L. stoechas (187.1); L. minima (182.7); Castanea sativa (125); Spergula pentandra (124); P. radicata (119); Cytisus striatus (115.4); Quercus pyrenaica (110); Teucrium scorodonia (109.4); Fraxinus vulgaris (109); Anthyllis sampaiana (108); Quercus ilex (108). The significance of serpentine flora, need for conservation of these fragile and environmentally invaluable plant resources for possible use for in situ remediation of metalliferous substrates are presented in this paper. PMID:14675842

  18. The potential use of n-alkanes, long-chain alcohols and long-chain fatty acids as diet composition markers: indoor validation with sheep and herbage species from the rangeland of Inner Mongolia of China.

    PubMed

    Lin, L J; Zhu, X Y; Jiang, C; Luo, H L; Wang, H; Zhang, Y J; Hong, F Z

    2012-03-01

    To investigate the potential use of n-alkanes (alkanes), long-chain alcohols (alcohols) and long-chain fatty acids (acids) for estimating the diet composition of sheep, in a feeding trial. A total of 18 sheep were assigned randomly to three different diets (diet A, diet B and diet C) containing up to eight herbage species (Leymus chinensis, Leymus dasystachys, Elymus sibiricum, Chenopodium album, Puccinellia chinampoensis, Medicago sativa, Saussurea sinuata and Bromus inermis). Faecal recoveries of alkanes, alcohols and acids were determined, and diet compositions were estimated using different combinations of alkanes, alcohols and acids. The faecal concentrations of individual alkanes, alcohols and acids were corrected using the mean recovery of the dietary treatment that the respective animal belonged to (diet recovery), or the mean recovery across all dietary treatments (general recovery). In general, diets did not affect the faecal recovery values for alkanes, alcohols and acids, and no difference in accuracy was found between diet composition estimates based on dietary recovery and general recovery. The accuracy of diet composition estimates declined as the number of dietary components increased from four to eight herbage species (P < 0.001). Better (P < 0.05) estimates of diet composition were obtained with the combinations of two or three marker types instead of alkanes alone. Moreover, results showed that excluding minor diet components from the calculations decreased (P < 0.05) the accuracy of diet composition estimates, whereas including extra non-grazed herbage species did not reduce (P > 0.05) the quality of diet composition estimates. These results confirmed the usefulness of alkanes, alcohols and acids as markers for determining complex diet composition of sheep. However, a negative impact on the accuracy of diet composition estimates, caused by missing minor diet components from the calculation of diet composition, could happen when plant wax markers

  19. Quantifying restoration effectiveness using multi-scale habitat models: implications for sage-grouse in the Great Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arkle, Robert S.; Pilliod, David S.; Hanser, Steven E.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Grace, James B.; Knutson, Kevin C.; Pyke, David A.; Welty, Justin L.

    2014-01-01

    conditions, but in most climates, establishing forbs and reducing cheatgrass dominance is unlikely. Reestablishing sagebrush cover will require more than 20 years using past restoration methods. Given current fire frequencies and restoration capabilities, protection of landscapes containing a mix of dwarf sagebrush and big sagebrush steppe, minimal human development, and low non-native plant cover may provide the best opportunity for conservation of sage-grouse habitats.

  20. Hydrologic Impacts Associated with the Increased Role of Wildland Fire Across the Rangeland-Xeric Forest Continuum of the Great Basin and Intermountain West, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, C. J.; Pierson, F. B.; Robichaud, P. R.; Boll, J.; Al-Hamdan, O. Z.

    2011-12-01

    The increased role of wildland fire across the rangeland-xeric forest continuum in the western United States (US) presents landscape-scale consequences relative runoff and erosion. Concomitant climate conditions and altered plant community transitions in recent decades along grassland-shrubland-woodland-xeric forest transitions have promoted frequent and large wildland fires, and the continuance of the trend appears likely if current or warming climate conditions prevail. Much of the Great Basin and Intermountain West in the US now exists in a state in which rangeland and woodland wildfires stimulated by invasive cheatgrass and dense, horizontal and vertical fuel layers have a greater likelihood of progressing upslope into xeric forests. Drier moisture conditions and warmer seasonal air temperatures, along with dense fuel loads, have lengthened fire seasons and facilitated an increase in the frequency, severity and area burned in mid-elevation western US forests. These changes potentially increase the overall hydrologic vulnerability across the rangeland-xeric forest continuum by spatially and temporally increasing soil surface exposure to runoff and erosion processes. Plot-to-hillslope scale studies demonstrate burning may increase event runoff and/or erosion by factors of 2-40 over small-plots scales and more than 100-fold over large-plot to hillslope scales. Anecdotal reports of large-scale flooding and debris-flow events from rangelands and xeric forests following burning document the potential risk to resources (soil loss, water quality, degraded aquatic habitat, etc.), property and infrastructure, and human life. Such risks are particularly concerning for urban centers near the urban-wildland interface. We do not yet know the long-term ramifications of frequent soil loss associated with commonly occurring runoff events on repeatedly burned sites. However, plot to landscape-scale post-fire erosion rate estimates suggest potential losses of biologically

  1. Performance of Evapotranspirative Covers Under Enhanced Precipitation: Preliminary Data

    SciTech Connect

    David C. Anderson, Lloyd T. Desotell, David B. Hudson, Gregory J. Shott, Vefa Yucel

    2007-02-01

    Since January 2001, drainage lysimeter studies have been conducted at Yucca Flat, on the Nevada Test Site, in support of an evapotranspirative cover design. Yucca Flat has an arid climate with average precipitation of 16.5 cm annually. The facility consists of six drainage lysimeters 3 m in diameter, 2.4 m deep, and backfilled with a single layer of native soil. The bottom of each lysimeter is sealed and equipped with a small drain that enables direct measurement of saturated drainage. Each lysimeter has eight time-domain reflectometer probes to measure moisture content-depth profiles paired with eight heat-dissipation probes to measure soil-water potential depth profiles. Sensors are connected to dataloggers which are remotely accessed via a phone line. The six lysimeters have three different surface treatments: two are bare-soil; two were revegetated with native species (primarily shadscale, winterfat, ephedra, and Indian rice grass); and two were allowed to revegetate naturally with such species as Russian thistle, halogeton, tumblemustard and cheatgrass. Beginning in October 2003, one half of the paired cover treatments (one bare soil, one invader species, and one native species) were irrigated with an amount of water equal to two times the natural precipitation to achieve a three times natural precipitation treatment. From October 2003 through December 2005, all lysimeters received 52.8 cm precipitation, and the four irrigated lysimeters received an extra 105.6 cm of irrigation. No drainage has occurred from any of the nonirrigated lysimeters, but moisture has accumulated at the bottom of the bare-soil lysimeter and the native-plant lysimeter. All irrigated lysimeters had some drainage. The irrigated baresoil lysimeter had 48.3 cm of drainage or 26.4 percent of the combined precipitation and applied irrigation for the entire monitoring record. The irrigated invader species lysimeter had 5.8 cm of drainage, about 3.2 percent of the combined precipitation and

  2. PLUTONIUM UPTAKE AND BEHAVIOR IN PLANTS OF THE DESERT SOUTHWEST: A PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT

    SciTech Connect

    Caldwell, E.; Duff, M.; Ferguson, C.

    2011-03-01

    Eight species of desert vegetation and associated soils were collected from the Nevada National Security Site (N2S2) and analyzed for 238Pu and 239+240Pu concentrations. Amongst the plant species sampled were: atmospheric elemental accumulators (moss and lichen), the very slow growing, long-lived creosote bush and the rapidly growing, short-lived cheatgrass brome. The diversity of growth strategies provided insight into the geochemical behavior and bio-availability of Pu at the N2S2. The highest concentrations of Pu were measured in the onion moss (24.27 Bq kg-1 238Pu and 52.78 Bq kg-1 239+240Pu) followed by the rimmed navel lichen (8.18 Bq kg-1 and 18.4 Bq kg-1 respectively), pointing to the importance of eolian transport of Pu. Brome and desert globemallow accumulated between 3 and 9 times higher concentrations of Pu than creosote and sage brush species. These results support the importance of species specific elemental accumulation strategies rather than exposure duration as the dominant variable influencing Pu concentrations in these plants. Total vegetation elemental concentrations of Ce, Fe, Al, Sm and others were also analyzed. Strong correlations were observed between Fe and Pu. This supports the conclusion that Pu was accumulated as a consequence of the active accumulation of Fe and other plant required nutrients. Cerium and Pu are considered to be chemical analogs. Strong correlations observed in plants support the conclusion that these elements displayed similar geochemical behavior in the environment as it related to the biochemical uptake process of vegetation. Soils were also sampled in association with vegetation samples. This allowed for the calculation of a concentration ratio (CR). The CR values for Pu in plants were highly influenced by the heterogeneity of Pu distribution among sites. Results from the naturally occurring elements of concern were more evenly distributed between sample sites. This allowed for the development of a pattern of plant

  3. Plutonium uptake and behavior in vegetation of the desert southwest: a preliminary assessment.

    PubMed

    Caldwell, Eric; Duff, Martine; Ferguson, Caitlin; Coughlin, Daniel

    2011-09-01

    Eight species of desert vegetation and associated soils were collected from the Nevada National Security Site (N2S2) and analyzed for 238Pu and 239 + 240Pu concentrations. Amongst the plant species sampled were: atmospheric elemental accumulators (moss and lichen), the very slow growing, long-lived creosote bush and the rapidly growing, short-lived cheatgrass brome. The diversity of growth strategies provided insight into the geochemical behavior and bio-availability of Pu at the N2S2. The highest concentrations of Pu were measured in the onion moss (24.27 Bq kg-1 238Pu and 52.78 Bq kg-1 239 + 240Pu) followed by the rimmed navel lichen (8.18 Bq kg-1 and 18.4 Bq kg-1 respectively), pointing to the importance of eolian transport of Pu. Brome and desert globemallow accumulated between 3 and 9 times higher concentrations of Pu than creosote and sage brush species. These results support the importance of species specific elemental accumulation strategies rather than exposure duration as the dominant variable influencing Pu concentrations in these plants. Total vegetation elemental concentrations of Ce, Fe, Al, Sm and others were also analyzed. Strong correlations were observed between Fe and Pu. This supports the conclusion that Pu was accumulated as a consequence of the active accumulation of Fe and other plant required nutrients. Cerium and Pu are considered to be chemical analogs. Strong correlations observed in plants support the conclusion that these elements displayed similar geochemical behavior in the environment as it related to the biochemical uptake process of vegetation. Soils were also sampled in association with vegetation samples. This allowed for the calculation of a concentration ratio (CR). The CR values for Pu in plants were highly influenced by the heterogeneity of Pu distribution among sites. Results from the naturally occurring elements of concern were more evenly distributed between sample sites. This allowed for the development of a pattern of

  4. Pro-apoptotic effects of tectorigenin on human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Chun-Ping; Ding, Hui; Shi, Da-Hua; Wang, Yu-Rong; Li, Er-Guang; Wu, Jun-Hua

    2012-01-01

    AIM: To investigate the effects of tectorigenin on human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) HepG2 cells. METHODS: Tectorigenin, one of the main components of rhizome of Iris tectorum, was prepared by simple methods, such as extraction, filtration, concentration, precipitation and recrystallization. HepG2 cells were incubated with tectorigenin at different concentrations, and their viability was assessed by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. Apoptosis was detected by morphological observation of nuclear change, agarose gel electrophoresis of DNA ladder, and flow cytometry with Hoechst 33342, Annexin V-EGFP and propidium iodide staining. Generation of reactive oxygen species was quantified using DCFH-DA. Intracellular Ca2+ was monitored by Fura 2-AM. Mitochondrial membrane potential was monitored using Rhodamine 123. Release of cytochrome c from mitochondria to cytosol was detected by Western blotting. Activities of caspase-3, -8 and -9 were investigated by Caspase Activity Assay Kit. RESULTS: The viability of HepG2 cells treated by tectorigenin decreased in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. The concentration that reduced the number of viable HepG2 cells by 50% (IC50) after 12, 24 and 48 h of incubation was 35.72 mg/L, 21.19 mg/L and 11.06 mg/L, respectively. However, treatment with tectorigenin at 20 mg/L resulted in a very slight cytotoxicity to L02 cells after incubation for 12, 24 or 48 h. Tectorigenin at a concentration of 20 mg/L greatly inhibited the viability of HepG2 cells and induced the condensation of chromatin and fragmentation of nuclei. Tectorigenin induced apoptosis of HepG2 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Compared with the viability rate, induction of apoptosis was the main mechanism of the anti-proliferation effect of tectorigenin in HepG2 cells. Furthermore, tectorigenin-induced apoptosis of HepG2 cells was associated with the generation of reactive oxygen species, increased intracellular [Ca2+]i

  5. Microbial decomposition of dead grassland roots and its influence on the carbon cycle under changing precipitation patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becerra, C.; Schimel, J.

    2013-12-01

    Soil is the largest reservoir of organic carbon in terrestrial ecosystems and as such, represents a potential sink for carbon dioxide.The decomposition products of dead roots buried in the soil is a contributor to soil organic carbon. However, changing precipitation patterns may affect its fate by influencing the microbial community responsible for decomposing dead roots. To assess the impact of changing precipitation patterns, we constructed microcosms with grassland soil collected from the UCSB Sedgwick Reserve, an active and long-term research site, and dead roots from greenhouse-grown grass, Bromus diandrus. Microcosms were wetted continuously, every seven days, or every twenty days. Sets of microcosms were periodically deconstructed to assess the soil versus the roots-associated microbial community and its function. Differences in respiration rates of microcosms continuously wetted or wetted every 7 days versus microcosms wetted every 20 days existed for the first 70 days. After which, no differences in respiration rates were seen with microcosms containing roots and the no roots control. Relatedly, after a 70% roots mass loss by day 50, there was no difference in the respiration rate of microcosms containing roots and the no roots control. More than half of the roots mass loss had occurred by 30 days. By the end of the incubation period, the roots mass loss in continuously wet and 7-day wetted microcosms were over 80% compared to 67% for the microcosms wetted every 20 days. Microbial biomass in the soil were constant over time and showed no difference in treatment except with the no roots control during the first half of the incubation period. Hydrolytic enzyme activities (β-1,4-glucosidase; α-1,4-glucosidase; β-1,4-xylosidase; β-1,4-cellobiosidase) on the roots versus the soil attached to the roots were over an order greater and decreased faster with the exception of N-acetyl-glucosaminidase and acid phosphatase. Oxidative enzyme activities (phenol

  6. Aboveground production does not increase after ten years of elevated CO2 in the Mojave Desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newingham, B. A.; Vanier, C. H.; Charlet, D.; Zitzer, S. F.; Smith, S. D.

    2011-12-01

    Elevated atmospheric CO2 ([CO2]) is assumed to increase primary production, particularly in desert systems through stimulatory effects on plant water-use efficiency. We examined the effects of elevated [CO2] at the Nevada Desert FACE (Free-air CO2 Enrichment) Facility (NDFF) in an intact Mojave Desert ecosystem. At the NDFF, ambient and elevated [CO2] levels were 360 and 550 μmol mol-1 [CO2], respectively. CO2 treatments were applied continuously from 1997-2007 in intact plots 25 m in diameter. While other studies focused on soil and root responses to elevated [CO2], our study focused on aboveground production of annuals and perennial plants. In 1997, diameters and heights of all perennial individuals were recorded and mapped. In 2007, diameters and heights were re-measured and aboveground biomass was harvested for every mapped perennial individual. Harvest data were used to construct regressions for twenty perennial species to predict starting biomass based on diameters and heights. Annual plants were harvested yearly at peak biomass from permanent transects. We found no significant effect of elevated [CO2] on total perennial plant biomass or cover at the end of the experiment. Regardless of [CO2] treatment, perennial cover increased while total biomass did not change over the ten years of the experiment. Perennial biomass allocation to vegetative, twig and woody biomass was not differentially affected by elevated [CO2], although leaf area index increased under elevated [CO2]. Similarly, there was no consistent elevated [CO2] effect on yearly production of annual (ephemeral) plants, although an exotic grass (Bromus madritensis subsp. rubens) exhibited a higher relative stimulation in production at elevated [CO2] than did native dicot and grass species. Other studies in our research group have shown that increases in production are only seen in wet years during the ten-year period of CO2 treatments at the NDFF, and so future effects of rising [CO2] may primarily

  7. Ecophysiology of Trembling Aspen in Response to Root-Zone Conditions and Competition on Reclaimed Mine Soil.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bockstette, S.; Landhäusser, S.; Pinno, B.; Dyck, M. F.

    2014-12-01

    Reclaimed soils are typically characterized by increased bulk densities, penetration resistances and poor soil structure as well as associated problems with hydrology and aeration. As a result, available rooting space for planted tree seedlings is often restricted to a shallow layer of topsoil, which is usually of higher quality and is cultivated prior to planting. This may hinder the development of healthy root systems, thus drastically increasing the risk for plant stress by limiting access to soil resources such as water, nutrients and oxygen. These problems are exacerbated when herbaceous plants compete for the same resources within this limited root-zone. To understand how limited rooting space affects the physiology of young trees, we experimentally manipulated soil conditions and levels of competition at a reclaimed mine site in central Alberta, Canada. The site was characterized by heavily compacted, fine textured subsoil (~2.0 Mg ha-1), capped with 15 cm of topsoil (~1.5 Mg ha-1). In a replicated study (n=6) half the plots were treated with a subsoil plow to a depth of about 60 cm to increase available rooting spece. Subsequently, trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) and smooth brome (Bromus inermis L.) were planted to create four vegetation covers: aspen (a), brome (b), aspen + brome (ab) and control (c) (no vegetation). Various soil properties, including texture, bulk density, penetration resistance and water availability, in conjunction with plant parameters such as root and shoot growth, leaf area development, sap flow, and stomatal conductance have since been monitored, both in-situ and through destructive sampling. Our results indicate that the soil treatment was effective in lowering bulk densities and penetration resistance, while improving moisture retention characteristics. Tree seedling growth and leaf area development were significantly greater without competition, but did not differ between soil treatments. The soil treatment generally

  8. Oviposition and development of face flies in dung from cattle on herbage and supplemented herbage diets.

    PubMed

    Dougherty, C T; Knapp, F W

    1994-10-01

    Dung was collected from Angus cattle (Bos taurus L.) fed (ad libitum) hays of endophyte-free (EF) and endophyte (Acremonium coenophialum Morgan-Jones and Gams) infected (EI) tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.), smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss.), red clover (Trifolium pratense L.), alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), and alfalfa-smooth bromegrass (1:1 w/w) and green-chopped Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.). Samples of dung were subsequently collected from the same animals offered the same herbage diets supplemented each day with ground maize (Zea mays L.) kernels at 0.35 kg per body weight. Dung from both sources were used in bioassays to establish oviposition preferences of face flies (Musca autumnalis De Geer). When offered dung from herbage diets, face flies deposited 38.3% of their eggs on dung derived from EF tall fescue diets, 9.9% on dung from EI tall fescue diets, 21.0% on dung from alfalfa diets, 7.4% on dung from red clover diets and 22.8% on dung from alfalfa-bromegrass diets. Face flies avoided ovipositing in dung from cattle ingesting bromegrass hay and Kentucky bluegrass green-chop. Supplements increased oviposition preference of face flies for dung from cattle ingesting Kentucky bluegrass greenchop to 19.1% at the expense of oviposition on dung from cattle ingesting alfalfa hay diets (4.5%), otherwise, they had little effect on oviposition preference ranking. Growth and development of first instar larvae of face flies was also measured in bioassays of dung from cattle on herbage and supplemented herbage diets. The presence of endophyte reduced pupation in dung from cattle on tall fescue hay diets from 86.3 to 79.8% and from 90.1 to 73.2% in dung from cattle on supplemented tall fescue hay diets. Pupal liveweights averaged 27.5 mg on dung from cattle on EF tall fescue diets, 22.1 mg from dung of cattle on EI tall fescue diets, 22.2 mg from dung of cattle on supplemented EF tall fescue diets and 24.0 mg from dung of cattle on supplemented

  9. CO2 EFFECTS ON MOJAVE DESERT PLANT INTERACTIONS

    SciTech Connect

    L. A. DEFALCO; G. C. FERNANDEZ; S. D. SMITH; R. S. NOWAK

    2004-01-01

    Seasonal and interannual droughts characteristic of deserts have the potential to modify plant interactions as atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations continue to rise. At the Nevada Desert FACE (free-air CO{sub 2} enrichment) facility in the northern Mojave Desert, the effects of elevated atmospheric C02 (550 vs. ambient {approx}360 {micro}mol mol{sup -1}) on plant interactions were examined during two years of high and low rainfall. Results suggest that CO{sub 2} effects on the interaction between native species and their understory herbs are dependent on the strength of competition when rainfall is plentiful, but are unimportant during annual drought. Seasonal rainfall for 1999 was 23% the long-term average for the area, and neither elevated CO{sub 2} nor the low production of herbaceous neighbors had an effect on relative growth rate (RGR, d{sup -1}) and reproductive effort (RE, number of flowers g{sup -1}) for Achnatherum hymenoides (early season perennial C{sub 3} grass), Pleuraphis rigida (late season perennial C{sub 4} grass), and Larrea tridentata (evergreen C{sub 3} shrub). In contrast, 1998 received 213% the average rainfall. Consequently, the decrease in RGR and increase in RE for Achnatherum, whose period of growth overlaps directly with that of its neighbors, was exaggerated at elevated CO{sub 2}. However, competitive effects of neighbors on Eriogonum trichopes (a winter annual growing in shrub interspaces), Pleuraphis and Larrea were not affected by elevated CO{sub 2}, and possible explanations are discussed. Contrary to expectations, the invasive annual neighbor Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens had little influence on target plant responses because densities in 1998 and 1999 at this site were well below those found in other studies where it has negatively affected perennial plant growth. The extent that elevated CO{sub 2} reduces the performance of Achnatherum in successive years to cause its loss from the plant community depends more on future pressure

  10. Annual mesoscale study of water balance in a Great Basin heterogeneous desert valley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malek, E.; Bingham, G. E.; Or, D.; McCurdy, G.

    1997-04-01

    We studied the annual mesoscale water balance in northeastern Nevada, USA, in a Great Basin heterogeneous semi-arid desert valley (the Goshute Valley) at 40°44'N, 114°26'W, witgh elevation of 1707 m above mean sea-level. This north-south-oriented flat valley has an area of about 1113 km 2 and is partially covered mostly by sagebrush, greasewood, shadscale, desert molly, cheatgrass, and winter fat bushes. Five Bowen ratio stations measured the incoming and outgoing (reflected) solar radiation, net radiation, air temperatures and moisture at 1 and 2 m, the aggregated (soil + vegetation) surface temperature, wind speed and direction at 10 m, soil heat flux at 8 cm (three locations at each station), soil temperatures at 2 and 6 cm above each soil flux plate, and precipitation every 5 s averaged to 20 min throughout the valley from 1 May 1993 to 30 September 1994. Locations of stations were based upon the vegetation types and percentage of coverage by bushes. The topsoil (10 cm) moisture content was measured either by time domain reflectometer or gravimetric method at least once a week. We used the Bowen ratio energy balance (BREB) method for the measurement of 20 min evapotranspiration throughout the experiment. During the dry water year 1993-1994 (beginning from 1 October) the average amount of aggregated (soil + bushes) evapotranspiration ( ETa) among stations measured by the BREB method was almost equal to the average total precipitation for the entire valley (160.9 mm vs. 157.7 mm, respectively). Variations of precipitation among stations (ranging from 173.7 mm at Station 2 to 130.5 mm at Station 1) were attributed to winter orographic effects and summer thermal lows. ETa ranged from 181.2 mm at Station 3 to 142.7 mm at Station 2. Variations were related mostly to vegetation types and percentage of the soil coverage. All stations showed slight water losses ( ETa greater than precipitation) in the dry water year 1993-1994, except at Station 2, where water gain was

  11. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, Brian F.; Albrecht, Eric W.; Halvorson, William L.; Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Docherty, Kathleen; Anning, Pamela

    2006-01-01

    Executive Summary This report summarizes the results of the first comprehensive biological inventory of Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument (NM) in western New Mexico. This project was part of a larger effort to inventory plants and vertebrates in eight National Park Service units in Arizona and New Mexico. Our surveys address many of the objectives that were set forth in the monument's natural resource management plan almost 20 years ago, but until this effort, those goals were never accomplished. From 2001 to 2003 we surveyed for vascular plants and vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) at Gila Cliff Dwellings NM to document presence of species within the boundaries of the monument. For all taxonomic groups that we studied, we collected 'incidental' sightings on U.S. Forest Service lands adjacent to the monument, and in a few cases we did formal surveys on those lands. Because we used repeatable study designs and standardized field techniques, these inventories can serve as the first step in a biological monitoring program for Gila Cliff Dwellings NM and surrounding lands. We recorded 552 species at Gila Cliff Dwellings NM and the surrounding lands (Table 1). We found no non-native species of reptiles, birds, or mammals, one non-native amphibian (American bullfrog), and 33 non-native plants. Particularly on lands adjacent to the monument we found that the American bullfrog was very abundant, which is a cause for significant management concern. Species of non-native plants that are of management concern include red brome, bufflegrass, and cheatgrass. For a park unit of its size and geographic location, we found the plant and vertebrate communities to be fairly diverse; for each taxonomic group we found representative species from a wide range of taxonomic orders and/or families. The monument's geographic location, with influences from the Rocky Mountain, Chihuahuan Desert, and Madrean ecological provinces, plays an important role in determining

  12. Powder River: data for cross-channel profiles at 22 sites in southeastern Montana from 1975 through 2012

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moody, John A.; Meade, Robert H.

    2013-01-01

    Powder River rises in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming and flows northward through a semi-arid landscape in Wyoming and Montana to the Yellowstone River. The river drains an area of 34,700 km2 and has an average discharge of about 500 million m3 y-1 or 16 m3 s-1. This view of the river looking northward, and hence downstream, was taken in October 2012 (see study reach map), about 20 km north of the Wyoming-Montana state line, about 4 km downstream from an operating gaging station at Moorhead, Montana (USGS station number 06324500), and about 80 river km upstream from a discontinued gaging station at Broadus, Montana (USGS station number 06324710). The river is emerging from a narrowly-confined reach, and the valley widens northward, bordered by hills of the coal-bearing Fort Union Formation. The river in this photo is at about bed-full flow (12 m3 s-1, Moody and others, 1999), and several riffles with disturbed water can be seen downstream between smooth glassy reaches of the river. A narrow band (~2-4 m wide) of reddish sedge (Scirpus spp.) grows just above the bed-full level along the edge of water with a wider band of mixed grasses (Agropyron repens, A. pauciflorum, Bromus inermis, Elymus canadenis, Spartina pectinata, and S. cynosoroids), willow (Salix exigua), tamarisk (Tamirix ramosissima) and small cottonwood seedlings and trees (Populus sargentii) on the flood plain. Three terrace levels have been identified along the river (Leopold and Miller, 1954; Moody and Meade, 2008). The first is the Lightning terrace with small cottonwood trees (seen here without leaves) adjacent to the floodplain in the right-center of the photo. The second is the Moorcroft terrace seen best forming the left bank and extending as a flat surface to the left (west) with a few large cottonwood trees still retaining their green leaves. The third is the colluvial Kaycee terrace that grades slowly upwards and meets the hills of the Fort Union Formation. It can be seen on the right side

  13. Plants as Indicators of Past and Present Zones of Upwelling Soil CO2 at the ZERT Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Apple, M. E.; Sharma, B.; Zhou, X.; Shaw, J. A.; Dobeck, L.; Cunnningham, A.; Spangler, L.; ZERT Team

    2011-12-01

    By their very nature, photosynthetic plants are sensitive and responsive to CO2, which they fix during the Calvin-Benson cycle. Responses of plants to CO2 are valuable tools in the surface detection of upwelling and leaking CO2 from carbon sequestration fields. Plants exposed to upwelling CO2 rapidly exhibit signs of stress such as changes in stomatal conductance, hyperspectral signatures, pigmentation, and viability (Lakkaraju et al. 2010; Male et al. 2010). The Zero Emission Research and Technology (ZERT) site in Bozeman, MT is an experimental facility for surface detection of CO2 where 0.15 ton/day of CO2 was released (7/19- 8/15/2010, and 7/18 - 8/15/2011) from a 100m horizontal injection well, (HIW), 1.5 m underground with deliberate leaks of CO2 at intervals, and from a vertical injector, (VIW), (6/3-6/24/2010). Soil CO2 concentrations reached 16%. Plants at ZERT include Taraxacum officinale (Dandelion), Dactylis glomerata (Orchard Grass), Poa pratensis, (Kentucky Bluegrass), Phleum pratense (Timothy), Bromus japonicus (Japanese Brome), Medicago sativa (Alfalfa) and Cirsium arvense (Canadian Thistle). Dandelion leaves above the zones of upwelling CO2 at the HIW and the VIW changed color from green to reddish-purple (indicative of an increase in anthocyanins) to brown as they senesced within two weeks of CO2 injection. Their increased stomatal conductance along with their extensive surface area combined to make water loss occur quickly following injection of CO2. Xeromorphic grass leaves were not as profoundly affected, although they did exhibit changes in stomatal conductance, accelerated loss of chlorophyll beyond what would normally occur with seasonal senescence, and altered hyperspectral signatures. Within two weeks of CO2 injection at the HIW and the VIW, hot spots formed, which are circular zones of visible leaf senescence that appear at zones of upwelling CO2. The hot spots became more pronounced as the CO2 injection continued, and were detectable

  14. Conservation reserve program: benefit for grassland birds in the northern plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, R.E.; Shaffer, T.L.; Sauer, J.R.; Peterjohn, B.G.

    1994-01-01

    cropland in some counties has been converted primarily to grass. In North Dakota, nearly 3 million acres have been enrolled. Over 90 percent of the CRP plantings in North Dakota are grass and grass-legume mix composed primarily of wheatgrass (Agropyron spp.), smooth brome (Bromus inermis), alfalfa (Medicago saliva) and sweetclover (Melilotus spp.). Mixes of these species have been reported to attract high densities of nesting ducks (Duebbert and Kantrud 1974). According to the CRP provisions, the land must remain idle for the 10-year contract period, with the exception of emergency provisions for haying or grazing. CRP appears to have great potential for benefiting many species of grassland-nesting birds. There have been efforts to document the importance of the CRP to migratory birds in the Upper Great Plains of the U.S. Kantrud (1993) studied duck nest success in CRP cover and concluded that nest success was higher than in planted cover on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs). Johnson and Schwartz (1993a) measured the use of CRP fields by nonwaterfowl birds and reported that several species have responded positively by colonizing CRP fields. They concluded that CRP has the potential to help reverse the population declines of several species. We investigated the importance of CRP to upland-nesting ducks and certain other grassland-nesting birds. For ducks, we compared nest success in CRP cover with nest success in planted cover on WPAs in the same period (1992-93) and with that of an earlier period (1980-84). For nonwaterfowl, we used BBS data to compare the trends in populations of certain species found in CRP, for the periods 1966-86 (pre-CRP cover establishment) and 1987-92 (post-CRP cover establishment) in North Dakota.

  15. Rolled lawn as tool for industrial barren remediation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorbacheva, T. T.; Ivanova, L. A.; Kikuchi, R.; Gerardo, R.

    2009-04-01

    term of cultivation (from 1 to 16 July 2008). Rolled lawn was characterized by high plant density 759.0±12.2 units per m2. That parameter achievement is not possible using traditional way of direct seeding in prepared ground that is common in Kola Peninsula region. Mass of 1 m2 rolled lawn is about 5-7 kg. Rolled lawn cost is sufficiently lower than traditional (turf-grounded) one. Grass seeds were choose as more adaptive for severe conditions and suitable for recultivation tasks: Festuca rubra L. - 44.4%, Bromus inermis Leyss. - 33.4%, Festulolium smaragdinum - 11.1%, Festuca pratensis Huds.- 11.1%. Field experiment was carried out in three variants (1- mineral ground - flat site; 2- mineral ground- slope sites; 3- organogenic ground - flat site in depression in five replicates. Growing in very contaminated ground resulted in 50% rolled lawn surface loss but with biodiversity maintenance. Grass roots proliferated in contaminated ground very slowly. It seems obvious that plant roots choose the best zones of soils to grow, and that they avoided toxic zones. More comprehensive results were received for mineral ground due to better natural washing compared to organogenic ground. In all variants we observed secondary roots formation. Simultaneously with rolled lawn placement litterbag experiment was carried out with original vermiculite as filling. Short term (July- September 2008) alteration of nutritional status and contamination level of vermiculite was controlled and compared with quartz as inert material. Observations will continue during 2009-2011 to follow freezing influence and nutrient loss rate.

  16. Effects of increased soil nitrogen on the dominance of alien annual plants in the Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, M.L.

    2003-01-01

    1. Deserts are one of the least invaded ecosystems by plants, possibly due to naturally low levels of soil nitrogen. Increased levels of soil nitrogen caused by atmospheric nitrogen deposition may increase the dominance of invasive alien plants and decrease the diversity of plant communities in desert regions, as it has in other ecosystems. Deserts should be particularly susceptible to even small increases in soil nitrogen levels because the ratio of increased nitrogen to plant biomass is higher compared with most other ecosystems. 2. The hypothesis that increased soil nitrogen will lead to increased dominance by alien plants and decreased plant species diversity was tested in field experiments using nitrogen additions at three sites in the in the Mojave Desert of western North America. 3. Responses of alien and native annual plants to soil nitrogen additions were measured in terms of density, biomass and species richness. Effects of nitrogen additions were evaluated during 2 years of contrasting rainfall and annual plant productivity. The rate of nitrogen addition was similar to published rates of atmospheric nitrogen deposition in urban areas adjacent to the Mojave Desert (3.2 g N m-2 year-1). The dominant alien species included the grasses Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens and Schismus spp. (S. arabicus and S. barbatus) and the forb Erodium cicutarium. 4. Soil nitrogen addition increased the density and biomass of alien annual plants during both years, but decreased density, biomass and species richness of native species only during the year of highest annual plant productivity. The negative response of natives may have been due to increased competitive stress for soil water and other nutrients caused by the increased productivity of aliens. 5. The effects of nitrogen additions were significant at both ends of a natural nutrient gradient, beneath creosote bush Larrea tridentata canopies and in the interspaces between them, although responses varied among individual

  17. Native Prairie Adaptive Management: a multi region adaptive approach to invasive plant management on Fish and Wildlife Service owned native prairies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gannon, Jill J.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Moore, Clinton T.

    2013-01-01

    Much of the native prairie managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of the northern Great Plains is extensively invaded by the introduced cool-season grasses, smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis). Management to suppress these invasive plants has had poor to inconsistent success. The central challenge to managers is selecting appropriate management actions in the face of biological and environmental uncertainties. In partnership with the FWS, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) developed an adaptive decision support framework to assist managers in selecting management actions under uncertainty and maximizing learning from management outcomes. This joint partnership is known as the Native Prairie Adaptive Management (NPAM) initiative. The NPAM decision framework is built around practical constraints faced by FWS refuge managers and includes identification of the management objective and strategies, analysis of uncertainty and construction of competing decision models, monitoring, and mechanisms for model feedback and decision selection. Nineteen FWS field stations, spanning four states of the PPR, have participated in the initiative. These FWS cooperators share a common management objective, available management strategies, and biological uncertainties. Though the scope is broad, the initiative interfaces with individual land managers who provide site-specific information and receive updated decision guidance that incorporates understanding gained from the collective experience of all cooperators. We describe the technical components of this approach, how the components integrate and inform each other, how data feedback from individual cooperators serves to reduce uncertainty across the whole region, and how a successful adaptive management project is coordinated and maintained on a large scale. During an initial scoping workshop, FWS cooperators developed a consensus management objective

  18. Hydrological behavior of a Vertisol under different soil management systems in a rain-fed olive orchard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cabezas, Jose Manuel; Gómez, Jose Alfonso; Auxiliadora Soriano, María

    2016-04-01

    Soil water availability is a major subject in Mediterranean agricultural systems, mainly due to the limited and highly variable annual rainfall, high evaporative demand, and soil hydrological characteristics. The recent expansion of olive cultivation in the rolling-plains of the Guadalquivir valley, due to the higher profitability of new intensive olive orchards, expanded the presence of olive orchards on Vertisols, soils traditionally used for annual rain-fed crops. These soils have a high content of smectitic clays, which give them a high water storage capacity, and are characterized by vertical and deep shrinkage cracks in the dry season, associated to low soil moisture. Farmers make several tillage passes in these olive groves during the summer, in order to cover the cracks and thus reduce soil water loss by evaporation, which will impact especially in rain-fed in the next olive yield. This tillage practice involves removal of plant residues from the soil surface, as well as burying seeds produced by the plants, so this will remain bared at the beginning of the rainy season, when in the Mediterranean climate is frequent occurrence of high-intensity rainfall, which are ideal conditions for soil loss by water erosion, one of the most serious problems for the sustainability of olive cultivation in Andalusia. Although there are some studies showing that water loss by evaporation from deep horizons of a vertic soil might be elevated (eg. Ritchie and Adams, 1974), the presence of plant residues on the soil surface drastically reduced soil water loss (eg Adams et al., 1969). Thus the aim of this study was to assess of soil moisture dynamics in a rain-fed olive orchard growing on a Vertisol under different soil management practices, in Andalusia (southern Spain). Four different soil management treatments were applied, which combined a cover crop (Bromus rubens L.) or bare soil throughout the year by applying herbicides, with tillage in summer to cover the cracks or non

  19. Caesium-137 soil-to-plant transfer for representative agricultural crops of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants in post-Chernobyl steppe landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paramonova, Tatiana; Komissarova, Olga; Turykin, Leonid; Kuzmenkova, Natalia; Belyaev, Vladimir

    2016-04-01

    The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986 had a large-scale action on more than 2.3 million hectares agricultural lands in Russia. The area of radioactively contaminated chernozems of semi-arid steppe zone with initial levels of Cs-137 185-555 kBq/m2 in Tula region received the name "Plavsky radioactive hotspot". Nowadays, after the first half-life period of Cs-137 arable chernozems of the region are still polluted with 3-6-fold excess above the radioactive safety standard (126-228 kBq/m2). Therefore, qualitative and quantitative characteristics of Cs-137 soil-to-plant transfer are currently a central problem for land use on the territory. The purpose of the present study was revealing the biological features of Cs-137 root uptake from contaminated arable chernozems by different agricultural crops. The components of a grass mixture growing at the central part of Plavsky radioactive hotspot with typical dicotyledonous and monocotyledonous plants - galega (Galega orientalis, Fabaceae family) and bromegrass (Bromus inermis, Gramineae family) respectively - were selected for the investigation, that was conducted during the period of harvesting in 2015. An important point was that the other factors influenced on Cs-137 soil-to-plant transfer - the level of soil pollution, soil properties, climatic conditions, vegetative phase, etc. - were equal. So, biological features of Cs-137 root uptake could be estimated the most credible manner. As a whole, general discrimination of Cs-137 root uptake was clearly shown for both agricultural crops. Whereas Cs-137 activity in rhizosphere 30-cm layer of arable chernozem was 371±74 Bq/kg (140±32 kBq/m2), Cs-137 activities in plant biomass were one-two orders of magnitude less, and transfer factor (TF) values (the ratio of the Cs-137 activities in vegetation and in soil) not exceeded 0.11. At the same time bioavailability of Cs-137 for bromegrass was significantly higher than for galega: TFs in total biomass of the

  20. An In-Situ Root-Imaging System in the Context of Surface Detection of CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Apple, M. E.; Prince, J. B.; Bradley, A. R.; Zhou, X.; Lakkaraju, V. R.; Male, E. J.; Pickles, W.; Thordsen, J. J.; Dobeck, L.; Cunningham, A.; Spangler, L.

    2009-12-01

    Carbon sequestration is a valuable method of spatially confining CO2 belowground. The Zero Emissions Research Technology, (ZERT), site is an experimental facility in a former agricultural field on the Montana State University campus in Bozeman, Montana, where CO2 was experimentally released at a rate of 200kg/day in 2009 into a 100 meter underground injection well running parallel to the ground surface. This injection well, or pipe, has deliberate leaks at intervals, and CO2 travels from these leaks upward to the surface of the ground. The ZERT site is a model system designed with the purpose of testing methods of surface detection of CO2. One important aspect of surface detection is the determination of the effects of CO2 on the above and belowground portions of plants growing above sequestration fields. At ZERT, these plants consist of a pre-existing mixture of herbaceous species present at the agricultural field. Species growing at the ZERT site include several grasses, Dactylis glomerata (Orchard Grass), Poa pratensis (Kentucky Bluegrass), and Bromus japonicus (Japanese Brome); the nitrogen-fixing legumes Medicago sativa, (Alfalfa), and Lotus corniculatus, (Birdsfoot trefoil); and an abundance of Taraxacum officinale, (Dandelion). Although the aboveground parts of the plants at high CO2 are stressed, as indicated by changes in hyperspectral plant signatures, leaf fluorescence and leaf chlorophyll content, we are interested in determining whether the roots are also stressed. To do so, we are combining measurements of soil conductivity and soil moisture with root imaging. We are using an in-situ root-imaging system manufactured by CID, Inc. (Camas, WA), along with image analysis software (Image-J) to analyze morphometric parameters in the images and to determine what effects, if any, the presence of leaking and subsequently upwelling CO2 has on the phenology of root growth, growth and turnover of individual fine and coarse roots, branching patterns, and root

  1. Evapotranspiration and microclimate at a low-level radioactive-waste disposal site in northwestern Illinois

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Healy, R.W.; DeVries, M.P.; Sturrock, Alex M., Jr.

    1989-01-01

    From July 1982 through June 1984, a study was made of the evapotranspiration and microclimate at a low-level radioactive-waste disposal site near Sheffield, Bureau County, Illinois. Vegetation at the site consists of mixed pasture grasses, primarily awnless brome (Bromus inermis) and red clover (Trifoleum pratense). Three methods were used to estimate evapotranspiration: (1) an energy budget with the Bowen ratio, (2) an aerodynamic profile, and (3) a soil-based water budget. For the aerodynamic-profile method, sensible-heat flux was estimated by a profile equation and evapotranspiration was then calculated as the residual in the energy-balance equation. Estimates by the energy-budget and aerodynamic-profile methods were computed from hourly data and then summed by days and months. Yearly estimates (for March through November) by these methods were in close agreement: 648 and 626 millimeters, respectively. Daily estimates reach a maximum of about 6 millimeters. The water-budget method produced only monthly estimates based on weekly or biweekly soil-moisture content measurements. The yearly evapotranspiration estimated by this method (which actually included only the months of April through October) was 655 millimeters. The March-through-November average for the three methods of 657 millimeters was equivalent to 70 percent of total precipitation. Continuous measurements were made of incoming and reflected shortwave radiation, incoming and emitted longwave radiation, net radiation, soil-heat flux, soil temperature, horizontal windspeed, and wet- and dry-bulb air temperature. Windspeed and air temperature were measured at heights of 0.5 and 2.0 meters (and also at 1.0 meter after September 1983). Soilmoisture content of the soil zone was measured with a gamma-attenuation gage. Annual precipitation (938 millimeters) and average temperature (10.8 degrees Celsius) at the Sheffield site were virtually identical to long-term averages from nearby National Weather Service

  2. Evapotranspiration and microclimate at a low-level radioactive-waste disposal site in northwestern Illinois

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Healy, R.W.; DeVries, M.P.; Sturrock, A.M.

    1987-01-01

    From July 1982 through June 1984, a study was made of the microclimate and evapotranspiration at a low-level radioactive-waste disposal site near Sheffield, Bureau County, Illinois. Vegetation at the site consists of mixed pasture grasses, primarily brome (Bromus inermis) and red clover (Trifoleum pratense). Three methods were used to estimate evapotranspiration: (1) an energy-budget with the Bowen ratio, (2) an aerodynamic-profile, and (3) a soil-based water-budget. For the aerodynamic-profile method, sensible-heat flux was estimated by a profile equation and evapotranspiration was then calculated as the residual in the energy-balance equation. Estimates by the energy-budget and aerodynamic-profile methods were computed from hourly data, then summed by days and months. Yearly estimates for March through November, by these methods, were quite close--648 and 626 millimeters, respectively. Daily estimates range up to a maximum of about 6 millimeters. The water-budget method produced only monthly estimates based on weekly or biweekly soil-moisture content measurements. The yearly evapotranspiration estimated by this method (which actually included only the months of April through October) was 655 millimeters. The March-through-November average for the three methods of 657 millimeters was equivalent to 70 percent of precipitation. Continuous measurements were made of incoming and reflected shortwave radiation, incoming and emitted longwave radiation, net radiation, soil-heat flux, soil temperature, horizontal windspeed, and wet- and dry-bulb air temperature. Windspeed and air temperature were measured at heights of 0.5 and 2.0 meters (and also at 1.0 meter after September 1983). Soil-moisture content of the soil zone was measured with a gamma-attenuation gage. Annual precipitation (938 millimeters) and average temperature (10.8 degrees Celsius) were virtually identical to long-term averages from nearby National Weather Service stations. Solar radiation averaged 65

  3. Fire rehabilitation effectiveness: a chronosequence approach for the Great Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pyke, David A.; Pilliod, David S.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Grace, James

    2009-01-01

    was positively related to plot- and landscape-level dwarf sagebrush (Artemisia arbuscula, A. nova, A. tripartita) and big sagebrush steppe, and negatively associated with non-native grass and human development. The predicted probability of sage-grouse occupancy at treated plots was low on average (0.07–0.09) and was not significantly different from burned areas that had not been treated. Restoration was more often successful at higher elevation sites with low annual temperatures, high spring precipitation, and high plant diversity. No plots seeded after fire (n=313) met all overstory guidelines for breeding habitats, but approximately 50% met understory guidelines, particularly for perennial grasses. This trend was similar for summer habitat. Ninety-eight percent of treated plots did not meet winter habitat guidelines. Restoration actions in burned areas did not increase the probability of meeting most guideline criteria. The probability of meeting guidelines was influenced by a latitudinal gradient, local climate, and topography. Post-fire seeding treatments in Great Basin sagebrush shrublands generally have not created high quality habitat for sage-grouse. Understory conditions are more likely to be adequate than those of overstory, but in unfavorable climates, establishing forbs and reducing cheatgrass dominance is unlikely. Reestablishing sagebrush cover will require more than 20 years using the restoration methods of the past two decades. Given current fire frequencies and restoration capabilities, protection of landscapes containing a mix of dwarf sagebrush and big sagebrush steppe, minimal human development, and low non-native plant cover may provide the best opportunity for conservation of sage-grouse habitats. Our database of ES&R locations has used the Land Treatment Digital Library to archive data and location information regarding our study (see Pilliod and Welty 2013). This has contributed to two additional studies. One examined the potential spread of