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Sample records for cheatgrass bromus tectorum

  1. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) biocontrol using indigenous fungal pathogens

    Treesearch

    Susan E. Meyer; David L. Nelson; Suzette Clement; Julie Beckstead

    2008-01-01

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is an exotic winter annual grass weed that has invaded millions of hectares in the Intermountain West. Restoration of cheatgrass-invaded wildlands is generally impractical without some form of cheatgrass control. We are investigating the possibility of manipulating indigenous fungal pathogens that already occur on...

  2. Microsatellite markers and polymorphism in cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.)

    Treesearch

    Alisa P. Ramakrishnan; Craig E. Coleman; Susan E. Meyer; Daniel J. Fairbanks

    2001-01-01

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) individuals were genetically characterized using polymorphic microsatellite markers. Through analysis of alleles of five polymorphic loci, genotypes were constructed of individuals from four populations in Utah and Nevada. There were 15 different genotypes: Whiterocks, UT, had nine genotypes, Hobble Creek, UT, had seven genotypes,...

  3. 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.

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

    Treesearch

    Brittany G. Johnson; Dale W. Johnson; Jeanne C. Chambers; Robert R. Blank

    2011-01-01

    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 same soil type but different fire histories: 1) an area that burned in...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    Treesearch

    Elizabeth A. Leger; Erin K. Espeland; Keith R. Merrill; Susan E. Meyer

    2009-01-01

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is an invasive weed in western North America found primarily growing at elevations less than 2200 m. We asked whether cheatgrass is capable of becoming adapted to a marginal habitat, by investigating a population at a high elevation invasion edge. We used a combination of methods, including reciprocal field transplants, controlled...

  7. Competition effects from cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) differs among perennial grasses of the Great Basin

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Competition from the exotic annual grass, cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), threatens millions of hectares of native plant communities throughout the Great Basin. The Nature Conservancy has identified the Great Basin as the third most endangered ecosystem in the United States. Not only has increased fue...

  8. The effect of herbaceous species removal, fire and cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) on soil water availability in sagebrush steppe

    Treesearch

    Alison Whittaker; Bruce Roundy; Jeanne Chambers; Susan Meyer; Robert Blank; Stanley Kitchen; John Korfmacher

    2008-01-01

    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 available water for cheatgrass invasion, as well as...

  9. Soil water exploitation after fire: competition between Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) and two native species.

    PubMed

    Melgoza, Graciela; Nowak, Robert S; Tausch, Robin J

    1990-05-01

    Causes for the widespread abundance of the alien grass Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) after fire in semiarid areas of western North America may include: (1) utilization of resources freed by the removal of fireintolerant plants; and (2) successful competition between B. tectorum and individual plants that survive fire. On a site in northwestern Nevada (USA), measurements of soil water content, plant water potential, aboveground biomass production, water use efficiency, and B. tectorum tiller density were used to determine if B. tectorum competes with either of two native species (Stipa comata and Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus) or simply uses unclaimed resources. Soil water content around native species occurring with B. tectorum was significantly lower (P<0.05) than around individuals without B. tectorum nearby. Native species had significantly more negative plant water potential when they occurred with B. tectorum. Aboveground biomass was significantly higher for native species without B. tectorum. However, the carbon isotope ratio of leaves for native species with B. tectorum was not significantly different from individuals without B. tectorum. Thus, B. tectorum competes with native species for soil water and negatively affects their wate status and productivity, but the competition for water does not affect water use efficiency of the native species. These adverse effects of B. tectorum competition on the productivity and water status of native species are also evident at 12 years after a fire. This competitive ability of B. tectorum greatly enhances its capability to exploit soil resources after fire and to enhance its status in the community.

  10. Components of spatial and temporal soil variation at Canyonlands National Park: Implications for P dynamics and cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) performance

    Treesearch

    Mark Miller; Jayne Belnap; Susan Beatty; Bruce Webb

    2001-01-01

    From January 1997 through October 1998, research was conducted at Canyonlands National Park to investigate soil traits responsible for distinct spatial patterns of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) occurrence. Field experiments were conducted at sites representing a broad range of soil conditions and cheatgrass abundances. Standard physicochemical soil measures in...

  11. Remote sensing-based time-series analysis of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) phenology.

    PubMed

    Clinton, Nicholas E; Potter, Christopher; Crabtree, Bob; Genovese, Vanessa; Gross, Peggy; Gong, Peng

    2010-01-01

    The western United States is under invasion from cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.), an annual grass that alters the pattern of phenology in the ecosystems it infests. This study was conducted to investigate methods for monitoring this invasion. As a result of its annual phenology, cheatgrass is not only an extremely competitive invader, it is also detectible from time series of remotely sensed data. Using the MODerate resolution imaging spectro-radiometer (MODIS) normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and spatially interpolated precipitation data, we fit splines to monthly observations to generate time series of NDVI and precipitation from 2001 to 2005 in the state of Utah. We generated a variety of existing metrics of phenology and developed several metrics to describe the relationship between the NDVI and the precipitation time series. These metrics not only describe the pattern of response to precipitation in ecosystems of various infestation levels, but they are predictive of cheatgrass infestation. We tested several popular data mining algorithms to investigate the predictive ability of the time series-based metrics. Our results show that presence-absence can be predicted with 90% accuracy, and four categorical levels of infestation can be predicted with 71% accuracy. The results show that time series-based metrics are effective in prediction of cheatgrass abundance levels, are more effective than metrics based only on NDVI, and provide more information that existing approaches to cheatgrass mapping using phenology. These results are important for designing strategies to monitor ecosystem health over long periods of time at a landscape scale.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Spirostaphylotrichin W, a spirocyclic γ-lactam isolated from liquid culture of Pyrenophora semeniperda, a potential mycoherbicide for cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) biocontrol

    Treesearch

    Marco Masia; Susan Meyer; Suzette Clement; Anna Andolfi; Alessio Cimmino; Antonio. Evidente

    2014-01-01

    A novel spirocyclic γ-lactam, named spirostaphylotrichin W (1), was isolated together with the well known and closely related spirostaphylotrichins A, C, D, R and V, as well as triticone E, from the liquid cultures of Pyrenophora semeniperda (anamorph: Drechslera), a seed pathogen proposed for cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) biocontrol. Spirostaphylotrichin W was...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  17. Bromus tectorum: Variation in Seed Dormancy Among Populations

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  18. Factors affecting Bromus tectorum seed bank carryover in western Utah

    Treesearch

    Duane C. Smith; Susan E. Meyer; V. J. Anderson

    2008-01-01

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) is a winter annual weed that presents a serious obstacle to rangeland restoration in the Intermountain West. The objective of this study was to evaluate factors regulating the size and persistence of cheatgrass carryover seed banks on semiarid sites in western Utah. We prevented current-year seed production in each of...

  19. Community ecology of fungal pathogens on Bromus tectorum [Chapter 7

    Treesearch

    Susan E. Meyer; Julie Beckstead; JanaLynn Pearce

    2016-01-01

    Bromus tectorum L. (cheatgrass or downy brome) presents a rich resource for soil microorganisms because of its abundant production of biomass, seeds, and surface litter. Many of these organisms are opportunistic saprophytes, but several fungal species regularly found in B. tectorum stands function as facultative or obligate pathogens. These organisms interact...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  1. Effect of fire on a seed bank pathogen and on seeds of its host Bromus tectorum

    Treesearch

    J. Beckstead; S.E. Meyer; L.E. Street; P.S. Allen

    2010-01-01

    The generalist pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda (Brittlebank and Adam) Shoemaker occurs primarily in cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) seed banks, where it causes high seed mortality (Beckstead et al. 2007; Meyer et al. 2007). How does fire impact survival of a fungal seed pathogen, P. semeniperda, versus survival of the seeds of its cheatgrass host, the invasive Bromus...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  3. Ecological genetics of floret mass variation in Bromus tectorum (Poaceae)

    Treesearch

    Susan E. Meyer

    2010-01-01

    Bromus tectorum L. (cheatgrass, downy brome) is a highly invasive inbreeding annual grass that dominates millions of hectares of former shrubland in interior western North America. Factors contributing to its success include strong genetic regulation of key adaptive traits coupled with high phenotypic plasticity in response to resource availability (Meyer and Allen...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  5. Evidence for resistance polymorphism in the Bromus tectorum/Ustilago bullata pathosystem: implications for biocontrol

    Treesearch

    S. E. Meyer; D. L. Nelson; S. Clement

    2001-01-01

    Bromus tectorum L. (cheatgrass or downy brome) is an important exotic weed in natural ecosystems as well as in winter cereal cropland in semiarid western North America. The systemic, seedling-infecting head smut pathogen Ustilago bullata Berk. commonly infects cheatgrass stands, often at epidemic levels. We examined factors...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  7. Fire, native species, and soil resource interactions influence the spatio-temporal invasion pattern of Bromus tectorum

    Treesearch

    Michael J. Gundale; Steve Sutherland; Thomas H. DeLuca; others

    2008-01-01

    Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) is an invasive annual that occupies perennial grass and shrub communities throughout the western United States. Bromus tectorum exhibits an intriguing spatio-temporal pattern of invasion in low elevation ponderosa pine Pinus ponderosa/bunchgrass communities in western Montana where it...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  10. Does Fusarium-caused seed mortality contribute to Bromus tectorum stand failure in the Great Basin?

    Treesearch

    S. E. Meyer; J.-L. Franke; O. W. Baughman; J. Beckstead; B. Geary

    2014-01-01

    Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass, downy brome) is an important invader in western North America, dominating millions of hectares of former semi-arid shrubland. Stand failure or 'die-off' is relatively common in monocultures of this annual grass. The study reported here investigated whether soil-borne pathogens could be causal agents in die-offs. Soils from two die...

  11. Endophytic fungal communities of Bromus tectorum: Mutualisms, community assemblages and implications for invasion

    Treesearch

    Melissa A. Baynes

    2011-01-01

    Exotic plant invasions are of serious economic, social and ecological concern worldwide. Although many promising hypotheses have been posited in attempt to explain the mechanism(s) by which plant invaders are successful, there is no single explanation for all invasions and often no single explanation for the success of an individual species. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum...

  12. Ecological significance of microsatellite variation in western North American populations of Bromus tectorum

    Treesearch

    Alisa P. Ramakrishnan; Susan Meyer; Daniel J. Fairbanks; Craig E. Coleman

    2006-01-01

    Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass or downy brome) is an exotic annual weed that is abundant in western USA. We examined variation in six microsatellite loci for 17 populations representing a range of habitats in Utah, Idaho, Nevada and Colorado (USA) and then intensively sampled four representative populations, for a total sample size of approximately 1000 individuals. All...

  13. Inbreeding, Genetic Variation, and Invasiveness: The Strange Case of Bromus tectorum

    Treesearch

    Susan E. Meyer; Elizabeth A. Leger

    2010-01-01

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum, downy brome) is arguably the most common plant in the western United States, dominating literally millions of acres of degraded rangeland; yet it is a relative newcomer, having arrived on the scene only a little over a century ago. It first entered the West as an unknown but probably small number of seeds in contaminated grain or packing...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Phytotoxic activity against Bromus tectorum for secondary metabolites of a seed-pathogenic Fusarium strain belonging to the F. tricinctum species complex

    Treesearch

    Marco Masi; Susan Meyer; Gennaro Pescitelli; Alessio Cimmino; Suzette Clement; Beth Peacock; Antonio Evidente

    2017-01-01

    The winter annual grass Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) has become highly invasive in semiarid ecosystems of western North America. In these areas, a natural phenomenon, complete cheatgrass stand failure (‘die-off’), is apparently caused by a complex interaction among soilborne fungal pathogens. Several Fusarium strains belonging to the Fusarium tricinctum species complex...

  17. Development of remote sensing indicators for mapping episodic die-off of an invasive annual grass (Bromus tectorum) from the Landsat archive

    Treesearch

    Peter J. Weisberg; Thomas E. Dilts; Owen W. Baughman; Susan E. Meyer; Elizabeth A. Leger; K. Jane Van Gunst; Lauren Cleeves

    2017-01-01

    The exotic annual grass Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) dominates vast acreages of rangeland in the western USA, leading to increased fire frequency and ecosystem degradation that is often irreversible. Episodic regeneration failure (“die-off”) has been observed in cheatgrass monocultures and can have negative ecosystem consequences, but can also provide an opportunity...

  18. Rehabilitation of cheatgrass infested rangelands

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  19. Cheatgrass invasion and wildlife habitat

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    Treesearch

    Melissa A. Baynes; Danelle M. Russell; George Newcombe; Lynn K. Carta; Amy Y. Rossman; Adnan. Ismaiel

    2012-01-01

    In its invaded range in western North America, Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) can host more than 100 sequence-based, operational taxonomic units of endophytic fungi, of which an individual plant hosts a subset. Research suggests that the specific subset is determined by plant genotype, environment, dispersal of locally available endophytes, and mycorrhizal associates....

  2. Rehabilitation of cheatgrass-infested rangelands

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  3. Rehabilitation of cheatgrass infested rangelands: an integrated approach

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  7. Introduction history and population genetics of the invasive grass Bromus tectorum (Poaceae) in Canada.

    PubMed

    Valliant, Morgan T; Mack, Richard N; Novak, Stephen J

    2007-07-01

    The invasive annual Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) is distributed in Canada primarily south of 52° N latitude in two diffuse ranges separated by the extensive coniferous forest in western Ontario. The grass was likely introduced independently to eastern and western Canada post-1880. We detected regional variation in the grass's genetic diversity using starch gel electrophoresis to analyze genetic diversity at 25 allozyme loci in 60 populations collected across Canada. The Pgm-1a & Pgm-2a multilocus genotype, which occurs in the grass's native range in Eastern Europe, is prevalent in eastern Canada but occurs at low frequency in western Canada. In contrast, the Got-4c multilocus genotype, found in the native range in Central Europe, is widespread in populations from western Canada. Overall genetic diversity of B. tectorum is much higher in eastern Canada than in the eastern U.S., while the genetic diversity in populations in western North America is similar between Canada and the U.S. The distribution of genetic diversity across Canada strongly suggests multiple introduction events. Heterozygous individuals, which are exceedingly rare in B. tectorum, were detected in three Canadian populations. Formation of novel genotypes through occasional outcrossing events could spark adaptive evolution and further range expansion across Canada of this exceedingly damaging grass.

  8. Cheatgrass

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  9. Cheatgrass Response to Simulated Grazing

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Perennial grass establishment following cheatgrass control using herbicides

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  14. Development of single-nucleotide polymorphism markers for Bromus tectorum (Poaceae) from a partially sequenced transcriptome

    Treesearch

    Keith R. Merrill; Craig E. Coleman; Susan E. Meyer; Elizabeth A. Leger; Katherine A. Collins

    2016-01-01

    Premise of the study: Bromus tectorum (Poaceae) is an annual grass species that is invasive in many areas of the world but most especially in the U.S. Intermountain West. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers were developed for use in investigating the geospatial and ecological diversity of B. tectorum in the Intermountain West to better understand the...

  15. Influence of Bromus tectorum invasion on soil properties in northern Nevada

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    In the last 50 years, the exotic annual grass, Bromus tectorum, has come to dominate rangelands over northern Nevada. Long-term occupation of soil by B. tectorum has the potential to alter soil processes particularly carbon and nitrogen cycles. Using a paired design, we compared surface soil propert...

  16. Induction and release of secondary dormancy under field conditions in Bromus tectorum

    Treesearch

    Phil S. Allen; S. E. Meyer; K. Foote

    2010-01-01

    Bromus tectorum L. is a facultative winter annual grass originally from Eurasia. During the past century, this species has become highly invasive in the western United States, where it has displaced millions of hectares of native vegetation. Seeds of B. tectorum lose primary dormancy through dry after-ripening, and nearly all seeds are capable of germinating in...

  17. Impact of the pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda on Bromus tectorum seedbank dynamics in North American cold deserts

    Treesearch

    S. E. Meyer; D. Quinney; D. L. Nelson; J. Weaver

    2007-01-01

    Bromus tectorum is a dominant winter annual weed in cold deserts of western North America. We followed patterns of seed carry-over and abundance of the pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda over 5 years at B. tectorum-dominated shadscale (Atriplex confertifolia) and sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) sites in southern Idaho. We hypothesised that more seeds could potentially...

  18. Phenology of cheatgrass and associated exotic weeds

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  19. 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

  20. Competitive effects of bluebunch wheatgrass, crested wheatgrass, and cheatgrass on antelope bitterbrush seedling emergence and survival

    Treesearch

    Derek B. Hall; Val Jo Anderson; Stephen B. Monsen

    1999-01-01

    The competitive environment into which plant seedlings emerge often determines the survival and performance of these individuals. This study was designed to determine the effects of bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata), crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum), and cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) on soil...

  1. Integrated approach to cheatgrass suppression on great basin rangelands

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  3. Factors mediating cheatgrass invasion of intact salt desert shrubland

    Treesearch

    Susan E. Meyer; Susan C. Garvin; Julie Beckstead

    2001-01-01

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) has recently displaced salt desert shrubland in many areas of the Great Basin. We studied the dynamics of cheatgrass invasion into an intact shadscale-gray molly community in Dugway Valley, Utah, by adding seeds and manipulating disturbance regime and resource availability. Shrub clipping or cryptobiotic crust trampling on large plots...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  5. Cheatgrass - native plant community interactions in an invaded southwestern forest

    Treesearch

    Christopher M. McGlone

    2010-01-01

    Invasions by nonnative plant species such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) are a major concern in many ecosystems worldwide. When invasive nonnative species dominate a new ecosystem, they can alter biodiversity, species composition, nutrient cycles, disturbance regimes, and other ecosystem functions and processes. In 2003, cheatgrass rapidly spread through the Mt....

  6. Fire effects on the cheatgrass seed bank pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda

    Treesearch

    Julie Beckstead; Laura E. Street; Susan E. Meyer; Phil S. Allen

    2011-01-01

    The generalist fungal pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda occurs primarily in cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) seed banks, where it causes high mortality. We investigated the relationship between this pathogen and its cheatgrass host in the context of fire, asking whether burning would facilitate host escape from the pathogen or increase host vulnerability. We used a series...

  7. Seedling success from germination to the first summer mortality event: cheatgrass versus three perennial restoration grass species

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Revegetation of Great Basin arid rangelands is an expensive yet largely unsuccessful process. Establishment predominantly falls below requirements for cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) suppression (~10 plants/m2). Recent seedling demographic research suggests that seedling mortality from drought and la...

  8. 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.

  9. Population genetic structure of the seed pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda on Bromus tectorum in western North America

    Treesearch

    David Boose; Steven Harrison; Suzette Clement; Susan E. Meyer

    2011-01-01

    We examined genetic variation in the ascomycete pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda cultured from seeds of the invasive grass Bromus tectorum in the Intermountain West of North America. We sequenced the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the nuclear ribosomal RNA genome in 417 monoconidial cultures collected from 20 sites in Washington, Idaho, Utah and Colorado,...

  10. Combustion properties of Bromus tectorum L.: influence of ecotype and growth under four CO2 concentrations

    Treesearch

    Robert R. Blank; Robert H. White; Lewis H. Ziska

    2006-01-01

    We grew from seed the exotic invasive annual grass Bromus tectorum L., collected from three elevation ecotypes in northern Nevada, USA. Plants were exposed to four CO2 atmosphere concentrations: 270, 320, 370, and 420 [mu]mol mol−1. After harvest on day 87, above-ground tissue was milled, conditioned to 30% relative humidity, and combustion properties were...

  11. A hydrothermal after-ripening time model for seed dormancy loss in Bromus tectorum L.

    Treesearch

    Necia B. Bair; Susan E. Meyer; Phil S. Allen

    2006-01-01

    After-ripening, the loss of dormancy under dry conditions, is associated with a decrease in mean base water potential for germination of Bromus tectorum L. seeds. After-ripening rate is a linear function of temperature above a base temperature, so that dormancy loss can be quantified using a thermal after-ripening time (TAR) model. To incorporate storage water...

  12. Environmental factors influencing Pyrenophora semeniperda-caused seed mortality in Bromus tectorum

    Treesearch

    Heather Finch; Phil S. Allen; Susan E. Meyer

    2013-01-01

    Temperature and water potential strongly influence seed dormancy status and germination of Bromus tectorum. As seeds of this plant can be killed by the ascomycete fungus Pyrenophora semeniperda, this study was conducted to learn how water potential and temperature influence mortality levels in this pathosystem. Separate experiments were conducted to determine: (1) if P...

  13. Ecological genetics of the Bromus tectorum (Poaceae) - Ustilago Bullata (Ustilaginaceae): A role for frequency dependent selection?

    Treesearch

    Susan E. Meyer; David L. Nelson; Suzette Clement; Alisa Ramakrishnan

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary processes that maintain genetic diversity in plants are likely to include selection imposed by pathogens. Negative frequency-dependent selection is a mechanism for maintenance of resistance polymorphism in plant - pathogen interactions. We explored whether such selection operates in the Bromus tectorum - Ustilago bullata pathosystem. Gene-for-gene...

  14. 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.

  15. Importance of soil and plant community disturbance for establishment of Bromus tectorum in the Intermountain West, U.S.

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The grass Bromus tectorum has invaded millions of hectares in western North America and has transformed former perennial grass and shrub-dominated communities into annual grasslands. Fire plays a key role in the maintenance of B. tectorum on the landscape but the type of disturbance responsible for...

  16. Strong genetic differentiation in the invasive annual grass Bromus tectorum across the Mojave-Great Basin ecological transition zone

    Treesearch

    Susan E. Meyer; Elizabeth A. Leger; Desiree R. Eldon; Craig E. Coleman

    2016-01-01

    Bromus tectorum, an inbreeding annual grass, is a dominant invader in sagebrush steppe habitat in North America. It is also common in warm and salt deserts, displaying a larger environmental tolerance than most native species. We tested the hypothesis that a suite of habitat-specific B. tectorum lineages dominates warm desert habitats. We sampled 30 B....

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  19. Rehabilitation of cheatgrass-infested rangelands: concepts

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  20. Managing cheatgrass in rangeland restoration efforts

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The accidental introduction and subsequent invasion of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) onto millions of acres of Intermountain west rangelands has significantly affected the ability of resource managers and land owners to effectively restore or rehabilitate disturbed rangelands. The Nevada Section-Soci...

  1. Development of single-nucleotide polymorphism markers for Bromus tectorum (Poaceae) from a partially sequenced transcriptome1

    PubMed Central

    Merrill, Keith R.; Coleman, Craig E.; Meyer, Susan E.; Leger, Elizabeth A.; Collins, Katherine A.

    2016-01-01

    Premise of the study: Bromus tectorum (Poaceae) is an annual grass species that is invasive in many areas of the world but most especially in the U.S. Intermountain West. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers were developed for use in investigating the geospatial and ecological diversity of B. tectorum in the Intermountain West to better understand the mechanisms behind its successful invasion. Methods and Results: Normalized cDNA libraries from six diverse B. tectorum individuals were pooled and sequenced using 454 sequencing. Ninety-five SNP assays were developed for use on 96.96 arrays with the Fluidigm EP1 genotyping platform. Verification of the 95 SNPs by genotyping 251 individuals from 12 populations is reported, along with amplification data from four related Bromus species. Conclusions: These SNP markers are polymorphic across populations of B. tectorum, are optimized for high-throughput applications, and may be applicable to other, related Bromus species. PMID:27843723

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  4. Cheatgrass and red brome; the history and biology of two invaders

    Treesearch

    Chad R. Reid; Sherel Goodrich; James E. Bowns

    2008-01-01

    In recent history, there has not been a more ecologically important event than the introduction of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and red brome (Bromus rubens) into the Intermountain West. These grasses are very similar in ecology and history and are separated mostly by function of elevation. Both species are from the Mediterranean...

  5. What makes Great Basin sagebrush ecosystems invasible by Bromus tectorum?

    Treesearch

    Jeanne C. Chambers; Bruce A. Roundy; Robert R. Blank; Susan E. Meyer; A. Whittaker

    2007-01-01

    Ecosystem susceptibility to invasion by nonnative species is poorly understood, but evidence is increasing that spatial and temporal variability in resources has large-scale effects. We conducted a study in Artemisia tridentata ecosystems at two Great Basin locations examining differences in resource availability and invasibility of Bromus...

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

    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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Abiotic and biotic influences on Bromus tectoreum invasion and Artemisia tridentata recovery after fire

    Treesearch

    Lea Condon; Peter J. Weisberg; Jeanne C. Chambers

    2011-01-01

    Native sagebrush ecosystems in the Great Basin (western USA) are often invaded following fire by exotic Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass), a highly flammable annual grass. Once B. tectorum is established, higher fire frequencies can lead to local extirpation of Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana (mountain big sagebrush) and have cascading effects on sagebrush ecosystems and...

  10. Effects of climate and snow depth on Bromus tectorum population dynamics at high elevation

    PubMed Central

    Loik, Michael E.

    2010-01-01

    Invasive plants are thought to be especially capable of range shifts or expansion in response to climate change due to high dispersal and colonization abilities. Although highly invasive throughout the Intermountain West, the presence and impact of the grass Bromus tectorum has been limited at higher elevations in the eastern Sierra Nevada, potentially due to extreme wintertime conditions. However, climate models project an upward elevational shift of climate regimes in the Sierra Nevada that could favor B. tectorum expansion. This research specifically examined the effects of experimental snow depth manipulations and interannual climate variability over 5 years on B. tectorum populations at high elevation (2,175 m). Experimentally-increased snow depth had an effect on phenology and biomass, but no effect on individual fecundity. Instead an experimentally-increased snowpack inhibited population growth in 1 year by reducing seedling emergence and early survival. A similar negative effect of increased snow was observed 2 years later. However, a strong negative effect on B. tectorum was also associated with a naturally low-snow winter, when seedling emergence was reduced by 86%. Across 5 years, winters with greater snow cover and a slower accumulation of degree-days coincided with higher B. tectorum seedling density and population growth. Thus, we observed negative effects associated with both experimentally-increased and naturally-decreased snowpacks. It is likely that the effect of snow at high elevation is nonlinear and differs from lower elevations where wintertime germination can be favorable. Additionally, we observed a doubling of population size in 1 year, which is alarming at this elevation. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00442-010-1749-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:20740291

  11. Respiratory and physiological characteristics in subpopulations of Great Basin cheatgrass

    Treesearch

    V. Wallace McCarlie; Lee D. Hansen; Bruce N. Smith

    2001-01-01

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) is a dominant weed that has increased the frequency of wildfire in the Great Basin since its introduction approximately 106 years ago. Characteristics of respiratory metabolism were examined in eleven subpopulations from different habitats. Seeds from each subpopulation were germinated (4mm radicle) and metabolic heat rates (q) and...

  12. Rehabilitation of cheatgrass-infested rangelands: applications and practices

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The challenges that land owners and resource managers face when trying to attempt applications and practices when attempting to rehabilitate rangelands infested with cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) are over-whelming. Simply purchasing seed and spreading it throughout the rangelands is doomed for failu...

  13. Effects of maternal environment on cheatgrass seed dormancy

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    Treesearch

    Bruce A. Roundy; Stuart P. Hardegree; Jeane C. Chambers; Alison Whittaker

    2007-01-01

    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.) germination in big sagebrush (Artemisia...

  15. Rehabilitation and Cheatgrass Suppression Following Great Basin Wildfires

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  16. Secondary dormancy induction and release in Bromus tectorum seeds: The role of temperature, water potential and hydrothermal time

    Treesearch

    K. K. Hawkins; P. S. Allen; Susan Meyer

    2017-01-01

    Seeds of the winter annual Bromus tectorum lose primary dormancy in summer and are poised to germinate rapidly in the autumn. If rainfall is inadequate, seeds remain ungerminated and may enter secondary dormancy under winter conditions. We quantified conditions under which seeds enter secondary dormancy in the laboratory and field and also examined whether contrasting...

  17. A race for survival: Can Bromus tectorum seeds escape Pyrenophora semeniperda-caused mortality by germinating quickly?

    Treesearch

    Julie Beckstead; Susan E. Meyer; Cherrilyn J. Molder; Caitlyn Smith

    2007-01-01

    Pathogen-seed interactions may involve a race for seed resources, so that seeds that germinate more quickly, mobilizing reserves, will be more likely to escape seed death than slow-germinating seeds. This race-for-survival hypothesis was tested for the North American seed pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda on seeds of the annual grass Bromus tectorum, an invasive plant...

  18. Population genetic analysis of Bromus tectorum (Poaceae) indicates recent range expansion may be facilitated by specialist genotypes

    Treesearch

    Keith R. Merrill; Susan E. Meyer; Craig E. Coleman

    2012-01-01

    The mechanisms for range expansion in invasive species depend on how genetic variation is structured in the introduced range. This study examined neutral genetic variation in the invasive annual grass Bromus tectorum in the Intermountain Western United States. Patterns of microsatellite (SSR) genotype distribution in this highly inbreeding species were used to make...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Soils conditioned by native vegetation and by the exotic invasive annual grass Bromus tectorum: do a native perennial and two exotic grasses sense the substrates similarly

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Invasion by the exotic annual grass Bromus tectorum often increases soil nutrient availability. It is unclear, however, if other grasses benefit from this higher nutrient status. Soil from three sites in the northern Great Basin U.S.A. conditioned by B. tectoruminvasion (BTCS=B. tectorum conditioned...

  3. Population genetic structure of the seed pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda on Bromus tectorum in western North America.

    PubMed

    Boose, David; Harrison, Steven; Clement, Suzette; Meyer, Susan

    2011-01-01

    We examined genetic variation in the ascomycete pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda cultured from seeds of the invasive grass Bromus tectorum in the Intermountain West of North America. We sequenced the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the nuclear ribosomal RNA genome in 417 monoconidial cultures collected from 20 sites in Washington, Idaho, Utah and Colorado, USA. ITS sequence diversity was surprisingly high; 12 unique haplotypes were identified, averaging 1.3% pairwise sequence divergence. All sites had at least two haplotypes present, and three sites had seven or more. One haplotype composed 60% of the isolates and occurred at all 20 locations; the remaining haplotypes generally occurred at low frequencies within sites but at multiple sites throughout the region. Sites in Washington and Idaho were more diverse than those in Utah and Colorado, averaging two more haplotypes and 67% more pairwise differences among haplotypes at a site. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) indicated that more than 80% of the genetic variation was found within sampling locations, while 7-11% of the variation can be attributed to differences between northern (Washington and Idaho) and southern (Utah and Colorado) populations. The wide distribution of even uncommon haplotypes among sampling sites and weak correlations between genetic and geographic distances among populations (< 0.2) suggested that these populations recently were established from a common source. We hypothesize that the strains of P. semeniperda infecting B. tectorum in western North America probably arrived with the invasive grass from its native Eurasian range.

  4. Exotic cheatgrass and loss of soil biota decrease the performance of a native grass

    Treesearch

    Suzanne M. Owen; Carolyn Hull Sieg; Nancy Collins Johnson; Catherine A. Gehring

    2013-01-01

    Soil disturbances can alter microbial communities including arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, which may in turn, affect plant community structure and the abundance of exotic species. We hypothesized that altered soil microbial populations owing to disturbance would contribute to invasion by cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), an exotic annual grass, at the expense of the...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  8. Learning to live with cheatgrass: Giving up or a necessary paradigm shift?

    Treesearch

    Stanley G. Kitchen

    2014-01-01

    Natural ecosystems in the semiarid West face many stressors. Among the most challenging are those associated with invasive plant species. One invader that has had great impact over the last 100 years is the annual grass known as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum). A few years ago, I made two observations that both confirmed and broadened my perception of this plant. In the...

  9. Impacts of native grasses and cheatgrass on Great Basin forb development

    Treesearch

    Hillary Ann Parkinson

    2008-01-01

    Land managers need more information on native forb growth and interactions between forbs and grasses to improve degraded sagebrush steppe habitats in the Great Basin, and to increase the diversity of revegetation seed mixes. This is especially important in areas infested with Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass), an annual grass present in more than 100...

  10. Shrub establishment in the presence of cheatgrass: The effect of soil microorganisms

    Treesearch

    Rosemary L. Pendleton; Burton K. Pendleton; Steven D. Warren; Jeffrey R. Johansen; Larry L. St. Clair

    2007-01-01

    Invasive annual grasses, such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), create changes in soil microorganism communities and severely limit shrub establishment, a situation that is of considerable inportance to land managers. We examined the effects of biological crustforming algae and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on growth and survival of Ephedra...

  11. Effects of nitrogen availability and cheatgrass competition on the establishment of Vavilov Siberian wheatgrass

    Treesearch

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

    2008-01-01

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) is the most widespread invasive weed in sagebrush ecosystems of North America. Restoration of perennial vegetation is difficult and land managers have often used introduced bunchgrasses to restore degraded sagebrush communities. Our objective was to evaluate the potential of 'Vavilov' Siberian wheatgrass (Agropyron fragile [...

  12. Identification of the Infection Route of a Fusarium Seed Pathogen into Nondormant Bromus tectorum Seeds.

    PubMed

    Franke, JanaLynn; Geary, Brad; Meyer, Susan E

    2014-12-01

    The genus Fusarium has a wide host range and causes many different forms of plant disease. These include seed rot and seedling blight diseases of cultivated plants. The diseases caused by Fusarium on wild plants are less well-known. In this study, we examined disease development caused by Fusarium sp. n on nondormant seeds of the important rangeland weed Bromus tectorum as part of broader studies of the phenomenon of stand failure or "die-off" in this annual grass. We previously isolated an undescribed species in the F. tricinctum species complex from die-off soils and showed that it is pathogenic on seeds. It can cause high mortality of nondormant B. tectorum seeds, especially under conditions of water stress, but rarely attacks dormant seeds. In this study, we used scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to investigate the mode of attack used by this pathogen. Nondormant B. tectorum seeds (i.e., florets containing caryopses) were inoculated with isolate Skull C1 macroconidia. Seeds were then exposed to water stress conditions (-1.5 MPa) for 7 days and then transferred to free water. Time lapse SEM photographs of healthy versus infected seeds revealed that hyphae under water stress conditions grew toward and culminated their attack at the abscission layer of the floret attachment scar. A prominent infection cushion, apparent macroscopically as a white tuft of mycelium at the radicle end of the seed, developed within 48 h after inoculation. Seeds that lacked an infection cushion completed germination upon transfer to free water, whereas seeds with an infection cushion were almost always killed. In addition, hyphae on seeds that did not initiate germination lacked directional growth and did not develop the infection cushion. This strongly suggests that the fungal attack is triggered by seed exudates released through the floret attachment scar at the initiation of germination. Images of cross sections of infected seeds showed that the fungal hyphae first penetrated the

  13. 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.

  14. Using state-and-transition models to project cheatgrass and juniper invasion in Southeastern Oregon sagebrush steppe

    Treesearch

    Megan K. Creutzburg; Joshua S. Halofsky; Miles A. Hemstrom

    2012-01-01

    Many threats are jeopardizing the sagebrush steppe of the Columbia Basin, including the spread of invasive species such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) and the expansion of western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis Hook.) into historic shrub steppe. Native sagebrush steppe provides productive grazing lands and important...

  15. 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.

  16. Near-real-time cheatgrass percent cover in the Northern Great Basin, USA, 2015

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boyte, Stephen; Wylie, Bruce K.

    2016-01-01

    Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) dramatically changes shrub steppe ecosystems in the Northern Great Basin, United States.Current-season cheatgrass location and percent cover are difficult to estimate rapidly.We explain the development of a near-real-time cheatgrass percent cover dataset and map in the Northern Great Basin for the current year (2015), display the current year’s map, provide analysis of the map, and provide a website link to download the map (as a PDF) and the associated dataset.The near-real-time cheatgrass percent cover dataset and map were consistent with non-expedited, historical cheatgrass percent cover datasets and maps.Having cheatgrass maps available mid-summer can help land managers, policy makers, and Geographic Information Systems personnel as they work to protect socially relevant areas such as critical wildlife habitats.

  17. A Race for Survival: Can Bromus tectorum Seeds Escape Pyrenophora semeniperda-caused Mortality by Germinating Quickly?

    PubMed Central

    Beckstead, Julie; Meyer, Susan E.; Molder, Cherrilyn J.; Smith, Caitlyn

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims Pathogen–seed interactions may involve a race for seed resources, so that seeds that germinate more quickly, mobilizing reserves, will be more likely to escape seed death than slow-germinating seeds. This race-for-survival hypothesis was tested for the North American seed pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda on seeds of the annual grass Bromus tectorum, an invasive plant in North America. In this species, the seed germination rate varies as a function of dormancy status; dormant seeds germinate slowly if at all, whereas non-dormant seeds germinate quickly. Methods Three experimental approaches were utilized: (a) artificial inoculations of mature seeds that varied in primary dormancy status and wounding treatment; (b) naturally inoculated undispersed seeds that varied in primary dormancy status; and (c) naturally inoculated seeds from the carry-over seed bank that varied in degree of secondary dormancy, habitat of origin and seed age. Key Results In all three approaches, seeds that germinated slowly were usually killed by the pathogen, whereas seeds that germinated quickly frequently escaped. Pyrenophora semeniperda reduced B. tectorum seed banks. Populations in drier habitats sustained 50 times more seed mortality than a population in a mesic habitat. Older carry-over seeds experienced 30 % more mortality than younger seeds. Conclusions Given the dramatic levels of seed death and the ability of this pathogen to reduce seed carry-over, it is intriguing to consider whether P. semeniperda could be used to control B. tectorum through direct reduction of its seed bank. PMID:17353206

  18. Cheatgrass die-offs as an opportunity for restoration in the Great Basin, USA: Will local or commercial native plants succeed where exotic invaders fail?

    Treesearch

    Owen W. Baughman; Susan E. Meyer; Zachary T. Aanderud; Elizabeth A. Leger

    2016-01-01

    Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) has widely invaded the Great Basin, U.S.A. The sporadic natural phenomenon of complete stand failure ('die-off'') of this invader may present opportunities to restore native plants. A recent die-off in Nevada was precision-planted with seeds of the native grasses Poa secunda (Sandberg bluegrass) and Elymus elymoides (...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  20. Is Pyrenophora semeniperda the cause of downy brome (Bromus tectorum) die-offs?

    Treesearch

    Owen W. Baughman; Susan E. Meyer

    2013-01-01

    Downy brome (cheatgrass) is a highly successful, exotic, winter annual invader in semi-arid western North America, forming near-monocultures across many landscapes. A frequent but poorly understood phenomenon in these heavily invaded areas is periodic 'die-off' or complete stand failure. The fungal pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda is abundant in cheatgrass...

  1. 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

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

    Treesearch

    Rachel O. Jones; Jeanne C. Chambers; David I. Board; Dale W. Johnson; Robert R. Blank

    2015-01-01

    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 establishment of native perennials. We developed a multivariate...

  3. Impact of native grasses and cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) on Great Basin forb seedling growth

    Treesearch

    Hilary Parkinson; Cathy Zabinski; Nancy Shaw

    2013-01-01

    Re-establishing native communities that resist exotic weed invasion and provide diverse habitat for wildlife are high priorities for restoration in sagebrush ecosystems. Native forbs are an important component of healthy rangelands in this system, but they are rarely included in seedings. Understanding competitive interactions between forb and grass seedlings is...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  9. Population genetic structure of Bromus tectorum in the mountains of western North America

    Treesearch

    Spencer Arnesen; Craig E. Coleman; Susan E. Meyer

    2017-01-01

    PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Invasive species are often initially restricted to a narrow range and may then expand through any of multiple mechanisms including phenotypic plasticity, in situ evolution, or selection on traits preadapted for new habitats. Our study used population genetics to explore possible processes by which the highly selfing invasive annual grass Bromus...

  10. Identification of the infection route of a Fusarium seed pathogen into nondormant Bromus tectorum seeds

    Treesearch

    JanaLynn Franke; Brad Geary; Susan E. Meyer

    2014-01-01

    The genus Fusarium has a wide host range and causes many different forms of plant disease. These include seed rot and seedling blight diseases of cultivated plants. The diseases caused by Fusarium on wild plants are less well-known. In this study, we examined disease development caused by Fusarium sp. n on nondormant seeds of the important rangeland weed Bromus...

  11. 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.

  12. Prefire grazing by cattle increases postfire resistance to exotic annual grass (Bromus tectorum) invasion and dominance for decades.

    PubMed

    Davies, Kirk W; Bates, Jon D; Boyd, Chad S; Svejcar, Tony J

    2016-05-01

    Fire, herbivory and their interaction influence plant community dynamics. However, little is known about the influence of prefire herbivory on postfire plant community response, particularly long-term resistance to postfire exotic plant invasion in areas that historically experienced limited large herbivore pressure and infrequent, periodic fires.We investigated the long-term postfire effects of prefire herbivory by cattle, an exotic herbivore, in Artemisia (sagebrush) plant communities in the northern Great Basin, USA. Study areas were moderately grazed or not grazed by cattle since 1936 and then were burned in 1993. Plant community response was measured the 19th through the 22nd year postfire. Prior to burning exotic annual grass presence was minimal (<0.5% foliar cover) and plant community characteristics were similar between grazed and ungrazed treatments, with the exception of litter biomass being two times greater in the ungrazed treatment.Two decades postfire, Bromus tectorum L., an exotic annual grass, dominated the ungrazed treatment. Native bunchgrasses, species richness, and soil biological crusts were greater in prefire grazed areas compared to ungrazed areas.These results suggest that moderate prefire herbivory by cattle increased the resistance of the plant community to postfire invasion and dominance by B. tectorum. We presume that herbivory reduced mortality of large perennial bunchgrasses during the fire by reducing fine fuel (litter) and subsequently burn temperatures. This research demonstrates that a moderate disturbance (herbivory) may mediate the effects of a subsequent disturbance (fire). The effects of disturbances are not independent; therefore quantifying these interactions is critical to preventing oversimplification of complex plant community dynamics and guiding the conservation of endangered ecosystems.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    Treesearch

    Rachel Jones; Jeanne C. Chambers; Dale W. Johnson; Robert R. Blank; David I. Board

    2015-01-01

    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 study, we examined effects of repeated burning, litter removal, and post-fire seeding on...

  17. The invasive annual cheatgrass increases nitrogen availability in 24-year-old replicated field plots.

    PubMed

    Stark, John M; Norton, Jeanette M

    2015-03-01

    Previous studies comparing invaded and non-invaded sites suggest that cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) causes soil N cycling to increase. Unfortunately, these correlative studies fail to distinguish whether cheatgrass caused the differences in N cycling, or if cheatgrass simply invaded sites where N availability was greater. We measured soil C and N concentrations and net and gross N-cycling rates on 24-year-old replicated field plots in a sagebrush-steppe ecosystem that had been plowed, fumigated, and seeded to different plant communities in 1984. Laboratory assays of soil collected throughout the soil profiles (0-60 cm) showed that soil NO3 (-), organic C and N, and net N mineralization, net nitrification, and soil respiration rates were all greater beneath cheatgrass than in sagebrush-perennial grass plots. In surface soils (0-10 cm), field and lab assays on five sampling dates during 2 years showed gross N mineralization, net N mineralization, and net nitrification rates were all faster beneath cheatgrass than in sagebrush-perennial grass plots. Modeling analyses based on soil respiration and gross N-cycling rates suggest that cheatgrass provides soil microbes with lower C:N substrates and that this could explain the faster N-cycling rates beneath cheatgrass. This is the first long-term replicated field study to conclusively show that cheatgrass created greater soil organic N pool sizes and stimulated N-cycling rates compared to similar-aged stands of sagebrush and native perennial grasses. Increased N-cycling rates may represent a positive plant-soil feedback that promotes continued dominance by cheatgrass, even in the absence of soil disturbance or fire.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Fungal and bacterial contributions to nitrogen cycling in cheatgrass-invaded and uninvaded native sagebrush soils of the western USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeCrappeo, Nicole; DeLorenze, Elizabeth J.; Giguere, Andrew T; Pyke, David A.; Bottomley, Peter J.

    2017-01-01

    AimThere is interest in determining how cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) modifies N cycling in sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) soils of the western USA.MethodsTo gain insight into the roles of fungi and bacteria in N cycling of cheatgrass-invaded and uninvaded sagebrush soils, the fungal protein synthesis inhibitor, cycloheximide (CHX), and the bacteriocidal compound, bronopol (BRO) were combined with a 15NH4+ isotope pool dilution approach.ResultsCHX reduced gross N mineralization to the same rate in both sagebrush and cheatgrass soils indicating a role for fungi in N mineralization in both soil types. In cheatgrass soils BRO completely inhibited gross N mineralization, whereas, in sagebrush soils a BRO-resistant gross N mineralization rate was detected that was slower than CHX sensitive gross N mineralization, suggesting that the microbial drivers of gross N mineralization were different in sagebrush and cheatgrass soils. Net N mineralization was stimulated to a higher rate in sagebrush than in cheatgrass soils by CHX, implying that a CHX inhibited N sink was larger in the former than the latter soils. Initial gross NH4+ consumption rates were reduced significantly by both CHX and BRO in both soil types, yet, consumption rates recovered significantly between 24 and 48 h in CHX-treated sagebrush soils. The recovery of NH4+ consumption in sagebrush soils corresponded with an increase in the rate of net nitrification.ConclusionsThese results suggest that cheatgrass invasion of sagebrush soils of the northern Great Basin reduces the capacity of the fungal N consumption sink, enhances the capacity of a CHX resistant N sink and alters the contributions of bacteria and fungi to gross N mineralization.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  5. How Big is the Problem? Constraints on the Extent of Cheatgrass Invasion in the Great Basin, US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradley, B. A.; Mustard, J. F.; Albert, J.

    2003-12-01

    Land use leading to ecosystem disturbance (eg. grazing, agriculture) in the Great Basin, US has been shown to enhance the spread of invasive annuals, in particular cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) (Young et al., 1972; Mack, 1981). Cheatgrass can dominate as a monoculture or as an understory to semiarid perennial shrubs. Cheatgrass is problematic because it outcompetes native perennial bunchgrasses and shrubs is highly flammable once senesced, and cannot be grazed after senescence in mid-June. Identification of the regional extent of this invasive is necessary for effective land management and accurate ecosystem models. We have shown previously that timeseries from the 1 km resolution Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) can be used to accurately distinguish areas of cheatgrass dominance. Here, we scale down to a series of 10 Landsat TM scenes spanning 1988-2001 and find that similar timeseries analysis can be used to identify cheatgrass at 30 m resolution. Elmore et al. (2003) demonstrated that invasive annuals can be distinguished from native perennials based on their amplified response to rainfall. During wet years, cheatgrass dominated landscapes have much higher density and productivity than native shrub dominated landscapes. Amplified response can be detected with Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) timeseries from the AVHRR satellite. We created and verified a regional AVHRR-based map of current cheatgrass extent in the Great Basin, and are refining our methodology to map invasion over the decade of the 1990s. The regional extent map was used to identify large expanses of cheatgrass dominance for further investigation at Landsat TM resolution. We selected a high density cheatgrass corridor between Lovelock and Winnemucca in northwestern Nevada and acquired a series of 10 Landsat scenes for that area. The Landsat scenes were coregistered and radiometrically aligned to a 2001 ETM+ scene. They were then converted to reflectance based on

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Ecosystem impacts of exotic annual invaders in the genus Bromus

    Treesearch

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

    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...

  10. Cheating cheatgrass: New research to combat a wily invasive weed

    Treesearch

    Gail. Wells

    2012-01-01

    Cheatgrass and its cousin, red brome, are exotic annual grasses that have invaded and altered ecosystem dynamics in more than 41 million acres of desert shrublands between the Rockies and the Cascade-Sierra chain. A fungus naturally associated with these Bromus species has been found lethal to the plants' soil-banked dormant seeds. Supported by the Joint Fire...

  11. 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.

  12. Controlling cheatgrass in winter range to restore habitat and endemic fire

    Treesearch

    Jennifer L. Vollmer; Joseph G. Vollmer

    2008-01-01

    Habitat managers can better prepare a program for prescribed burns, wildfire management, and maximum forage biomass by understanding the response of key shrubs to the tools utilized to reduce cheatgrass (Bromus spp.) competition. Application of Plateau® herbicide, prior to annual brome germination, at rates up to 8 oz/acre with or without surfactant...

  13. Herbicide efficacy and perennial grass establishment

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  15. Rehabilitation of degraded rangelands: lessons learned

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  16. Cheatgrass encroachment on a ponderosa pine ecological restoration project in northern Arizona, U. S. A.

    Treesearch

    Christopher M. McGlone; Judith D. Springer; W. Wallace Covington

    2008-01-01

    (Please note, this is an abstract only) Land managers frequently thin small-diameter trees and apply prescribed fire to reduce fuel loads and restore ecosystem structure, function, and process in forested areas. There is increasing concern that disturbances associated with these management practices can facilitate nonnative plant invasions. Bromus tectorum is an annual...

  17. Pyrenophoric acids B and C, two new phytotoxic sesquiterpenoids produced by Pyrenophora semeniperda

    Treesearch

    Marco Masi; Susan Meyer; Alessio Cimmino; Suzette Clement; Beth Black; Antonio Evidente

    2014-01-01

    Two new phytotoxic sesquiterpenoid acids, named pyrenophoric acids B and C, were isolated together with the related pyrenophoric and abscisic acids from solid Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) seed culture of the seed pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda. This fungus has been proposed as a mycoherbicide for biocontrol of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), a Eurasian annual grass...

  18. Soil moisture and biogeochemical factors influence the distribution of annual Bromus species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, Jayne; Stark, John Thomas; Rau, Benjamin; Allen, Edith B.; Phillips, Sue

    2016-01-01

    Abiotic factors have a strong influence on where annual Bromus species are found. At the large regional scale, temperature and precipitation extremes determine the boundaries of Bromusoccurrence. At the more local scale, soil characteristics and climate influence distribution, cover, and performance. In hot, dry, summer-rainfall-dominated deserts (Sonoran, Chihuahuan), little or noBromus is found, likely due to timing or amount of soil moisture relative to Bromus phenology. In hot, winter-rainfall-dominated deserts (parts of the Mojave Desert), Bromus rubens is widespread and correlated with high phosphorus availability. It also responds positively to additions of nitrogen alone or with phosphorus. On the Colorado Plateau, with higher soil moisture availability, factors limiting Bromus tectorum populations vary with life stage: phosphorus and water limit germination, potassium and the potassium/magnesium ratio affect winter performance, and water and potassium/magnesium affect spring performance. Controlling nutrients also change with elevation. In cooler deserts with winter precipitation (Great Basin, Columbia Plateau) and thus even greater soil moisture availability, B. tectorum populations are controlled by nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium. Experimental nitrogen additions stimulate Bromus performance. The reason for different nutrients limiting in dissimilar climatic regions is not known, but it is likely that site conditions such as soil texture (as it affects water and nutrient availability), organic matter, and/or chemistry interact in a manner that regulates nutrient availability and limitations. Under future drier, hotter conditions,Bromus distribution is likely to change due to changes in the interaction between moisture and nutrient availability.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Spatio-temporal heterogeneity and habitat invasibility in sagebrush steppe ecosystems

    Treesearch

    Monica B. Mazzola

    2008-01-01

    Bromus tectorum L. (cheatgrass) is the most widespread invasive weed in sagebrushsteppe ecosystems. Invasion by Bromus tectorum produces large-scale changes ecosystem that negatively affect seedling establishment processes. Establishment of invasive and native species plays a key role in determining community invasibility and restoration potential. This study examined...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  4. Big sagebrush transplanting success in crested wheatgrass stands

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  6. Cheatgrass Dead Zones in Northern Nevada

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  7. Rehabilitation of cheatgrass-infested rangelands: management

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This is the final part of a three part series specifically addressing lessons learned concerning the management of rehabilitated cheatgrass-infested rangelands. Steve Novak and Richard Mack reported in 2003 that they found no evidence of outcrossing in 2,000 cheatgrass seedlings from 60 North Americ...

  8. 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.

  9. Germination phenology of some Great Basin native annual forb species

    Treesearch

    Tara A. Forbis

    2010-01-01

    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 at many sites. Germination timing is often an important predictor of competitive...

  10. Evaluating perennial grass competition as a management tool

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  12. De novo genome assembly of the fungal plant pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda

    Treesearch

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

    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...

  13. Assessment of horse creek conservation seeding

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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, ...

  14. A novel plant-fungal mutualism associated with fire

    Treesearch

    Melissa Baynes; George Newcombe; Linley Dixon; Lisa Castlebury; Kerry O' Donnell

    2012-01-01

    Bromus tectorum, or cheatgrass, is native to Eurasia and widely invasive in western North America. By late spring, this annual plant has dispersed its seed and died; its aboveground biomass then becomes fine fuel that burns as frequently as once every 3-5 y in its invaded range. Cheatgrass has proven to be better adapted to fire there than many competing plants, but...

  15. Indirect effects of an invasive annual grass on seed fates of two native perennial grass species

    Treesearch

    Susan E. Meyer; Katherine T. Merrill; Phil S. Allen; Julie Beckstead; Anna S. Norte

    2014-01-01

    Invasive plants exhibit both direct and indirect negative effects on recruitment of natives following invasion. We examined indirect effects of the invader Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) on seed fates of two native grass species, Elymus elymoides and Pseudoroegneria spicata, by removing B. tectorum and by adding inoculum of the shared seed pathogen Pyrenophora...

  16. Plant community resistance to invasion by Bromus species: The roles of community attributes, Bromus interactions with plant communities, and Bromus traits [Chapter 10

    Treesearch

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

    2016-01-01

    The factors that determine plant community resistance to exotic annual Bromus species (Bromus hereafter) 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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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....

  19. Bromus tectorum expansion and biodiversity loss on the Snake River Plain, southern Idaho, USA

    Treesearch

    N. L. Shaw; V. A. Saab; S. B. Monsen; T. D. Rich

    1999-01-01

    The Snake River Plain forms a 6 million ha arc-shaped depression across southern Idaho. Basalt flows, fresh water sediments, loess and volcanic deposits cover its surface. Elevation increases eastward from 650 to 2,150 m altitude. Climate is semi-arid with annual precipitation ranging from 150 to 400 mm, arriving primarily in winter and spring. Native shrub steppe...

  20. Enhanced fire-related traits may contribute to the invasiveness of Downy Brome (Bromus tectorum)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Although several invasive species have induced changes to the fire regime of invaded ecosystems, potential intraspecific shifts in fire-related traits that might enhance their invasion success, have never been addressed. We assumed that traits conferring persistence and competitiveness in post-fire ...

  1. Rehabilitating downy brome (Bromus tectorum)-invaded scrublands using imazapic and seeding with native shrubs

    Treesearch

    Suzanne M. Owen; Carolyn Hull Sieg; Catherine A. Gehring

    2011-01-01

    Rehabilitation of downy brome-infested shrublands is challenging once this invasive grass dominates native communities. The effectiveness of imazapic herbicide in reducing downy brome cover has been variable, and there is uncertainty about the impacts of imazapic on native species. We used a before-after-control-impact (BACI) field experiment and greenhouse studies to...

  2. 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.

  3. Local population differentiation in Bromus tectorum L. in relation to habitat-specific selection regimes

    Treesearch

    Jason W. Scott; Susan E. Meyer; Keith R. Merrill; Val J. Anderson

    2010-01-01

    A central question of invasion biology is how an exotic species invades new habitats following its initial establishment. Three hypotheses to explain this expansion are: (1) the existence of 'general purpose' genotypes, (2) the in situ evolution of novel genotypes, and (3) the dispersal of existing specialized genotypes into habitats for which they are pre-...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  5. 77 FR 49893 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determination of Status for the Gierisch Mallow...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-17

    ... from other concerned governmental agencies, Native American tribes, the scientific community, industry... such as Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) and B. rubens (red brome) that can alter native vegetation and... (Brooks 2009, p. 105), and both abundance and diversity of native plants and animals is lower in...

  6. Wildlife Habitat Improvement Using Range Improvement Practices

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  7. Pyrenophoric acid, a phytotoxic sesquiterpenoid penta-2,4-dienoic acid produced by a potential mycoherbicide, Pyrenophora semeniperda

    Treesearch

    Marco Masi; Susan Meyer; Alessio Cimmino; Anna Andolfi; Antonio Evidente

    2014-01-01

    A new phytotoxic sesquiterpenoid penta-2,4- dienoic acid, named pyrenophoric acid, was isolated from solid wheat seed culture of Pyrenophora semeniperda, a fungal pathogen proposed as a mycoherbicide for biocontrol of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and other annual bromes. These bromes are serious weeds in winter cereals and also on temperate semiarid rangelands....

  8. Reseeding big sagebrush: Techniques and issues

    Treesearch

    Nancy L. Shaw; Ann M. DeBolt; Roger Rosentreter

    2005-01-01

    Reestablishing big sagebrush on rangelands now dominated by native perennial grasses, introduced perennial grasses, or exotic annual grasses, particularly cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), serves to stabilize soil, improve moisture availability and nutrient recyling, increase biological diversity, and foster community stability and resiliency. A first...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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)....

  10. Breeding Strategies for the Development of Native Grasses

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    Treesearch

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

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  13. Integrated management of downy brome in winter wheat

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  15. Weed-suppressive bacteria to reduce annual grass weeds

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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. Soil resources influence vegetation and response to fire and fire-surrogate treatments in Sagebrush-Steppe Ecosystems

    Treesearch

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

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  19. Plant guide: Hoary tansyaster (Machaeranthera canescens)

    Treesearch

    Derek Tilley; Dan Ogle; Loren St. John

    2010-01-01

    Hoary tansyaster is an early colonizer of rangelands and disturbed sites. It is commonly found on roadsides and gravel pits competing with invasive plants such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and knapweed species (Centaurea spp). It can be planted to enhance species diversity in rangeland seedings throughout the western United States.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  1. Treating downy brome with herbicide and seeding with native shrubs

    Treesearch

    Suzanne Owen; Carolyn Sieg

    2011-01-01

    Downy brome or cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) is one of the most invasive and widespread exotic plants in North America. Downy brome can reduce soil nutrient availability, alter native plant community composition, and increase fire frequencies. The effectiveness of Plateau® imazapic herbicide in reducing downy brome cover has been variable, and there is uncertainty...

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

    Treesearch

    Sheel Bansal; Jeremy J. James; Roger L. Sheley

    2014-01-01

    Multiple species of annual grasses are invading sagebrush-steppe communities throughout the western United States. Most research has focused on dominant species such as Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass), yet other, less studied annual grasses such as Taeniatherum caput-medusae (medusahead) and Ventenata dubia (ventenata) are spreading rapidly. Future precipitation regimes...

  3. 20 Years of natural recovery after wildfire on northern Nevada rangelands

    Treesearch

    Ann P. Bollinger; Barry L. Perryman

    2008-01-01

    In recent decades Northern Nevada has experienced a dramatic increase in cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum). As a result, wildfire frequency and size has increased. The objective of this project was to examine natural vegetation recovery and trend following 1985 wildfires. Density and cover measurements determined a high but fluctuating occurrence of...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  6. Assessment of habitat threats to shrublands in the Great Basin: a case study

    Treesearch

    Mary M. Rowland; Lowell H. Suring; Michael J. Wisdom

    2010-01-01

    The sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystem is one of the most imperiled in the United States. In the Great Basin ecoregion and elsewhere, catastrophic wildland fires are often followed by the invasion of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.), eliminating or altering millions of hectares of sagebrush and other shrublands. Sagebrush in...

  7. Vegetation of chained and non-chained seedings after wildfire in Utah

    Treesearch

    Jeffrey E. Ott; E. Durant McArthur; Bruce A. Roundy

    2003-01-01

    After wildfires in 1996 in the sagebrush(Artemisias pp.) and pinyon-juniper (Pinus spp.-Juniperus spp.) zones of west-central Utah, the USDI-BLM attempted to reduce soil erosion and cheatgrass proliferation (Bromus tectorum L.) through rehabilitation treatments. We compared the vegetation of aerially seeded, chained treatments with aerially seeded but non-chained...

  8. Notice of release of Mountain Home germplasm Sandberg bluegrass (selected germplasm, natural track)

    Treesearch

    Scott M. Lambert; Stephen B. Monsen; Nancy Shaw

    2011-01-01

    Mountain Home germplasm Sandberg bluegrass is a small, densely tufted short-lived perennial bunchgrass adapted to low elevation, semi-arid sites with long, hot growing seasons. Mountain Home's drought tolerance, competitive nature, and ease of establishment make it an excellent choice for post-fire restoration of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) dominated...

  9. Environmental Assessment for Leasing Nellis Air Force Base Land for Construction and Operation of a Solar Photovoltaic System, Clark County, Nevada

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-08-01

    3.5. Barbwire Russian Thistle in the Proposed Project Area ....................................28 Figure 3.6. Map Outlining 2004 Area III Desert ...native to the Mojave Desert at lower elevations, dominates in areas that are relatively undisturbed. Desert globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) and... desert marigold (Baileya multiradirata) occur as isolated specimens. Barbwire Russian thistle (Salsola paulsenii) and cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum

  10. Conservation seeding and diverse seed species performance

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  11. Re-seeding research will help in cheatgrass battle

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, Craig D.

    2006-01-01

    Funding from the National Interagency Fire Center’s Joint Fire Science Program is helping researchers in northwestern Arizona determine whether several native grasses can be used to battle invasive cheatgrass following fire in ponderosa pine ecosystems.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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, ...

  13. 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.

  14. Resilience to stress and disturbance, and resistance to Bromus tectorum LBromus tectorum L. invasion in cold desert shrublands of western North America

    Treesearch

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

    2014-01-01

    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...

  15. 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).

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  17. Introduction: Exotic annual Bromus in the western USA [Chapter 1

    Treesearch

    Matthew J. Germino; Jeanne C. Chambers; Cynthia S. Brown

    2016-01-01

    The spread and impacts of exotic species are unambiguous, global threats to many ecosystems. A prominent example is the suite of annual grasses in the Bromus genus (Bromus hereafter) that originate from Europe and Eurasia but have invaded or are invading large areas of the Western USA. This book brings a diverse, multidisciplinary group of authors together to...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  20. Nutrient availability in rangeland soils: influence of prescribed burning, herbaceous vegetation removal, overseeding with Bromus tectorum, season, and elevation

    Treesearch

    R. R. Blank; J. Chambers; B. Roundy; A. Whittaker

    2007-01-01

    Soil nutrient availability influences plant invasions. Resin capsules were used to examine soil nutrient bioavailability along 2 sagebrush-grassland elevation transects in the east Tintic Range (Utah) and Shoshone Range (Nevada). In the fall of 2001, treatments were applied to 3 replicate plots at each site, which included prescribed burning, herbaceous vegetation...

  1. Predicting seed dormancy loss and germination timing for Bromus tectorum in a semi-arid environment using hydrothermal time models

    Treesearch

    Susan E. Meyer; Phil S. Allen

    2009-01-01

    A principal goal of seed germination modelling for wild species is to predict germination timing under fluctuating field conditions. We coupled our previously developed hydrothermal time, thermal and hydrothermal afterripening time, and hydration-dehydration models for dormancy loss and germination with field seed zone temperature and water potential measurements from...

  2. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  4. Can native annual forbs reduce Bromus tectorum biomass and indirectly facilitate establishment of a native perennial grass?

    Treesearch

    Elizabeth A. Leger; Erin M. Goergen; Tara Forbis de Queiroz

    2014-01-01

    Restoration is challenging in systems invaded by competitive, disturbance oriented plants, but greater success may be achieved by mimicking natural successional processes and including disturbanceoriented natives in a seed mix. We asked whether seven native annual forbs from the Great Basin Desert, USA, were capable of reducing biomass of the invasive annual grass...

  5. On the origins of the tetraploid Bromus species (section Bromus, Poaceae): insights from internal transcribed spacer sequences of nuclear ribosomal DNA.

    PubMed

    Ainouche, M L; Bayer, R J

    1997-10-01

    The internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of nuclear ribosomal DNA from 22 diploid and tetraploid annual Bromus species of section Bromus (Poaceae) and three species belonging to other Bromus sections, Bromus catharticus (section Ceratochloa), Bromus anomalus (section Pnigma), and Bromus sterilis (section Genea), were investigated by PCR amplification and direct sequencing. The length of the ITS-1 region varied from 215 to 218 bp, and that of the ITS-2 region from 215 to 216 bp, in the species analyzed. ITS-1 was more variable and provided more informative sites (49) than ITS-2 (32). No variation was encountered within species. In pairwise comparison among species of section Bromus, sequence divergence ranged from 0.0 to 8.0% for the combined ITS-1 and ITS-2 regions. Parsimony analysis using Avena longiglumis and Hordeum vulgare as outgroups resulted in well-resolved phylogenetic trees and showed that section Bromus is monophyletic according to the species analyzed outside of the section. The analysis clarified the phylogenetic relationships among monogenomic (diploid) species. Introduction of the allotetraploid species did not change the general topology of the trees obtained using only the diploid species. Although some tetraploid-diploid species relationships will have to be clarified with faster evolving markers, the ITS sequences are shown to be useful for assessing evolutionary relationships among closely related Bromus species, as well as for clarifying taxonomic problems in previously controversial cases (e.g., Bromus alopecuros and Bromus caroli-henrici). New hypotheses are proposed concerning the origin of several allotetraploid species. For example, it is shown that the tetraploid Bromus hordeaceus diverged earlier than all other species of section Bromus, excluding the diploid B. caroli-henrici, which is found to be basal in this group. The tetraploid Bromus arenarius, which was considered a hybrid between sections Bromus and Genea, and the

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  9. 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

  10. Introduction: Exotic Annual Bromus in the Western USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Germino, Matthew; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Brown, Cynthia S.

    2016-01-01

    The spread and impacts of exotic species are unambiguous, global threats to many ecosystems. A prominent example is the suite of annual grasses in the Bromus genus (Bromus hereafter) that originate from Europe and Eurasia but have invaded or are invading large areas of the Western USA. This book brings a diverse, multidisciplinary group of authors together to synthesize current knowledge, research needs, and management implications for Bromus. Exotic plant invasions are multifaceted problems, and understanding and managing them requires the biological, ecological, sociological, and economic perspectives that are integrated in this book. Knowing how well information from one geographic or environmental setting can transfer to another is a key need for broadly distributed Bromus species especially given ongoing climate change. Thus, the chapters in the book compare and contrast invasibility of different ecoregions and invasiveness of different Bromus species. A universal theme is managing for ecosystems that are resilient to disturbance and resistant to invasion which will be essential for adaptation to the human-caused problem of Bromus in the Western USA.

  11. M-X Environmental Technical Report. Alternative Potential Operating Base Locations, Milford.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-12-22

    Milford suggests that the Beaver River drainage is the most sensitive area in the region. Types of sites that are predicted to occur in the OB vicinity...Russian thistle (Salsola iberica), cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and native desert for bs. Along the Beaver River north of Minersville, are snall...Beaver River drainage and Rockyford Reservoir. This drainage is from 10 to 30 miles southeast of Milford. The upper reaches of the Sevier River are 50

  12. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  14. Land uses, fire, and invasion: Exotic annual Bromus and human dimensions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pyke, David A.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Mealor, Brian A.

    2016-01-01

    Human land uses are the primary cause of the introduction and spread of exotic annual Bromusspecies. Initial introductions were likely linked to contaminated seeds used by homesteading farmers in the late 1880s and early 1900s. Transportation routes aided their spread. Unrestricted livestock grazing from the 1800s through the mid-1900s reduced native plant competitors leaving large areas vulnerable to Bromus dominance. Ecosystems with cooler and moister soils tend to have greater potential to recover from disturbances (resilience) and to be more resistant to Bromusinvasion and dominance. Warmer and drier ecosystems are less resistant to Bromus and are threatened by altered fire regimes which can lead to Bromus dominance, impacts to wildlife, and alternative stable states. Native Americans used fire for manipulating plant communities and may have contributed to the early dominance of Bromus in portions of California. Fire as a tool is now limited to site preparation for revegetation in most ecosystems where Bromus is a significant problem. Once Bromus dominates, breaking annual grass/fire cycles requires restoring fire-tolerant perennial grasses and forbs, which can compete with Bromus and resist its dominance. Current weed management policies often lack regulations to prevent further expansion of Bromus. Research is needed on how and where livestock grazing might help increase perennial grass and forb cover and density to create ecosystems that are more resistant to Bromus. Also, studies are needed to ascertain the role, if any, of oil and gas development in contributing to the spread of Bromus.

  15. 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

  16. A novel plant-fungal mutualism associated with fire.

    PubMed

    Baynes, Melissa; Newcombe, George; Dixon, Linley; Castlebury, Lisa; O'Donnell, Kerry

    2012-01-01

    Bromus tectorum, or cheatgrass, is native to Eurasia and widely invasive in western North America. By late spring, this annual plant has dispersed its seed and died; its aboveground biomass then becomes fine fuel that burns as frequently as once every 3-5 y in its invaded range. Cheatgrass has proven to be better adapted to fire there than many competing plants, but the contribution of its fungal symbionts to this adaptation had not previously been studied. In sampling cheatgrass endophytes, many fire-associated fungi were found, including Morchella in three western states (New Mexico, Idaho, and Washington). In greenhouse experiments, a New Mexico isolate of Morchella increased both the biomass and fecundity of its local cheatgrass population, thus simultaneously increasing both the probability of fire and survival of that event, via more fuel and a greater, belowground seed bank, respectively. Re-isolation efforts proved that Morchella could infect cheatgrass roots in a non-mycorrhizal manner and then grow up into aboveground tissues. The same Morchella isolate also increased survival of seed exposed to heat typical of that which develops in the seed bank during a cheatgrass fire. Phylogenetic analysis of Eurasian and North American Morchella revealed that this fire-associated mutualism was evolutionarily novel, in that cheatgrass isolates belonged to two phylogenetically distinct species, or phylotypes, designated Mel-6 and Mel-12 whose evolutionary origin appears to be within western North America. Mutualisms with fire-associated fungi may be contributing to the cheatgrass invasion of western North America.

  17. Characterizing the landscape dynamics of an invasive plant and risk of invasion using remote sensing.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Bethany A; Mustard, John F

    2006-06-01

    Improved understanding of the spatial dynamics of invasive plant species may lead to more effective land management and reduced future invasion. Here, we identified the spatial extents of nonnative cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) in the north central Great Basin using remotely sensed data from Landsat MSS, TM, and ETM+. We compared cheatgrass extents in 1973 and 2001 to six spatially explicit landscape variables: elevation, aspect, hydrographic channels, cultivation, roads, and power lines. In 2001, Cheatgrass was 10% more likely to be found in elevation ranges from 1400 to 1700 m (although the data suggest a preferential invasion into lower elevations by 2001), 6% more likely on west and northwest facing slopes, and 3% more likely within hydrographic channels. Over this time period, cheatgrass expansion was also closely linked to proximity to land use. In 2001, cheatgrass was 20% more likely to be found within 3 km of cultivation, 13% more likely to be found within 700 m of a road, and 15% more likely to be found within 1 km of a power line. Finally, in 2001 cheatgrass was 26% more likely to be present within 150 m of areas occupied by cheatgrass in 1973. Using these relationships, we created a risk map of future cheatgrass invasion that may aid land management. These results highlight the importance of including land use variables and the extents of current plant invasion in predictions of future risk.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Exotic annual Bromus invasions: Comparisons among species and ecoregions in the western United States [Chapter 2

    Treesearch

    Matthew L. Brooks; Cynthia S. Brown; Jeanne C. Chambers; Carla M. D' Antonio; Jon E. Keeley; Jayne Belnap

    2016-01-01

    Exotic annual Bromus species are widely recognized for their potential to invade, dominate, and alter the structure and function of ecosystems. In this chapter, we summarize the invasion potential, ecosystem threats, and management strategies for different Bromus species within each of five ecoregions of the western United States. We characterize invasion...

  1. Soil moisture and biogeochemical factors influence the distribution of annual Bromus species

    Treesearch

    Jayne Belnap; John M. Stark; Benjamin M. Rau; Edith B. Allen; Susan Phillips

    2016-01-01

    Abiotic factors have a strong influence on where annual Bromus species are found. At the large regional scale, temperature and precipitation extremes determine the boundaries of Bromus occurrence. At the more local scale, soil characteristics and climate influence distribution, cover, and performance. In hot, dry, summer-rainfall-dominated deserts (Sonoran, Chihuahuan...

  2. Introduced annual grass increases regional fire activity across the arid western USA (1980-2009).

    PubMed

    Balch, Jennifer K; Bradley, Bethany A; D'Antonio, Carla M; Gómez-Dans, José

    2013-01-01

    Non-native, invasive grasses have been linked to altered grass-fire cycles worldwide. Although a few studies have quantified resulting changes in fire activity at local scales, and many have speculated about larger scales, regional alterations to fire regimes remain poorly documented. We assessed the influence of large-scale Bromus tectorum (hereafter cheatgrass) invasion on fire size, duration, spread rate, and interannual variability in comparison to other prominent land cover classes across the Great Basin, USA. We compared regional land cover maps to burned area measured using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) for 2000-2009 and to fire extents recorded by the USGS registry of fires from 1980 to 2009. Cheatgrass dominates at least 6% of the central Great Basin (650 000 km(2) ). MODIS records show that 13% of these cheatgrass-dominated lands burned, resulting in a fire return interval of 78 years for any given location within cheatgrass. This proportion was more than double the amount burned across all other vegetation types (range: 0.5-6% burned). During the 1990s, this difference was even more extreme, with cheatgrass burning nearly four times more frequently than any native vegetation type (16% of cheatgrass burned compared to 1-5% of native vegetation). Cheatgrass was also disproportionately represented in the largest fires, comprising 24% of the land area of the 50 largest fires recorded by MODIS during the 2000s. Furthermore, multi-date fires that burned across multiple vegetation types were significantly more likely to have started in cheatgrass. Finally, cheatgrass fires showed a strong interannual response to wet years, a trend only weakly observed in native vegetation types. These results demonstrate that cheatgrass invasion has substantially altered the regional fire regime. Although this result has been suspected by managers for decades, this study is the first to document recent cheatgrass-driven fire regimes at a regional

  3. Karyotype characterization and comparison of three hexaploid species of Bromus Linnaeus, 1753 (Poaceae).

    PubMed

    Artico, Leonardo Luís; Mazzocato, Ana Cristina; Ferreira, Juliano Lino; Carvalho, Carlos Roberto; Clarindo, Wellington Ronildo

    2017-01-01

    Chromosome morphometry and nuclear DNA content are useful data for cytotaxonomy and to understand the evolutionary history of different taxa. For the genus Bromus Linnaeus, 1753, distinct ploidy levels have been reported, occurring from diploid to duodecaploid species. The geographic distribution of Bromus species has been correlated with chromosome number and ploidy level. In this study, the aims were to determine the nuclear genome size and characterize the karyotype of the South American Bromus species: Bromus auleticus Trinius ex Nees, 1829, Bromus brachyanthera Döll, 1878 and Bromus catharticus Vahl, 1791. The mean nuclear 2C value ranged from 2C = 12.64 pg for B. catharticus to 2C = 17.92 pg for B. auleticus, meaning a maximum variation of 2C = 5.28 pg, equivalent to 41.70%. Despite this significant difference in 2C value, the three species exhibit the same chromosome number, 2n = 6x = 42, which confirms their hexaploid origin. Corroborating the genome size, the chromosome morphometry (total, short- and long-arm length) and, consequently, the class differed among the karyotypes of the species. Based on the first karyograms for these Bromus species, some morphologically similar and several distinct chromosome pairs were found. Therefore, the karyotype characterization confirmed the hexaploid origin of the studied Bromus species, which differ in relation to the karyogram and the nuclear 2C value. Considering this, cytogenetics and flow cytometry can be used to discriminate Bromus species, contributing to taxonomy and systematic studies and providing information on the evolutionary history of this taxa.

  4. Karyotype characterization and comparison of three hexaploid species of Bromus Linnaeus, 1753 (Poaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Artico, Leonardo Luís; Mazzocato, Ana Cristina; Ferreira, Juliano Lino; Carvalho, Carlos Roberto; Clarindo, Wellington Ronildo

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Chromosome morphometry and nuclear DNA content are useful data for cytotaxonomy and to understand the evolutionary history of different taxa. For the genus Bromus Linnaeus, 1753, distinct ploidy levels have been reported, occurring from diploid to duodecaploid species. The geographic distribution of Bromus species has been correlated with chromosome number and ploidy level. In this study, the aims were to determine the nuclear genome size and characterize the karyotype of the South American Bromus species: Bromus auleticus Trinius ex Nees, 1829, Bromus brachyanthera Döll, 1878 and Bromus catharticus Vahl, 1791. The mean nuclear 2C value ranged from 2C = 12.64 pg for B. catharticus to 2C = 17.92 pg for B. auleticus, meaning a maximum variation of 2C = 5.28 pg, equivalent to 41.70%. Despite this significant difference in 2C value, the three species exhibit the same chromosome number, 2n = 6x = 42, which confirms their hexaploid origin. Corroborating the genome size, the chromosome morphometry (total, short- and long-arm length) and, consequently, the class differed among the karyotypes of the species. Based on the first karyograms for these Bromus species, some morphologically similar and several distinct chromosome pairs were found. Therefore, the karyotype characterization confirmed the hexaploid origin of the studied Bromus species, which differ in relation to the karyogram and the nuclear 2C value. Considering this, cytogenetics and flow cytometry can be used to discriminate Bromus species, contributing to taxonomy and systematic studies and providing information on the evolutionary history of this taxa. PMID:28919960

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Exotic annual Bromus invasions: comparisons among species and ecoregions in the western United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, Matthew L.; Brown, Cynthia S.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; D'Antonio, Carla M.; Keeley, Jon E.; Belnap, Jayne

    2016-01-01

    Exotic annual Bromus species are widely recognized for their potential to invade, dominate, and alter the structure and function of ecosystems. In this chapter, we summarize the invasion potential, ecosystem threats, and management strategies for different Bromus species within each of five ecoregions of the western United States. We characterize invasion potential and threats in terms of ecosystem resistance to Bromus invasion and ecosystem resilience to disturbance with an emphasis on the importance of fi re regimes. We also explain how soil temperature and moisture regimes can be linked to patterns of resistance and resilience and provide a conceptual framework that can be used to evaluate the relative potential for invasion and ecological impact of the dominant exotic annual Bromus species in the western United States.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Ethnopharmacological uses of Sempervivum tectorum L. in southern Serbia: Scientific confirmation for the use against otitis linked bacteria.

    PubMed

    Stojković, Dejan; Barros, Lillian; Petrović, Jovana; Glamoclija, Jasmina; Santos-Buelga, Celestino; Ferreira, Isabel C F R; Soković, Marina

    2015-12-24

    Sempervivum tectorum L. (Crassulaceae), known as houseleek, is used in traditional medicine in the treatment of ear inflammation. It can be spread as a pack on wounds, sores, burns, and abscesses and also on painful areas attacked by gout as a refrigerant and astringent. Drinking tea prepared from leaves of S. tectorum is recommended for ulcer treatment. The present study was designed to investigate ethopharmacological use of S. tectorum in the southern Serbia and to further scientifically justify and confirm effectiveness of the leaf juice used in ethnomedicine for ear inflammation, against otitis linked bacteria. Ethnopharmacological survey on the use of S. tectorum in southern Serbia was performed using semi structured questionnaires via a face-to-face interview. Chemical composition of the leaf juice regarding phenolic compounds and organic acids was analyzed. Antimicrobial activity was tested on bacteria isolated from ear swabs of the patients suffering from the ear pain (otitis). Anti-quorum-sensing activities of the juice were further investigated on Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Ethnopharmacological survey revealed the use of S. tectorum in southern Serbia for the treatment of ear pain, warts, cancer, stomachache, ulcer and high blood sugar level with the highest fidelity level (FL) for the ear pain. The phenolic composition of the S. tectorum leaf juice consisted of flavonol glycosides, with kaempferol-3-O-rhamnosyl-glucoside-7-O-rhamnoside as the majority compound. Organic acids composition revealed malic acid as the most dominant one. Antimicrobial and anti-quorum-sensing activities of the juice showed to be promising. Ethnopharmacological use of S. tectorum juice for treating ear pain is justified, since the juice possessed antimicrobial activity towards clinical isolates of bacteria linked to otitis. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Proceedings - Symposium on cheatgrass invasion, shrub die-off, and other aspects of shrub biology and management

    Treesearch

    E. Durant McArthur; Evan M. Romney; Stanley D. Smith; Paul T. Tueller

    1990-01-01

    Includes 45 papers and accounts of field trips from a symposium focused on a recent shrub die-off phenomenon and a perennial problem, cheatgrass invasion, on western rangelands. Contributions also cover shrub establishment, shrub ecosystem ecology and physiology, and plant and shrub ecosystems.

  12. Carbon Sequestration in Semi-arid Ecosystems: Potential Benefits of Sagebrush Restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Austreng, A. C.; Olin, P. H.; Hummer, A.; Pierce, J. L.; deGraaff, M.; Benner, S. G.

    2011-12-01

    The results of our work indicate that sagebrush restoration may have the potential to offset 23% of annual US carbon emissions. Invasion of native sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) communities by cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) in semi-arid ecosystems of the Intermountain Northwest is degrading ecosystem structure and function and can significantly decrease soil carbon contents. Remediation of invaded sagebrush-steppe communities may be accomplished by replacing cheatgrass with bunchgrass (Agropyron cristatum) and subsequently reestablishing native sagebrush. To evaluate how this remedial strategy affects soil carbon contents, we have quantified carbon associated with root biomass and soils under adjacent cheatgrass, bunchgrass and sagebrush communities at a site in the central Snake River Plain of southern Idaho. A large soil carbon dataset (n = 850) was generated allowing statistical distinction of belowground carbon pools (biomass and soil C). Our study led to two main results: (1) Soil carbon stores were greatest under sagebrush and lowest under cheatgrass (67 and 35 t C per hectare, respectively). Soil carbon was found to be significantly greater beneath sagebrush compared to cheatgrass (~90% increase) at all depths throughout a 60cm profile. (2) Belowground biomass was greatest under sagebrush and lowest beneath cheatgrass (31 and 14 t per hectare, respectively), which accounted for approximately 20% of the total increase in belowground carbon beneath sagebrush. The results of our work indicate that this stepwise reclamation strategy will produce significant increases in soil carbon storage with conversion of cheatgrass to bunchgrass facilitating carbon storage benefits of ~15 t C per hectare and a bunchgrass to native sagebrush benefit of ~17 t C per hectare. Extending these results to all ~10 million ha of cheatgrass-infested ecosystems in the Great Basin, suggests that sagebrush restoration may have the potential to compensate for 23% of US annual carbon

  13. Investing in rangeland restoration in the Arid West, USA: countering the effects of an invasive weed on the long-term fire cycle.

    PubMed

    Epanchin-Niell, Rebecca; Englin, Jeffrey; Nalle, Darek

    2009-01-01

    In large areas of the arid western United States, much of which are federally managed, fire frequencies and associated management costs are escalating as flammable, invasive cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) increases its stronghold. Cheatgrass invasion and the subsequent increase in fire frequency result in the loss of native vegetation, less predictable forage availability for livestock and wildlife, and increased costs and risk associated with firefighting. Revegetation following fire on land that is partially invaded by cheatgrass can reduce both the dominance of cheatgrass and its associated high fire rate. Thus restoration can be viewed as an investment in fire-prevention and, if native seed is used, an investment in maintaining native vegetation on the landscape. Here we develop and employ a Markov model of vegetation dynamics for the sagebrush steppe ecosystem to predict vegetation change and management costs under different intensities and types of post-fire revegetation. We use the results to estimate the minimum total cost curves for maintaining native vegetation on the landscape and for preventing cheatgrass dominance. Our results show that across a variety of model parameter possibilities, increased investment in post-fire revegetation reduces long-term fire management costs by more than enough to offset the costs of revegetation. These results support that a policy of intensive post-fire revegetation will reduce long-term management costs for this ecosystem, in addition to providing environmental benefits. This information may help justify costs associated with revegetation and raise the priority of restoration in federal land budgets.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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. Land uses, fire, and invasion: Exotic annual Bromus and human dimensions [Chapter 11

    Treesearch

    David A. Pyke; Jeanne C. Chambers; Jeffrey L. Beck; Matthew L. Brooks; Brian A. Mealor

    2016-01-01

    Human land uses are the primary cause of the introduction and spread of exotic annual Bromus species. Initial introductions were likely linked to contaminated seeds used by homesteading farmers in the late 1880s and early 1900s. Transportation routes aided their spread. Unrestricted livestock grazing from the 1800s through the mid-1900s reduced native plant competitors...

  16. 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

  17. Indirect effects of an invasive annual grass on seed fates of two native perennial grass species.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Susan E; Merrill, Katherine T; Allen, Phil S; Beckstead, Julie; Norte, Anna S

    2014-04-01

    Invasive plants exhibit both direct and indirect negative effects on recruitment of natives following invasion. We examined indirect effects of the invader Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) on seed fates of two native grass species, Elymus elymoides and Pseudoroegneria spicata, by removing B. tectorum and by adding inoculum of the shared seed pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda in factorial experiments at xeric and mesic field sites. We also included a supplemental watering treatment to increase emergence and also the potential for pathogen escape. We recorded emergence and survival of native seedlings and also determined the fate of unemerged seeds. At the xeric site, Pyrenophora-caused mortality was high (34%), and effects of other pathogens and failed emergence of germinants were smaller. Cheatgrass removal negatively affected both emergence (35 vs. 25%) and spring survival (69 vs. 42%). Pyrenophora-caused seed mortality increased with inoculum augmentation for both species (22 vs. 47% overall), but emergence was negatively impacted only for P. spicata (20 vs. 34%). At the mesic site, Pyrenophora-caused mortality was low (6%). Cheatgrass removal doubled emergence (26 vs. 14%). Seed mortality increased significantly with inoculum augmentation for P. spicata (12 vs. 5%) but not E. elymoides, while emergence was not significantly affected in either species. A large fraction of seeds produced germinants that failed to emerge (37%), while another large fraction (35%) was killed by other pathogens. We conclude that facilitation by cheatgrass at the xeric site but interference at the mesic site was probably mediated through litter effects that could be ameliorative or suppressive. Apparent competition between cheatgrass and native grasses could occur through Pyrenophora, especially in a xeric environment, but effects were weak or absent at emergence. This was probably because Pyrenophora attacks the same slow-germinating fraction that is subject to pre-emergence mortality from

  18. 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.

  19. [Competitiveness of hard wheat (Triticum durum Desf.) varieties against ripgut brome (Bromus rigidus Roth)].

    PubMed

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

    2001-01-01

    Varieties with an excellent competitiveness against ripgut brome (Bromus rigidus Roth.) would be very important to reinforce others methods to control ripgut brome weed. This study was carried out in 1999-2000 season in a greenhouse experiment to test the aggressiveness degree of six varieties of hard wheat (Oum Rabia, Isly, Marzak, Karim, Sebou, and Massa) combined with ripgut brome. Plant density was fixed at 16 plants of wheat or Bromus for pure crop and 8 plants for wheat and 8 for Bromus mixture. The results showed that the numbers of kernels/spikes were higher in the mixture for on pure composition. For the kernel weight, the result was opposite except for Isly and Marzak varieties. Karim and Isly varieties obtained the highest grain yield and were more competitive in mixture composition but Sebou and Massa varieties were less competitive against ripgut brome. Results of ripgut brome productivity and water use efficiency were similar and were used to determine the aggressiveness coefficient of hard wheat varieties against ripgut brome. The reduction of the shoot dry matter of brome was 22 to 56% at flowering. The grain yield of brome was reduced from 57 to 81%.

  20. [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%.

  1. 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.

  2. Integrative taxonomy: Combining morphological, molecular and chemical data for species delineation in the parthenogenetic Trhypochthonius tectorum complex (Acari, Oribatida, Trhypochthoniidae)

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background There is a long-standing controversial about how parthenogenetic species can be defined in absence of a generally accepted species concept for this reproductive mode. An integrative approach was suggested, combining molecular and morphological data to identify distinct monophyletic entities. Using this approach, speciation of parthenogenetic lineages was recently demonstrated for groups of bdelloid rotifers and oribatid mites. Trhypochthonius tectorum, an oribatid mite from the entirely parthenogenetic desmonomatan family Trhypochthoniidae, is traditionally treated as a single species in Central Europe. However, two new morphological lineages were recently proposed for some Austrian populations of T. tectorum, and were described as novel subspecies (T. silvestris europaeus) or form (T. japonicus forma occidentalis). We used the morphological and morphometrical data which led to this separation, and added mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences and the chemical composition of complex exocrine oil gland secretions to test this taxonomical hypothesis. This is the first attempt to combine these three types of data for integrative taxonomical investigations of oribatid mites. Results We show that the previous European species T. tectorum represents a species complex consisting of three distinct lineages in Austria (T.tectorum, T. silvestris europaeus and T. japonicus forma occidentalis), each clearly separated by morphology, oil gland secretion profiles and mitochondrial cox1 sequences. This diversification happened in the last ten million years. In contrast to these results, no variation among the lineages was found in the nuclear 18S rDNA. Conclusions Our approach combined morphological, molecular and chemical data to investigate diversity and species delineation in a parthenogenetic oribatid mite species complex. To date, hypotheses of a general oribatid mite phylogeny are manifold, and mostly based on single-method approaches. Probably, the integrative

  3. [The cytogenetic effects in natural populations of Crepis tectorum L. growing in the region of the eastern Urals radioactive trace].

    PubMed

    Shevchenko, V V; Grinikh, L I; Abramov, V I

    1998-01-01

    Genetic consequences of a prolonged action of ionizing radiation were analyzed in five natural Crepis tectorum populations growing at the radioactively contaminated territory of the East-Ural radioactive track. In these populations about 40 years after the start of a chronic irradiation an increased frequency of chromosome aberrations was found out. An additional acute gamma irradiation at the dose of 20 Gy did not reveal any changes of radioresistance of the plants investigated.

  4. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  6. The importance of disturbance by fire and other abiotic and biotic factors in driving cheatgrass invasion varies based on invasion stage

    Treesearch

    Becky K. Kerns; Michelle A. Day

    2017-01-01

    Disturbances create fluctuations in resource availability that alter abiotic and biotic constraints. Exotic invader response may be due to multiple factors related to disturbance regimes and complex interactions between other small- and largescale abiotic and biotic processes that may vary across invasion stages. We explore how cheatgrass responds to both frequency and...

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

    Treesearch

    R.C. Johnson; Vicky J. Erickson; Nancy L. Mandel; J. Bradley St. Clair; Kenneth W. Vance-Borland

    2010-01-01

    Seed transfer zones ensure that germplasm selected for restoration is suitable and sustainable in diverse environments. In this study, seed zones were developed for mountain brome (Bromus carinatus Hook. & Arn.) in the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon and adjoining Washington. Plants from 148 Blue Mountain seed source locations were...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  9. Species' traits help predict small mammal responses to habitat homogenization by an invasive grass.

    PubMed

    Ceradini, Joseph P; Chalfoun, Anna D

    2017-03-20

    Invasive plants can negatively affect native species, however, the strength, direction, and shape of responses may vary depending on the type of habitat alteration and the natural history of native species. To prioritize conservation of vulnerable species, it is therefore critical to effectively predict species' responses to invasive plants, which may be facilitated by a framework based on species' traits. We studied the population and community responses of small mammals and changes in habitat heterogeneity across a gradient of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) cover, a widespread invasive plant in North America. We live-trapped small mammals over two summers and assessed the effect of cheatgrass on native small mammal abundance, richness, and species-specific and trait-based occupancy, while accounting for detection probability and other key habitat elements. Abundance was only estimated for the most common species, deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus). All species were pooled for the trait-based occupancy analysis to quantify the ability of small mammal traits (habitat association, mode of locomotion, and diet) to predict responses to cheatgrass invasion. Habitat heterogeneity decreased with cheatgrass cover. Deer mouse abundance increased marginally with cheatgrass. Species richness did not vary with cheatgrass, however, pocket mouse (Perognathus spp.) and harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys spp.) occupancy tended to decrease and increase, respectively, with cheatgrass cover, suggesting a shift in community composition. Cheatgrass had little effect on occupancy for deer mice, 13-lined ground squirrels (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus), and Ord's kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ordii). Species' responses to cheatgrass primarily corresponded with our a priori predictions based on species' traits. The probability of occupancy varied significantly with a species' habitat association but not with diet or mode of locomotion. When considered within the context of a rapid habitat change

  10. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  12. 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.

  13. 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).

  14. 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).

  15. Phylogenetic divergence, morphological and physiological differences distinguish a new Neotyphodium endophyte species in the grass Bromus auleticus from South America.

    PubMed

    Iannone, Leopoldo Javier; Cabral, Daniel; Schardl, Christopher Lewis; Rossi, María Susana

    2009-01-01

    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, Epichlo" festucae and E. typhina, from the northern hemisphere. However the ancestral sexual species have not been detected in this region. Several grasses from Argentina are infected by Neotyphodium species. These endophytes are in general very similar macro- and micromorphologically and phylogenetically conform to species N. tembladerae. However the Neotyphodium spp. endophytes of some hosts, Bromus auleticus and Poa spicifomis var. spiciformis, have not been included in this species. In this work we studied the incidence and characterized the diversity of Neotyphodium species in populations of the native grass Bromus auleticus from Argentina. The incidence of endophytes was 100% in all populations investigated. Two groups of endophytes were differentiated by their morphologies, growth rates, conidial ontogenies and by relative resistance to the fungicide benomyl. Phylogenetic trees inferred from tefA and tubB intron sequences indicated that both N. tembladerae and the novel morphotype were hybrids of E. festucae and E. typhina, but the ancestral E. typhina genotype distinguished them. Isolates from plants that inhabit coastal dunes, xerophytic forests, savannahs and hills were similar morphologically and phylogenetically to N. tembladerae, whereas the endophytes from the humid pampa plains conformed to the novel group. We propose the endophyte of Bromus auleticus from humid pampas as a new species, Neotyphodium pampeanum.

  16. Population regulation in Bromus rubens and B. mollis: Life cycle components and competition.

    PubMed

    Wu, K K; Jain, S K

    1979-01-01

    A series of Bromus rubens and B. mollis populations were sampled in the coastal range and northern part of the Central Valley of California in order to study their population ecology in demographic terms. Quantitative estimates were obtained on plants collected directly in nature, and their progenies in controlled environments with randomized block design in the greenhouse.Two parameters of population growth - the intrinsic rate of increase, r, and the carrying capacity, K-were estimated by using the logistic model (r=ln R and K=equilibrium population size). It was found that B. mollis is a relatively K-type species, while B. rubens is a relatively r-type species.The effects of density on competition between individuals in pure and mixed populations of B. mollis and B. rubens were studied. In both species, increasing density induced greater mortality and a striking plastic reduction in the size and reproductive potential of the individuals. Further, B. rubens showed a relatively greater mortality and less plastic response to densities than B. mollis in both pure and mixed stands. Two different types of plasticity were considered: one in response to changing density (d-plasticity); and the other in response to changing enironmental conditions (e-plasticity). High plasticity in one of them need not imply that the other one is high too. B. rubens showed higher e-plasticity, but lower d-plasticity than B. mollis.The relationships between r, K and competitive ability were discussed. Two types of K-strategy were distinguished: one involving greater nonreproductive effort with longer life span, or lowered mortality (Type-I) and the other with density-induced adjustments in body size along with survival in higher numbers (Type-II). Different populations of these two Bromus species showed different values of r and K (Type-II) and different competitive abilities. It was found that higher r was usually accompanied by lower K (Type-II), while higher K (Type-II) was accompanied

  17. 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

  18. 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, Lesley A.; Bryla, David R.; Smith-Longozo, Vickie; Nowak, Robert 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 Bromuswas 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.

  19. Land use causes genetic differentiation of life-history traits in Bromus hordeaceus.

    PubMed

    Völler, Eva; Auge, Harald; Bossdorf, Oliver; Prati, Daniel

    2013-03-01

    There is increasing evidence that species can evolve rapidly in response to environmental change. However, although land use is one of the key drivers of current environmental change, studies of its evolutionary consequences are still fairly scarce, in particular studies that examine land-use effects across large numbers of populations, and discriminate between different aspects of land use. Here, we investigated genetic differentiation in relation to land use in the annual grass Bromus hordeaceus. A common garden study with offspring from 51 populations from three regions and a broad range of land-use types and intensities showed that there was indeed systematic population differentiation of ecologically important plant traits in relation to land use, in particular due to increasing mowing and grazing intensities. We also found strong land-use-related genetic differentiation in plant phenology, where the onset of flowering consistently shifted away from the typical time of management. In addition, increased grazing intensity significantly increased the genetic variability within populations. Our study suggests that land use can cause considerable genetic differentiation among plant populations, and that the timing of land use may select for phenological escape strategies, particularly in monocarpic plant species. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Absorption and translocation of selenium by plants. [Bromus mollis; Hordeum vulgare

    SciTech Connect

    Atkins, C.E.; Epstein, E.

    1987-04-01

    The absorption of Se by the roots and its translocation to the shoots is being studied in the range grass, Bromus mollis. Seedlings are grown in a 0.1 modified Hoagland solution which is minus SO/sub 4//sup 2 -/ for 3 days before the experiment. Se is supplied as Na/sub 2/SeO/sub 4/ at 2.5 ..mu..M. The gamma emitting /sup 75/Se is used as a tracer. Se is translocated to the shoots quickly following its absorption; after 20 minutes the Se concentration in the shoots exceeds that in the roots. The influence of pH and of other anions (i.e. SO/sub 4//sup 2 -/, SiO/sub 3//sup 2 -/, NO/sub 3//sup -/, and Cl/sup -/) on the absorption and translocation of this element is currently being examined. Absorption of Se by excised barley (Hordeum vulgare cv. Arivat) roots follows Michaelis-Menten kinetics over the 2.5-100 ..mu..M range; a low-affinity mechanism comes into play at higher concentrations. Absorption by the former (high-affinity) mechanism is competitively inhibited by SO/sub 4//sup 2 -/, is little affected by NO/sub 3//sup -/ and Cl/sup -/, and is pH dependent. Over the 4-8 pH range absorption was maximal at pH 4, but only twice that found at pH 8.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Mowing and Fertilization Effect on Productivity and Spectral Reflectance in Bromus Inermis Plots.

    PubMed

    Dyer, M I; Turner, C L; Seastedt, T R

    1991-11-01

    Experiments were conducted to examine the potential role of grazing on ecosystem-level parameters as part of the NASA-sponsored First Isabela (International Satellite Land Surface Climatology Programmed) Field Experiment (FIFE) conducted at Konza Prairie Research Natural Area in 1987. Here we report results of one experiment conducted in a field consisting primarily of Bromus inermis, a cool season C3 grass. The experiment involved four simulated grazing components (unmowed control, 20-, 10-, and 5-cm mowing heights) and fertilization (untreated control and ammonium nitrate application). The plots were mowed to ground level and raked in April, following which they were mowed seven times during the growing season from May to October. Biomass production, N production, and spectral reflectance data were collected with a hand-held radiometer throughout the growing season, with standing crop estimates taken at two periods (7 August [day 219] and 27 October [day 300]) to correlate with the remote sensing information base. Standing crop values of mowed plots were as much as 67-70% lower than controls, but they produced significantly larger amounts of both biomass and total N. Maximum seasonlong production values in the mowed plots were °43% above controls, with major differences developing as a result of fertilization. Fertilized plots produced 67% more foliage than unfertilized plots. Our data show over-compensatory growth as a result of the simulated grazing treatments. Indexes (NDVI [normalized difference vegetation index] and greenness) derived from the reflectance data were poorly correlated with biomass. The correlation of NDVI with N content of the canopy foliage was somewhat stronger, particularly if stratified by mowing class. NDVI was a better predictor of vegetation status than the greenness indexes, but in plots stimulating heavily grazed areas where leafy vegetation was sparse and soil became more visible from above the canopy its utility decreased

  5. Preparation of activated carbons from Iris tectorum employing ferric nitrate as dopant for removal of tetracycline from aqueous solutions.

    PubMed

    Li, Gang; Zhang, Dongsheng; Wang, Man; Huang, Ji; Huang, Lihui

    2013-12-01

    Ferric nitrate was employed to modify activated carbon prepared from Iris tectorum during H₃PO₄ activation and ability of prepared activated carbon for removal of tetracycline (TC) was investigated. The properties of the activated carbon samples with or without ferric nitrate, ITAC-Fe and ITAC, were measured by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), N₂ adsorption/desorption isotherms, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and Boehm's titration. The results showed that mixing with iron increased the BET surface area, total pore volume and the adsorption capacity as compared to the original carbon. FTIR and Boehm's titration suggested that ITAC-Fe was characteristic of more acidic functional groups than ITAC. Adsorption of TC on both samples exhibited a strong pH-dependent behavior and adsorption capacity reduced rapidly with the increasing solution pH. The adsorption kinetics agreed well with the pseudo-second-order model and the adsorption isotherms data were well described by Langmuir model with the maximum adsorption capacity of 625.022 mg/g for ITAC and 769.231 mg/g for ITAC-Fe. The present work suggested that ITAC-Fe could be used to remove tetracycline effectively from aqueous solutions. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Effects of carbohydrate and nitrogen supplementation on fermentation of cheatgrass () in a dual-flow continuous culture system.

    PubMed

    Silva, L G; Benedeti, P D B; Paula, E M; Malekjahani, F; Amaral, P M; Mariz, L D S; Shenkoru, T; Faciola, A P

    2017-03-01

    Cheatgrass (CG; ), an introduced winter annual grass, is an aggressive invader of the sagebrush community in the Western United States. Because of its greater flammability, mature CG constitutes a fire hazard leading to repeated wildfires. One fuel-reduction strategy is livestock grazing. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of urea, molasses, or a combination of urea and molasses supplementation of a CG-based diet on digestibility, microbial fermentation, bacterial protein synthesis, and nutrient flow using a dual-flow continuous culture system. Eight fermenters were used in a replicate 4 × 4 Latin square design with four 10-d experimental periods. Experimental treatments (DM basis) were 1) forage only (CON), 2) CG plus urea alone (URE; 1.36% urea), 3) CG plus molasses alone (MOL; 15.9% molasses), and 4) CG plus urea and molasses combined (URE+MOL; 1.28% urea plus 19.3% molasses). Each fermenter was fed 72 g/d of DM, and data were analyzed using the GLIMMIX procedure of SAS (SAS Inst. Inc., Cary, NC). The true digestibilities of NDF and ADF were not affected by diets ( > 0.05). Molasses-containing diets had greater true digestibility of OM ( = 0.02). However, true digestibility of CP was increased when molasses was fed alone ( < 0.01). Molasses-containing diets had lower pH ( < 0.01) and greater VFA concentrations ( < 0.01) compared to those of the other diets. The URE+MOL diet resulted in a greater VFA concentration ( < 0.01). Propionate concentration increased ( < 0.01), whereas acetate concentration decreased ( < 0.01) when molasses alone or in combination with urea was added to the diets. Supplying molasses alone resulted in greater ( = 0.03) total branched-chain VFA compared to the other diets. The concentration of NH-N and total N flow increased ( < 0.01) in response to urea supplementation and was greater ( < 0.01) when urea alone was supplemented in the diet. On the other hand, molasses-supplemented diets yielded more non-ammonia N

  7. Using multi-date satellite imagery to monitor invasive grass species distribution in post-wildfire landscapes: An iterative, adaptable approach that employs open-source data and software

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    West, Amanda M.; Evangelista, Paul H.; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Kumar, Sunil; Swallow, Aaron; Luizza, Matthew; Chignell, Steve

    2017-01-01

    Among the most pressing concerns of land managers in post-wildfire landscapes are the establishment and spread of invasive species. Land managers need accurate maps of invasive species cover for targeted management post-disturbance that are easily transferable across space and time. In this study, we sought to develop an iterative, replicable methodology based on limited invasive species occurrence data, freely available remotely sensed data, and open source software to predict the distribution of Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) in a post-wildfire landscape. We developed four species distribution models using eight spectral indices derived from five months of Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) data in 2014. These months corresponded to both cheatgrass growing period and time of field data collection in the study area. The four models were improved using an iterative approach in which a threshold for cover was established, and all models had high sensitivity values when tested on an independent dataset. We also quantified the area at highest risk for invasion in future seasons given 2014 distribution, topographic covariates, and seed dispersal limitations. These models demonstrate the effectiveness of using derived multi-date spectral indices as proxies for species occurrence on the landscape, the importance of selecting thresholds for invasive species cover to evaluate ecological risk in species distribution models, and the applicability of Landsat 8 OLI and the Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling for targeted invasive species management.

  8. Using multi-date satellite imagery to monitor invasive grass species distribution in post-wildfire landscapes: An iterative, adaptable approach that employs open-source data and software

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    West, Amanda M.; Evangelista, Paul H.; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Kumar, Sunil; Swallow, Aaron; Luizza, Matthew W.; Chignell, Stephen M.

    2017-07-01

    Among the most pressing concerns of land managers in post-wildfire landscapes are the establishment and spread of invasive species. Land managers need accurate maps of invasive species cover for targeted management post-disturbance that are easily transferable across space and time. In this study, we sought to develop an iterative, replicable methodology based on limited invasive species occurrence data, freely available remotely sensed data, and open source software to predict the distribution of Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) in a post-wildfire landscape. We developed four species distribution models using eight spectral indices derived from five months of Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) data in 2014. These months corresponded to both cheatgrass growing period and time of field data collection in the study area. The four models were improved using an iterative approach in which a threshold for cover was established, and all models had high sensitivity values when tested on an independent dataset. We also quantified the area at highest risk for invasion in future seasons given 2014 distribution, topographic covariates, and seed dispersal limitations. These models demonstrate the effectiveness of using derived multi-date spectral indices as proxies for species occurrence on the landscape, the importance of selecting thresholds for invasive species cover to evaluate ecological risk in species distribution models, and the applicability of Landsat 8 OLI and the Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling for targeted invasive species management.

  9. Biotic resistance and disturbance: rodent consumers regulate post-fire plant invasions and increase plant community diversity.

    PubMed

    St Clair, Samuel B; O'Connor, Rory; Gill, Richard; McMillan, Brock

    2016-07-01

    Biotic resistance and disturbance are fundamental processes influencing plant invasion outcomes; however, the role of consumers in regulating the establishment and spread of plant invaders and how disturbance modifies biotic resistance by consumers is unclear. We document that fire in combination with experimental exclusion of rodent consumers shifted a native desert shrubland to a low-diversity, invasive annual grassland dominated by Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass). In contrast, burned plots with rodents present suppressed invasion by cheatgrass and developed into a more diverse forb community. Rodents created strong biotic resistance to the establishment of aggressive plant invaders likely through seed and seedling predation, which had cascading effects on plant competition and plant community diversity. Fire mediated its positive effects on plant invaders through native plant removal and by decreasing the abundance and diversity of the rodent community. The experimental disruption of plant and consumer-mediated biotic resistance of plant invaders using fire and rodent exclusion treatments provides strong evidence that native plants and rodents are important regulators of plant invasion dynamics and plant biodiversity in our study system. While rodents conferred strong resistance to invasion in our study system, fluctuations in rodent populations due to disturbance and climatic events may provide windows of opportunity for exotic plant species to escape biotic resistance by rodent consumers and initiate invasions. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  10. Pyrenophoric acid, a phytotoxic sesquiterpenoid penta-2,4-dienoic acid produced by a potential mycoherbicide, Pyrenophora semeniperda.

    PubMed

    Masi, Marco; Meyer, Susan; Cimmino, Alessio; Andolfi, Anna; Evidente, Antonio

    2014-04-25

    A new phytotoxic sesquiterpenoid penta-2,4-dienoic acid, named pyrenophoric acid, was isolated from solid wheat seed culture of Pyrenophora semeniperda, a fungal pathogen proposed as a mycoherbicide for biocontrol of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and other annual bromes. These bromes are serious weeds in winter cereals and also on temperate semiarid rangelands. Pyrenophoric acid was characterized as (2Z,4E)-5-[(7S,9S,10R,12R)-3,4-dihydroxy-2,2,6-trimethylcyclohexyl)]-3-methylpenta-2,4-dienoic acid by spectroscopic and chemical methods. The relative stereochemistry of pyrenophoric acid was assigned using 1H,1H couplings and NOESY experiments, while its absolute configuration was determined by applying the advanced Mosher's method. Pyrenophoric acid is structurally quite closely related to the plant growth regulator abscisic acid. When bioassayed in a cheatgrass coleoptile elongation test at 10(-3) M, pyrenophoric acid showed strong phytotoxicity, reducing coleoptile elongation by 51% relative to the control. In a mixture at 10(-4) M, its negative effect on coleoptile elongation was additive with that of cytochalasin B, another phytotoxic compound found in the wheat seed culture extract of this fungus, demonstrating that the extract toxicity observed in earlier studies was due to the combined action of multiple phytotoxic compounds.

  11. Use of AFLP and RAPD molecular genetic markers and cytogenetic analysis to explore relationships among taxa of the Patagonian Bromus setifolius complex

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Bromus setifolius var. pictus (Hook) Skottsb., B. setifolius var. setifolius Presl. and B.setifolius var. brevifolius Ness are three native Patagonian taxa in the section Pnigma Dumort of the genus Bromus L. AFLP and RAPD analysis, in conjunction with genetic distance measurements and statistical techniques, revealed variation within this group and indicated that B. setifolius var. brevifolius was closely related to B. setifolius var. pictus, with both taxa being more distantly related to B. setifolius var. setifolius. Cytogenetic analysis confirmed the chromosomal number of B. setifolius var. pictus (2n = 70) and B. setifolius var. setifolius (2n = 28) and showed for the first time that B. setifolius var. brevifolius had 2n = 70. The combination of molecular genetic and cytogenetic evidence supported a species status for two of the three taxa and suggested hypotheses for the evolutionary origin of these complex taxa. Species status was also indicated for B. setifolius var. setifolius. Based on these findings, we suggest that B. setifolius var. pictus be referred to as B. pictus Hook var. pictus, and B. setifolius var brevifolius as B. pictus Hook var brevifolius. The correlation between AFLP diversity and variation in ecological parameters suggested that this marker system could be used to assess breeding progress and to monitor the domestication of Patagonian Bromus species for agronomic use. PMID:21637686

  12. 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.

  13. Interspecific hybridization and bioactive alkaloid variation increases diversity in endophytic Epichloë species of Bromus laevipes.

    PubMed

    Charlton, Nikki D; Craven, Kelly D; Afkhami, Michelle E; Hall, Bradley A; Ghimire, Sita R; Young, Carolyn A

    2014-10-01

    Studying geographic variation of microbial mutualists, especially variation in traits related to benefits they provide their host, is critical for understanding how these associations impact key ecological processes. In this study, we investigate the phylogenetic population structure of Epichloë species within Bromus laevipes, a native cool-season bunchgrass found predominantly in California. Phylogenetic classification supported inference of three distinct Epichloë taxa, of which one was nonhybrid and two were interspecific hybrids. Inheritance of mating-type idiomorphs revealed that at least one of the hybrid species arose from independent hybridization events. We further investigated the geographic variation of endophyte-encoded alkaloid genes, which is often associated with key benefits of natural enemy protection for the host. Marker diversity at the ergot alkaloid, loline, indole-diterpene, and peramine loci revealed four alkaloid genotypes across the three identified Epichloë species. Predicted chemotypes were tested using endophyte-infected plant material that represented each endophyte genotype, and 11 of the 13 predicted alkaloids were confirmed. This multifaceted approach combining phylogenetic, genotypic, and chemotypic analyses allowed us to reconstruct the diverse evolutionary histories of Epichloë species present within B. laevipes and highlight the complex and dynamic processes underlying these grass-endophyte symbioses.

  14. Seed harvesting is influenced by associational effects in mixed seed neighbourhoods, not just by seed density

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ostoja, Steven M.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Durham, Susan; Klinger, Robert C.

    2013-01-01

    Rodents frequently forage in a density-dependent manner, increasing harvesting in patches with greater seed densities. Although seldom considered, seed harvesting may also depend on the species identities of other individuals in the seed neighbourhood. When the seed harvest of a focal species increases in association with another seed species, the focal species suffers from Associational Susceptibility. In contrast, if seeds of the focal species are harvested less when in association with a second species, the focal species benefits from Associational Resistance.To evaluate density dependence and associational effects among seeds in mixtures, we conducted seed removal experiments using a completely additive design patterned after a two-species competition experiment using seeds of either Achnatherum hymenoides(Indian ricegrass), Leymus cinereus (basin wildrye) or Pseudoroegneria spicata (bluebunch wheatgrass), all native perennial grasses, combined with seeds of Bromus tectorum(cheatgrass), a non-native annual grass. The experiment involved placing five fixed quantities of the native seeds mixed with five fixed quantities of B. tectorum seeds in a factorial design, resulting in 35 seed mixture combinations. The seed-eating rodent community at our study sites, in order of abundance, is composed of Peromyscus maniculatus (North American deer mouse), Dipodomys ordii (Ord's kangaroo rat) and Perognathus parvus (Great Basin pocket mouse).Native seed harvesting was density dependent, with a greater proportion of seeds being harvested as density increased. In the mixed density model, the presence of B. tectorumdid not affect harvest of any of the native species' seeds when analysed individually. However, when all three native species were analysed together, increasing quantities of B. tectorum resulted in reduced harvest of native seeds, demonstrating weak but significant Associational Resistance. In contrast, harvest of B. tectorum seeds increased

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Established native perennial grasses out-compete an invasive annual grass regardless of soil water and nutrient availability

    Treesearch

    Christopher M. McGlone; Carolyn Hull Sieg; Thomas E. Kolb; Ty Nietupsky

    2012-01-01

    Competition and resource availability influence invasions into native perennial grasslands by nonnative annual grasses such as Bromus tectorum. In two greenhouse experiments we examined the influence of competition, water availability, and elevated nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) availability on growth and reproduction of the invasive annual grass B. tectorum and two...

  18. 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.

  19. Comparison of Dehydrin Gene Expression and Freezing Tolerance in Bromus inermis and Secale cereale Grown in Controlled Environments, Hydroponics, and the Field.

    PubMed Central

    Robertson, A. J.; Weninger, A.; Wilen, R. W.; Fu, P.; Gusta, L. V.

    1994-01-01

    There have been very few reports on the expression of stress-responsive genes in field-grown material. A barley dehydrin cDNA was used to investigate the expression of dehydrin-like transcripts after low-temperature and abscisic acid-induced acclimation of bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss) suspension cells and of bromegrass and rye (Secale cereale) plants grown in the field and under controlled environmental conditions. Field-acclimated plants accumulated high levels of dehydrin transcripts and were very freezing tolerant. Plants grown in pots and hydroponics under controlled environments also accumulated dehydrin transcripts and showed increased freezing tolerance. Simulation of a combined drought and freezing stress in pots resulted in expression of dehydrin-like transcripts comparable to those observed in field-acclimated material. PMID:12232403

  20. 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.

  1. Plant cover and water balance in gravel admixtures at an arid waste-burial site

    SciTech Connect

    Waugh, W.J.; Thiede, M.E.; Bates, D.J.

    1994-07-01

    Isolation of radioactive waste buried in unsaturated zones will require long-term control of recharge and erosion. Soil covers control recharge at and sites by storing rainwater close enough to the surface to be removed by evapotranspiration. Surface layers of rock or gravel control erosion at sites with sparse vegetation, but can also alter plant habitat and cause recharge through interred waste. As an alternative, gravel mixed into the uppermost soil law may control erosion ever the king-term better than surface gravel layers. Gravel admixtures may also not influence plant establishment or sod water balance in waste-site covers. The interactive effects of gravel admixture concentration, vegetation, and precipitation on soil water content and plant cover were measured at the US Department of Energy`s Hanford Site. Results support use of a combination of vegetation and gravel admixtures for erosion control. Vegetation seasonally depleted root zone water storage to about 6.5 volume % regardless of precipitation amount or the presence of gravel admixture amendments. In contrast, yearly increases in soil water storage as deep as 225 cm in plots without vegetation may be a leading indicator of recharge. The composition and abundance of vegetation changed over time and with precipitation amount, but was not influenced by gravel amendments. Seeded wheatgrasses [Agropyron sibericum Wilde and Agropyron dasystachyum (Hook.) Scribn.] established only when irrigated with twice average precipitation, but persisted after the irrigation ceased. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) and Russian thistle (Salsola kali L.) colonized areas receiving both irrigation and ambient precipitation. Stands with wheatgrasses extracted water more rapidly and depleted soil water to lower levels than cheatgrass-dominated stands. Increases in gravel cover and near-surface gravel concentrations after 5 yr were evidence of the formation of a protective gravel veneer. 44 refs., 8 figs., 2 tabs.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  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. Allometry of root branching and its relationship to root morphological and functional traits in three range grasses.

    PubMed

    Arredondo, J Tulio; Johnson, Douglas A

    2011-11-01

    The study of proportional relationships between size, shape, and function of part of or the whole organism is traditionally known as allometry. Examination of correlative changes in the size of interbranch distances (IBDs) at different root orders may help to identify root branching rules. Root morphological and functional characteristics in three range grasses {bluebunch wheatgrass [Pseudoroegneria spicata (Pursh) Löve], crested wheatgrass [Agropyron desertorum (Fisch. ex Link) Schult.×A. cristatum (L.) Gaert.], and cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.)} were examined in response to a soil nutrient gradient. Interbranch distances along the main root axis and the first-order laterals as well as other morphological and allocation root traits were determined. A model of nutrient diffusivity parameterized with root length and root diameter for the three grasses was used to estimate root functional properties (exploitation efficiency and exploitation potential). The results showed a significant negative allometric relationship between the main root axis and first-order lateral IBD (P ≤ 0.05), but only for bluebunch wheatgrass. The main root axis IBD was positively related to the number and length of roots, estimated exploitation efficiency of second-order roots, and specific root length, and was negatively related to estimated exploitation potential of first-order roots. Conversely, crested wheatgrass and cheatgrass, which rely mainly on root proliferation responses, exhibited fewer allometric relationships. Thus, the results suggested that species such as bluebunch wheatgrass, which display slow root growth and architectural root plasticity rather than opportunistic root proliferation and rapid growth, exhibit correlative allometry between the main axis IBD and morphological, allocation, and functional traits of roots.

  7. Hydrologic Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Associated With the Increased Role of Fire on Western Landscapes, Great Basin, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, C. J.; Pierson, F. B.; Robichaud, P. R.; Spaeth, K. E.; Hardegree, S. P.; Clark, P. E.; Moffet, C. A.; Al-Hamdan, O. Z.; Boll, J.

    2010-12-01

    Landscape-scale plant community transitions and altered fire regimes across Great Basin, USA, rangelands have increased the likelihood of post-fire flooding and erosion events. These hazards are particularly concerning for western urban centers along the rangeland urban-wildland interface where natural resources, property, and human life are at risk. Extensive conversion of 4-7 million hectares of Great Basin shrub-steppe to cheatgrass-dominated (Bromus tectorum) grasslands has increased the frequency and size of wildland fires within these ecosystems. Fire frequencies have increased by more than an order of magnitude and occur on 3-10 year intervals across much of the cheatgrass-dominated landscape. Extensive tree (Pinus spp. and Juniperus spp.) encroachment into wooded shrub-steppe has increased heavy fuel loads. Ladder fuels in these ecosystems promote rapidly spreading, high-intensity and severe ground-surface-crown fires. These altered fuel structures across much of the historical Great Basin shrub-steppe have initiated an upsurge in large rangeland wildfires and have increased the spatial and temporal vulnerability of these landscapes to amplified runoff and erosion. Resource and infrastructure damages, and loss of life have been reported due to flooding following recent large-scale burning of western rangelands and dry forests. We present a decade of post-fire rangeland hydrologic research that provides a foundation for conceptual modeling of the hydrologic impacts associated with an increased role of rangeland wildfires. We highlight advancements in predictive tools to address this large-scale phenomenon and discuss vital research voids requiring attention. Our geographic emphasis is the Great Basin Region, however, these concepts likely extend elsewhere given the increased role of fire in many geographic regions and across rangeland-to-forest ecotones in the western United States.

  8. Net carbon exchange and evapotranspiration in postfire and intact sagebrush communities in the Great Basin.

    PubMed

    Prater, Margaret R; Obrist, Daniel; Arnone, John A; DeLucia, Evan H

    2006-01-01

    Invasion of non-native annuals across the Intermountain West is causing a widespread transition from perennial sagebrush communities to fire-prone annual herbaceous communities and grasslands. To determine how this invasion affects ecosystem function, carbon and water fluxes were quantified in three, paired sagebrush and adjacent postfire communities in the northern Great Basin using a 1-m3 gas exchange chamber. Most of the plant cover in the postfire communities was invasive species including Bromus tectorum L., Agropyron cristatum (L.) Gaertn and Sisymbrium altissimum L. Instantaneous morning net carbon exchange (NCE) and evapotranspiration (ET) in native shrub plots were greater than either intershrub or postfire plots. Native sagebrush communities were net carbon sinks (mean NCE 0.2-4.3 micromol m-2 s-1) throughout the growing season. The magnitude and seasonal variation of NCE in the postfire communities were controlled by the dominant species and availability of soil moisture. Net C exchange in postfire communities dominated by perennial bunchgrasses was similar to sagebrush. However, communities dominated by annuals (cheatgrass and mustard) had significantly lower NCE than sagebrush and became net sources of carbon to the atmosphere (NCE declined to -0.5 micromol m-2 s-1) with increased severity of the summer drought. Differences in the patterns of ET led to lower surface soil moisture content and increased soil temperatures during summer in the cheatgrass-dominated community compared to the adjacent sagebrush community. Intensive measurements at one site revealed that temporal and spatial patterns of NCE and ET were correlated most closely with changes in leaf area in each community. By altering the patterns of carbon and water exchange, conversion of native sagebrush to postfire invasive communities may disrupt surface-atmosphere exchange and degrade the carbon storage capacity of these systems.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Plant invaders, global change and landscape restoration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pyke, D.A.; Knick, S.T.

    2005-01-01

    Modifications in land uses, technology, transportation and biogeochemical cycles currently influence the spread of organisms by reducing the barriers that once restricted their movements. We provide an overview of the spatial and temporal extent for agents of environmental change (land and disturbance transformations, biogeochemical modifications, biotic additions and losses) and highlight those that strongly influence rangeland ecosystems. Restoration may provide a mechanism for ameliorating the impacts of invasive species, but applications of restoration practices over large scales, e.g. ecoregions, will yield benefits earlier when the landscape is prioritised by criteria that identify locations where critical restoration species can grow and where success will be high. We used the Great Basin, USA as our region of interest where the invasive annual grass, cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), dominates millions of hectares. A landscape-level restoration model for sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. tridentata and ssp. wyomingensis) was developed to meet the goal of establishing priority habitat for wildlife. This approach could be used in long-range planning of rangeland ecosystems where funds and labour for restoration projects may vary annually. Copyright ?? NISC Pty Ltd.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Post-fire seeding on Wyoming big sagebrush ecological sites: regression analyses of seeded nonnative and native species densities.

    PubMed

    Eiswerth, Mark E; Krauter, Karl; Swanson, Sherman R; Zielinski, Mike

    2009-02-01

    Since the mid-1980s, sagebrush rangelands in the Great Basin of the United States have experienced more frequent and larger wildfires. These fires affect livestock forage, the sagebrush/grasses/forbs mosaic that is important for many wildlife species (e.g., the greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus)), post-fire flammability and fire frequency. When a sagebrush, especially a Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis (Beetle & A. Young)), dominated area largely devoid of herbaceous perennials burns, it often transitions to an annual dominated and highly flammable plant community that thereafter excludes sagebrush and native perennials. Considerable effort is devoted to revegetating rangeland following fire, but to date there has been very little analysis of the factors that lead to the success of this revegetation. This paper utilizes a revegetation monitoring dataset to examine the densities of three key types of vegetation, specifically nonnative seeded grasses, nonnative seeded forbs, and native Wyoming big sagebrush, at several points in time following seeding. We find that unlike forbs, increasing the seeding rates for grasses does not appear to increase their density (at least for the sites and seeding rates we examined). Also, seeding Wyoming big sagebrush increases its density with time since fire. Seeding of grasses and forbs is less successful at locations that were dominated primarily by annual grasses (cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.)), and devoid of shrubs, prior to wildfire. This supports the hypothesis of a "closing window of opportunity" for seeding at locations that burned sagebrush for the first time in recent history.

  18. Ecology and space: A case study in mapping harmful invasive species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    David T. Barnett,; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Chong, Geneva W.; Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Sunil Kumar,; Holcombe, Tracy R.; Brunn, Stanley D.; Dodge, Martin

    2017-01-01

    The establishment and invasion of non-native plant species have the ability to alter the composition of native species and functioning of ecological systems with financial costs resulting from mitigation and loss of ecological services. Spatially documenting invasions has applications for management and theory, but the utility of maps is challenged by availability and uncertainty of data, and the reliability of extrapolating mapped data in time and space. The extent and resolution of projections also impact the ability to inform invasive species science and management. Early invasive species maps were coarse-grained representations that underscored the phenomena, but had limited capacity to direct management aside from development of watch lists for priorities for prevention and containment. Integrating mapped data sets with fine-resolution environmental variables in the context of species-distribution models allows a description of species-environment relationships and an understanding of how, why, and where invasions may occur. As with maps, the extent and resolution of models impact the resulting insight. Models of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) across a variety of spatial scales and grain result in divergent species-environment relationships. New data can improve models and efficiently direct further inventories. Mapping can target areas of greater model uncertainty or the bounds of modeled distribution to efficiently refine models and maps. This iterative process results in dynamic, living maps capable of describing the ongoing process of species invasions.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Study area description: Chapter 1

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rowland, Mary M.; Leu, Matthias; Hanser, Steven E.; Leu, Matthias; Knick, Steven T.; Aldridge, Cameron L.

    2011-01-01

    The boundary for the Wyoming Basins Ecoregional Assessment (WBEA) was largely determined by the co-occurrence of some of the largest tracts of intact sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) remaining in the western United States with areas of increasing resource extraction. The WBEA area includes two ecoregions in their entirety, Wyoming Basins and Utah-Wyoming Rocky Mountains, and portions of two others (Southern Rocky Mountains and Middle Rockies-Blue Mountains). Over half the study area is in Wyoming; the remainder includes parts of Colorado, Utah, Idaho, and Montana. Private landowners manage most (33.1%) of the land base in the WBEA, followed by the U.S. Forest Service (27.3%) and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (25.6%). Sagebrush is the dominant land cover type in the study area, totaling >130,000 km2 ; nearly half the sagebrush in the WBEA is managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Sagebrush in the WBEA faces many potential threats that also influence the broader sagebrush ecosystem. Climate change, drought, land-use practices (e.g., livestock grazing, oil and gas development), and human development have eliminated and fragmented the sagebrush ecosystem, altered fire regimes, and accelerated the invasion of exotic plants such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum). Less than 2% of sagebrush in the WBEA is permanently protected from land cover conversion.

  4. 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.

  5. Preserving prairies: Understanding temporal and spatial patterns of invasive annual bromes in the Northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ashton, Isabel; Symstad, Amy; Davis, Christopher; Swanson, Daniel J.

    2016-01-01

    Two Eurasian invasive annual brome grasses, cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and Japanese brome (Bromus japonicus), are well known for their impact in steppe ecosystems of the western United States where these grasses have altered fire regimes, reduced native plant diversity and abundance, and degraded wildlife habitat. Annual bromes are also abundant in the grasslands of the Northern Great Plains (NGP), but their impact and ecology are not as well studied. It is unclear whether the lessons learned from the steppe will translate to the mixed-grass prairie where native plant species are adapted to frequent fires and grazing. Developing a successful annual brome management strategy for National Park Service units and other NGP grasslands requires better understanding of (1) the impact of annual bromes on grassland condition; (2) the dynamics of these species through space and time; and (3) the relative importance of environmental factors within and outside managers' control for these spatiotemporal dynamics. Here, we use vegetation monitoring data collected from 1998 to 2015 in 295 sites to relate spatiotemporal variability of annual brome grasses to grassland composition, weather, physical environmental characteristics, and ecological processes (grazing and fire). Concern about the impact of these species in NGP grasslands is warranted, as we found a decline in native species richness with increasing annual brome cover. Annual brome cover generally increased over the time of monitoring but also displayed a 3- to 5-yr cycle of reduction and resurgence. Relative cover of annual bromes in the monitored areas was best predicted by park unit, weather, extant plant community, slope grade, soil composition, and fire history. We found no evidence that grazing reduced annual brome cover, but this may be due to the relatively low grazing pressure in our study. By understanding the consequences and patterns of annual brome invasion, we will be better able to preserve and restore

  6. Protein Synthesis in Bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss) Cultured Cells during the Induction of Frost Tolerance by Abscisic Acid or Low Temperature

    PubMed Central

    Robertson, Albert J.; Gusta, Lawrence V.; Reaney, Martin J. T.; Ishikawa, Masaya

    1987-01-01

    Bromus inermis Leyss cell cultures treated with 75 micromolar abscisic acid (ABA) at both 23 and 3°C developed more freezing resistance than cells cultured at 3°C. Protein synthesis in cells induced to become freezing tolerant by ABA and low temperature was monitored by [14C]leucine incorporation. Protein synthesis continued at 3°C, but net cell growth was stopped. Most of the major proteins detected at 23°C were synthesized at 3°C. However, some proteins were synthesized only at low temperatures, whereas others were inhibited. ABA showed similar effects on protein synthesis at both 23 and 3°C. Comparative electrophoretic analysis of [14C]leucine labeled protein detected the synthesis of 19, 21 and 47 kilodalton proteins in less than 8 hours after exposure to exogenous ABA. Proteins in the 20 kilodalton range were also synthesized at 3°C. In addition, a 31 kilodalton protein band showed increased expression in freezing resistant ABA treated cultures after 36 hours growth at both 3 and 23°C. Quantitative analysis of [14C]leucine labeled polypeptides in two-dimensional gels confirmed the increased expression of the 31 kilodalton protein. Two-dimensional analysis also resolved a 72 kilodalton protein enriched in ABA treated cultures and identified three proteins (24.5, 47, and 48 kilodaltons) induced by low temperature growth. Images Fig. 3 Fig. 4 PMID:16665607

  7. 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

  8. Structure-Activity Relationships of Abscisic Acid Analogs Based on the Induction of Freezing Tolerance in Bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss) Cell Cultures 1

    PubMed Central

    Churchill, Grant C.; Ewan, Bruce; Reaney, Martin J. T.; Abrams, Suzanne R.; Gusta, Lawrence V.

    1992-01-01

    The induction of freezing tolerance in bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss) cell culture was used to investigate the activity of absisic acid (ABA) analogs. Analogs were either part of an array of 32 derived from systematic alterations to four regions of the ABA molecule or related, pure optical isomers. Alterations were made to the functional group at C-1 (acid replaced with methyl ester, aldehyde, or alcohol), the configuration at C-2, C-3 (cis double bond replaced with trans double bond), the bond order at C-4, C-5 (trans double bond replaced with a triple bond), and ring saturation (C-2′, C-3′ double bond replaced with a single bond so that the C-2′ methyl and side chain were cis). All deviations in structure from ABA reduced activity. A cis C-2, C-3 double bond was the only substituent absolutely required for activity. Overall, acids and esters were more active than aldehydes and alcohols, cyclohexenones were more active than cyclohexanones, and dienoic and acetylenic analogs were equally active. The activity associated with any one substituent was, however, markedly influenced by the presence of other substituents. cis, trans analogs were more active than their corresponding acetylenic analogs unless the C-1 was an ester. Cyclohexenones were more active than cyclohexanones regardless of oxidation level at C-1. An acetylenic side chain decreased the activity of cyclohexenones but increased the activity of cyclohexanones relative to their cis, trans counterparts. Trends suggested that for activity the configuration at C-1′ has to be the same as in (S)-ABA, in dihydro analogs the C-2′-methyl and the side chain must be cis, small positional changes of the 7′-methyl are tolerable, and the C-1 has to be at the acid oxidation level. PMID:16653234

  9. Interaction between the endophytic fungus Epichloe bromicola and the grass bromus erectus: effects of endophyte infection, fungal concentration and environment on grass growth and flowering

    PubMed

    Groppe; Steinger; Sanders; Schmid; Wiemken; Boller

    1999-11-01

    Epichloe bromicola is an endophytic fungal species that systemically and perennially colonizes intercellular spaces of leaf blades, leaf sheaths and culms of Bromus grass species. E. bromicola causes choke disease in B. erectus, suppressing maturation of most, if not all, host inflorescences. In an investigation of the interaction between fungus and host, we used a quantitative polymerase chain reaction technique to estimate the amount of fungal DNA, and thereby fungal concentration, in host plants. Fungal concentration was directly correlated with vegetative vigour of the plant, as measured by longest leaf length, number of tillers and vegetative above-ground biomass, suggesting that, during vegetative growth, the endophytic fungus is most beneficial for the plant when present in high concentrations. In contrast, the reproduction of the plant, as measured by the number of functional inflorescences, was inversely correlated with fungal concentration: the majority of infected plants, and all that were associated with high concentrations of fungi, were diseased. Thus, the benefit of endophyte infection for the plant is coupled with the disadvantages of infertility. Fungal concentration was shown to be at least in part genetically determined because fungal concentration differed significantly in different plant-endophyte genotype combinations (symbiotum). In a field experiment with normal and CO2-enriched environments, elevated CO2 levels favoured fungal reproductive vigour over host reproductive vigour, suggesting that these plant endophytes would be at a selective advantage in a corresponding environmental-change scenario. We conclude that a dynamic and complex relationship between fungal endophyte infection, fungal concentration, genotype and environment affects growth and fecundity of B. erectus and should contribute to the evolution of these plant-fungal interactions.

  10. Dynamic and steady-state responses of inorganic nitrogen pools and NH(3) exchange in leaves of Lolium perenne and Bromus erectus to changes in root nitrogen supply.

    PubMed

    Mattsson, Marie; Schjoerring, Jan K

    2002-02-01

    Short- and long-term responses of inorganic N pools and plant-atmosphere NH(3) exchange to changes in external N supply were investigated in 11-week-old plants of two grass species, Lolium perenne and Bromus erectus, characteristic of N-rich and N-poor grassland ecosystems, respectively. A switch of root N source from NO(-)(3)to NH(4)(+) caused within 3 h a 3- to 6-fold increase in leaf apoplastic NH(4)(+) concentration and a simultaneous decrease in apoplastic pH of about 0.4 pH units in both species. The concentration of total extractable leaf tissue NH(4)(+) also increased two to three times within 3 h after the switch. Removal of exogenous NH(4)(+) caused the apoplastic NH(4)(+) concentration to decline back to the original level within 24 h, whereas the leaf tissue NH(4)(+)concentration decreased more slowly and did not reach the original level in 48 h. After growing for 5 weeks with a steady-state supply of NO(-)(3)or NH(4)(+), L. perenne were in all cases larger, contained more N, and utilized the absorbed N more efficiently for growth than B. erectus, whereas the two species behaved oppositely with respect to tissue concentrations of NO(-)(3), NH(4)(+), and total N. Ammonia compensation points were higher for B. erectus than for L. perenne and were in both species higher for NH(4)(+)- than for NO(-)(3)-grown plants. Steady-state levels of apoplastic NH(4)(+), tissue NH(4)(+), and NH(3) emission were significantly correlated. It is concluded that leaf apoplastic NH(4)(+) is a highly dynamic pool, closely reflecting changes in the external N supply. This rapid response may constitute a signaling system coordinating leaf N metabolism with the actual N uptake by the roots and the external N availability.

  11. Do co-occurring plant species adapt to one another? The response of Bromus erectus to the presence of different Thymus vulgaris chemotypes.

    PubMed

    Ehlers, Bodil K; Thompson, John

    2004-11-01

    Local modification of the soil environment by individual plants may affect the performance and composition of associated plant species. The aromatic plant Thymus vulgaris has the potential to modify the soil through leaching of water-soluble compounds from leaves and litter decomposition. In southern France, six different thyme chemotypes can be distinguished based on the dominant monoterpene in the essential oil, which is either phenolic or non-phenolic in structure. We examine how soils from within and away from thyme patches in sites dominated by either phenolic or non-phenolic chemotypes affect germination, growth and reproduction of the associated grass species Bromus erectus. To do so, we collected seeds of B. erectus from three phenolic and three non-phenolic sites. Seeds and seedlings were grown on soils from these sites in a reciprocal transplant type experiment in the glasshouse. Brome of non-phenolic origin performed significantly better on its home soil than on soil from a different non-phenolic or a phenolic site. This response to local chemotypes was only observed on soil collected directly underneath thyme plants and not on soil in the same site (<5 m away) but where no thyme plants were present. This is preliminary evidence that brome plants show an adaptive response to soil modifications mediated by the local thyme chemotypes. Reproductive effort was consistently higher in brome of phenolic origin than in brome of non-phenolic origin (on both thyme- and grass-soil), indicating that life-history variation may be related to environmental factors which also contribute to the spatial differentiation of thyme chemotypes. Moreover, we found that brome growing on thyme-soil in general was heavier than when growing on grass-soil, regardless of the origin of the brome plants. This is concordant with thyme-soil containing higher amounts of organic matter and nitrogen than grass-soil. Our results indicate that patterns of genetic differentiation and local

  12. Functional characterization of a sucrose:fructan 6-fructosyltransferase of the cold-resistant grass Bromus pictus by heterelogous expression in Pichia pastoris and Nicotiana tabacum and its involvement in freezing tolerance.

    PubMed

    Del Viso, Florencia; Casabuono, Adriana C; Couto, Alicia S; Hopp, H Esteban; Puebla, Andrea F; Heinz, Ruth A

    2011-03-15

    We have previously reported the molecular characterization of a putative sucrose:fructan 6-fructosyltransferase (6-SFT) of Bromus pictus, a graminean species from Patagonia, tolerant to cold and drought. Here, this enzyme was functionally characterized by heterologous expression in Pichia pastoris and Nicotiana tabacum. Recombinant P. pastoris Bp6-SFT showed comparable characteristics to barley 6-SFT and an evident fructosyltransferase activity synthesizing bifurcose from sucrose and 1-kestotriose. Transgenic tobacco plants expressing Bp6-SFT, showed fructosyltransferase activity and fructan accumulation in leaves. Bp6-SFT plants exposed to freezing conditions showed a significantly lower electrolyte leakage in leaves compared to control plants, indicating less membrane damage. Concomitantly these transgenic plants resumed growth more rapidly than control ones. These results indicate that Bp6-SFT transgenic tobacco plants that accumulate fructan showed enhanced freezing tolerance compared to control plants. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. 

  20. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  2. Field Surveys, IOC Valleys. Volume II, Part II. Biological Resources Survey, Pine and Wah Wah Valleys, Utah.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-08-01

    contained two or more species of cactus on each site. Grasses included Aristida purpurea, Bromus tectorum, Hilaria jamesii, Oryzopsis hymen - oides, and...TR-48-II-Il 260 tolerances to salinity: Atriplex canescens and Atriplex hymen - elytra can survive very high salinity conditions; Ambrosia dumosa

  3. Exotic Annual Grasses in Western Rangelands: Predicting Resistance and Resilience of Native Ecosystems to Invasion (Draft)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-04-22

    Harper 1977, Crawley 1983, Belsky 1986). However, some plant species have developed mechanisms to tolerate herbivory (McNaughton 1986, Paige and...L. 2001. Soil biota in an ungrazed grassland: response to annual grass (Bromus tectorum) invasion. - Ecological Applications 11: 1261-1275. Belsky

  4. A seed bank pathogen causes seedborne disease: Pyrenophora semeniperda on undispersed grass seeds in western North America

    Treesearch

    Susan E. Meyer; Julie Beckstead; Phil S. Allen; Duane C. Smith

    2008-01-01

    The generalist pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda is abundant in seed banks of the exotic winter annual grass Bromus tectorum in semiarid western North America and is also found in the seed banks of co-occurring native grasses. In this study, we examined natural incidence of disease caused by this pathogen on undispersed host seeds,...

  5. 76 FR 27183 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for Lepidium...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-10

    ... increased fire frequency. Bromus tectorum can impact L. papilliferum directly through competition, but it... between nonnative annual grasses and fire, which makes it difficult to separate out the effects that each... the Great Basin where Lepidium papilliferum occurs are likely to become hotter and drier, fire...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  8. Growth and nutrient content of herbaceous seedlings associated with biological soil crusts

    Treesearch

    R. L. Pendleton; B. K. Pendleton; G. L. Howard; S. D. Warren

    2003-01-01

    Biological soil crusts of arid and semiarid lands contribute significantly to ecosystem stability by means of soil stabilization, nitrogen fixation, and improved growth and establishment of vascular plant species. In this study, we examined growth and nutrient content of Bromus tectorum, Elymus elymoides, Gaillardia pulchella, and Sphaeralcea munroana grown in soil...

  9. Competition for soil nitrate and invasive weed resistance of three shrub-steppe growth forms

    Treesearch

    Eamonn D. Leonard

    2007-01-01

    Determining mechanisms responsible for weed resistance and invasion success are two issues that have potential in aiding successful land management decisions. The first experiment evaluates the competitive effects of an invasive annual grass downy brome (Bromus tectorum L.), an invasive biennial forb dyer's woad (Isatis tinctoria...

  10. Downy brome seed ecology: From flower to emergence

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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,...

  11. The quick and the deadly: Growth versus virulence in a seed bank pathogen

    Treesearch

    Susan E. Meyer; Thomas E. Stewart; Suzette Clement

    2010-01-01

    We studied the relationship between virulence (ability to kill nondormant Bromus tectorum seeds) and mycelial growth index in the necrotrophic seed pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda. Seed pathosystems involving necrotrophs differ from those commonly treated in traditional evolution-of-virulence models in that host death increases pathogen fitness by preventing...

  12. The ghost of outcrossing past in downy brome, an inbreeding annual grass

    Treesearch

    Susan E. Meyer; Sudeep Ghimire; Samuel Decker; Keith R. Merrill; Craig E. Coleman

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the frequency of outcrossing in downy brome (Bromus tectorum L.), a cleistogamous weedy annual grass, in both common garden and wild populations, using microsatellite and single nucleotide polymorphic (SNP) markers. In the common garden study, 25 lines with strongly contrasting genotypes were planted in close proximity. We fingerprinted 10 seed progeny...

  13. The importance of education in managing invasive plant species

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  15. Phenology of exotic invasive weeds associated with downy brome

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  16. Invasion of the exotic grasses: Mapping their progression via satellite

    Treesearch

    Eric B. Peterson

    2008-01-01

    Several exotic annual grass species are invading the Intermountain West. After disturbances including wildfire, these grasses can form dense stands with fine fuels that then shorten fire intervals. Thus invasive annual grasses and wildfire form a positive feedback mechanism that threatens native ecosystems. Chief among these within Nevada are Bromus tectorum...

  17. Mycelial growth rate and toxin production in the seed pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda: Resource trade-offs and temporally varying selection

    Treesearch

    S. E. Meyer; M. Masi; S. Clement; T. L. Davis; J. Beckstead

    2015-01-01

    Pyrenophora semeniperda, an important pathogen in Bromus tectorum seed banks in semi-arid western North America, exhibits >4-fold variation in mycelial growth rate. Host seeds exhibit seasonal changes in dormancy that affect the risk of pathogen-caused mortality. The hypothesis tested is that contrasting seed dormancy phenotypes select for contrasting strategies...

  18. 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

  19. The indirect effects of cheatgrass invasion: Grasshopper herbivory on native grasses determined by neighboring cheatgrass abundance

    Treesearch

    Julie Beckstead; Susan E. Meyer; Carol K. Augsperger

    2008-01-01

    Invasion biology has focused on the direct effects of plant invasion and has generally overlooked indirect interactions. Here we link theories of invasion biology and herbivory to explore an indirect effect of one invading species on associational herbivory (the effect of neighboring plants on herbivory) of native species. We studied a Great Basin shadscale (...

  20. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal community differs between a coexisting native shrub and introduced annual grass.

    PubMed

    Busby, Ryan R; Stromberger, Mary E; Rodriguez, Giselle; Gebhart, Dick L; Paschke, Mark W

    2013-02-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) have been implicated in non-native plant invasion success and persistence. However, few studies have identified the AMF species associating directly with plant invaders, or how these associations differ from those of native plant species. Identifying changes to the AMF community due to plant invasion could yield key plant-AMF interactions necessary for the restoration of native plant communities. This research compared AMF associating with coexisting Bromus tectorum, an invasive annual grass, and Artemisia tridentata, the dominant native shrub in western North America. At three sites, soil and root samples from Bromus and Artemisia were collected. Sporulation was induced using trap cultures, and spores were identified using morphological characteristics. DNA was extracted from root and soil subsamples and amplified. Sequences obtained were aligned and analyzed to compare diversity, composition, and phylogenetic distance between hosts and sites. Richness of AMF species associated with Artemisia in cultures was higher than AMF species associated with Bromus. Gamma diversity was similar and beta diversity was higher in AMF associated with Bromus compared to Artemisia. AMF community composition differed between hosts in both cultures and roots. Two AMF species (Archaeospora trappei and Viscospora viscosum) associated more frequently with Artemisia than Bromus across multiple sites. AMF communities in Bromus roots were more phylogenetically dispersed than in Artemisia roots, indicating a greater competition for resources within the invasive grass. Bromus associated with an AMF community that differed from Artemisia in a number of ways, and these changes could restrict native plant establishment.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Sagebrush ecosystems: current status and trends.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, E.A.; Connelly, J.W.; Knick, S.T.; Schroeder, M.A.; Stiver, S. J.

    2004-01-01

    The sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) biome has changed since settlement by Europeans. The current distribution, composition and dynamics, and disturbance regimes of sagebrush ecosystems have been altered by interactions among disturbance, land use, and invasion of exotic plants. In this chapter, we present the dominant factors that have influenced habitats across the sagebrush biome. Using a large-scale analysis, we identified regional changes and patterns in “natural disturbance”, invasive exotic species, and influences of land use in sagebrush systems. Number of fires and total area burned has increased since 1980 across much of the sagebrush biome. Juniper (Juniperus spp.) and pinyon (Pinus spp.) woodlands have expanded into sagebrush habitats at higher elevations. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), an exotic annual grass, has invaded much of lower elevation, more xeric sagebrush landscapes across the western portion of the biome. Consequently, synergistic feedbacks between habitats and disturbance (natural and human-caused) have altered disturbance regimes, plant community dynamics and contributed to loss of sagebrush habitats and change in plant communities. Habitat conversion to agriculture has occurred in the highly productive regions of the sagebrush biome and influenced up to 56% of the Conservation Assessment area. Similarly, urban areas, and road, railroad, and powerline networks fragment habitats, facilitate predator movements, and provide corridors for spread of exotic species across the entire sagebrush biome. Livestock grazing has altered sagebrush habitats; the effects of overgrazing combined with drought on plant communities in the late 1880s and early 1900s still influences current habitats. Management of livestock grazing has influenced sagebrush ecosystems by habitat treatments to increase forage and reduce sagebrush and other plant species unpalatable to livestock. Fences, roads, and water developments to manage livestock movements have further

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Quantifying and predicting fuels and the effects of reduction treatments along successional and invasion gradients in sagebrush habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shinneman, Douglas; Pilliod, David; Arkle, Robert; Glenn, Nancy F.

    2015-01-01

    Sagebrush shrubland ecosystems in the Great Basin are prime examples of how altered successional trajectories can create dynamic fuel conditions and, thus, increase uncertainty about fire risk and behavior. Although fire is a natural disturbance in sagebrush, post-fire environments are highly susceptible to conversion to an invasive grass-fire regime (often referred to as a “grass-fire cycle”). After fire, native shrub-steppe plants are often slow to regenerate, whereas nonnative annuals, especially cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae), can establish quickly and outcompete native species. Once fire-prone annuals become established, fire occurrences increase, further promoting dominance of nonnative species. The invasive grass-fire regime also alters nutrient and hydrologic cycles, pushing ecosystems beyond ecological thresholds toward steady-state, fire-prone, nonnative communities. These changes affect millions of hectares in the Great Basin and increase fire risk, decrease habitat quality and biodiversity, accelerate soil erosion, and degrade rangeland resources for livestock production. In many sagebrush landscapes, constantly changing plant communities and fuel conditions hinder attempts by land managers to predict and control fire behavior, restore native communities, and provide ecosystem services (e.g., forage production for livestock). We investigated successional and nonnative plant invasion states and associated fuel loads in degraded sagebrush habitat in a focal study area, the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (hereafter the NCA), in the Snake River Plain Ecoregion of southern Idaho. We expanded our inference by comparing our findings to similar data collected throughout seven major land resource areas (MLRAs) across the Great Basin (JFSP Project “Fire Rehabilitation Effectiveness: A Chronosequence Approach for the Great Basin” [09-S-02-1]). 4 We used a combination of field

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Primary production and canopy cover in bitterbrush-cheatgrass communities

    SciTech Connect

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

    1982-01-01

    Aboveground grass and forb production averaged 126 g m/sup -2/ yr/sup -1/ and ranged between 10 and 195 grams over a four year period 1975-1978. The low production year was 1977, a year of extreme drought. Production was not significantly different between unburned sites and burned sites five years post burning (1970). Canopy cover and species composition were similar on burned and unburned sites except for the shrubs, bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata) and sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), which were killed by burning. There was no indication that shrubs were invading the burned areas as seedlings or vegetatively through sprouting. The implications of burning and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) management are briefly discussed.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-10

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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; 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 S.; 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 M.; 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.

  19. Soils mediate the impact of fine woody debris on invasive and native grasses as whole trees are mechanically shredded into firebreaks in piñon-juniper woodlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Aanderud, Zachary T.; Schoolmaster, Donald R.; Rigby, Deborah; Bybee, Jordon; Campbell, Tayte; Roundy, Bruce A.

    2017-01-01

    To stem wildfires, trees are being mechanically shredded into firebreaks with the resulting fine woody debris (FWD) potentially exerting immense control over soil and plants. We linked FWD-induced changes in microbial activity and nutrient availability to the frequency of Bromus tectorum and three native, perennial grasses across 31 piñon-juniper woodlands, UT, USA. Using a series of mixed models, we found that FWD increased the frequency of three of the four grasses by at least 12%. Deep, as opposed to shallow, soils mediated frequencies following FWD additions but only partially explained the variation in Bromus and Pseudoroegneria spicata. Although fertile areas associated with tree-islands elicited no response, FWD-induced increases in nitrogen mineralization in deep soils (15–17 cm) caused the frequency of the exotic and Pseudoroegneria to rise. Higher phosphorus availability in FWD-covered surface soils (0–2 cm) had no impact on grasses. FWD altered deep soil respiration, and deep and shallow microbial biomass structuring Pseudoroegneria frequencies, suggesting that microorganism themselves regulated Pseudoroegneria. The positive effects of FWD on grass frequencies intensified over time for natives but diminished for Bromus. Our results demonstrate that microorganisms in deeper soils helped mediate species-specific responses to disturbance both facilitating exotic invasion and promoting native establishment.

  20. 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

  1. Integrated Control and Assessment of Knapweed and Cheatgrass on Department of Defense Installations. Addendum

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-02-01

    Forest Service, GTR INT-313. Munshower, F.F. 1994. Practical Handbook of Disturbed Land Revegetation. CRC Press, Inc. Boca Raton, FL. Paschke, M. W... flowering and reduced seed production (Powell 1990). A root-boring weevil, Cyphocleonus achates, which has reduced plant size in controlled experiments...plant is growing among determinate grasses that largely cease growing after flowering in the spring or early summer (Harris and Clapperton 1997

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  5. Integrated Control and Assessment of Knapweed and Cheatgrass on Department of Defense Installations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-01-01

    disturbed and undisturbed sites, 2001. Two lanes were used for each sample because varying amounts of DNA were used during the PCR. The variations are...including bacteria, fungi, algae, lichens , protozoa, nematodes, microarthropods, macroarthropods, annelids, and molluscs. The soil community is an...runs were completed to establish the optimum marker dye-PCR product ratio. Based on initial results, gels were loaded with 2 µl of dye and 3µ of DNA

  6. Cheatgrass facilitates spillover of a seed bank pathogen onto native grass species

    Treesearch

    Julie Beckstead; Susan E. Meyer; Brian M. Connolly; Michael B. Huck; Laura E. Street

    2010-01-01

    Attack by pathogens can have ecological consequences for plants at many scales, such as the individual, population and community scale, although the latter is the least studied. Community-level consequences of disease in natural plant communities can drive facilitation in succession (Van der Putten, Van Dijk & Peters 1993), maintain species diversity in...

  7. Emergence and growth of four winterfat accessions in the presence of the exotic annual cheatgrass

    Treesearch

    Ann L. Hild; Jennifer M. Muscha; Nancy L. Shaw

    2007-01-01

    Winterfat (Krascheninnikovia lanata [Pursh] A. D. J. Meeuse & Smit; synonym: Ceratoides lanata [Pursh] J. T. Howell) is a desired shrub species and an integral component of salt desert shrublands in the Intermountain West. On the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in southwestern Idaho, extensive loss of...

  8. 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

  9. Changes in plant communities along soil pollution gradients: responses of leaf antioxidant enzyme activities and phytochelatin contents.

    PubMed

    Dazy, Marc; Béraud, Eric; Cotelle, Sylvie; Grévilliot, Frédérique; Férard, Jean-François; Masfaraud, Jean-François

    2009-10-01

    This work describes an ecological and ecotoxicological study of polluted wasteland plant communities in a former coke-factory located in Homécourt (France). Ecological analyses were performed along two transects to investigate changes in plant community structure through species richness (S), biological diversity (H') and evenness (J). Five species (Arrhenatherum elatius, Bromus tectorum, Euphorbia cyparissias, Hypericum perforatum and Tanacetum vulgare) were then selected to assess cellular responses through antioxidant enzyme activities and phytochelatins (PCs) contents. The results showed that species richness and biological diversity correlated negatively to Cd and Hg concentrations in soil suggesting that soil concentration of non-essential heavy metals was the primary factor governing vegetation structure in the industrial wasteland. Moreover, for all studied species, abundances were partly related to metal levels in the soils, but also to plant antioxidant systems, suggesting their role in plant establishment success in polluted areas. Data for PC contents led to less conclusive results.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  11. 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.

  12. Post-fire interactions between soil water repellency, soil fertility and plant growth in soil collected from a burned piñon-juniper woodland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fernelius, Kaitlynn J.; Madsen, Matthew D.; Hopkins, Bryan G.; Bansal, Sheel; Anderson, Val J.; Eggett, Dennis L.; Roundy, Bruce A.

    2017-01-01

    Woody plant encroachment can increase nutrient resources in the plant-mound zone. After a fire, this zone is often found to be water repellent. This study aimed to understand the effects of post-fire water repellency on soil water and inorganic nitrogen and their effects on plant growth of the introduced annual Bromus tectorum and native bunchgrass Pseudoroegneria spicata. Plots centered on burned Juniperus osteosperma trees were either left untreated or treated with surfactant to ameliorate water repellency. After two years, we excavated soil from the untreated and treated plots and placed it in zerotension lysimeter pots. In the greenhouse, half of the pots received an additional surfactant treatment. Pots were seeded separately with B. tectorum or P. spicata. Untreated soils had high runoff, decreased soilwater content, and elevated NO3eN in comparison to surfactant treated soils. The two plant species typically responded similar to the treatments. Above-ground biomass and microbial activity (estimated through soil CO2 gas emissions) was 16.8-fold and 9.5-fold higher in the surfactant-treated soils than repellent soils, respectably. This study demonstrates that water repellency can influence site recovery by decreasing soil water content, promoting inorganic N retention, and impairing plant growth and microbial activity.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. The quick and the deadly: growth vs virulence in a seed bank pathogen.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Susan E; Stewart, Thomas E; Clement, Suzette

    2010-07-01

    *We studied the relationship between virulence (ability to kill nondormant Bromus tectorum seeds) and mycelial growth index in the necrotrophic seed pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda. Seed pathosystems involving necrotrophs differ from those commonly treated in traditional evolution-of-virulence models in that host death increases pathogen fitness by preventing germination, thereby increasing available resources. Because fast-germinating, nondormant B. tectorum seeds commonly escape mortality, we expected virulence to be positively correlated with mycelial growth index. *We performed seed inoculations using conidia from 78 pathogen isolates and scored subsequent mortality. For a subset of 40 of these isolates, representing a range of virulence phenotypes, we measured mycelial growth index. *Virulence varied over a wide range (3-43% seed mortality) and was significantly negatively correlated with mycelial growth index (R(2) = 0.632). More virulent isolates grew more slowly than less virulent isolates. *We concluded that there is an apparent tradeoff between virulence and growth in this pathogen, probably because the production of toxins necessary for necrotrophic pathogenesis competes with metabolic processes associated with growth. Variation in both virulence and growth rate in this pathosystem may be maintained in part by seasonal variation in the relative abundance of rapidly germinating vs dormant host seeds available to the pathogen.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  17. 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.; 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.

  18. Edaphic limitations to growth and photosynthesis in Sierran and Great Basin vegetation.

    PubMed

    DeLucia, Evan H; Schlesinger, William H; Billings, W D

    1989-02-01

    Soils derived from hydrothermally altered andesite support unique communities of Sierran conifers (Pinus ponderosa Laws. and P. jeffreyi Grev. and Balf.) amongst sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) vegetation in the western Great Basin. Plants grown in soil derived from hydrothermally altered bedrock had lower growth rates, total biomass, and net photosynthetic rates than plants grown in soil derived from unaltered andesite of the same formation. Total dry mass was 10 to 28% lower for conifers grown in altered soil whereas dry mass of Artemisia tridentata and Bromus tectorum L. was reduced by over 90%. Results from a nutrient amendment experiment indicated that low phosphorus was the dominant limitation in altered soil, and phosphorus-deficiency affected growth primarily by limiting leaf area development rather than direct inhibition of photosynthesis. The proportionately greater reduction of biomass for Artemisia and Bromus grown in altered soil supports our hypothesis that Great Basin vegetation is excluded from altered soil by intolerance to nutrient deficiency. The Sierran conifers growing on this rock type are therefore free of competition for water with Great Basin vegetation and are able to persist in an exceptionally dry climate.

  19. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  1. Greater bud outgrowth of Bromus inermis than Pascopyrum smithii under multiple environmental conditions

    Treesearch

    Jacqueline P. Ott; Jack L. Butler; Yuping Rong; Lan Xu

    2016-01-01

    Tiller recruitment of perennial grasses in mixed-grass prairie primarily occurs from belowground buds. Environmental conditions, such as temperature, soil moisture and grazing can affect bud outgrowth of both invasive and native perennial grasses. Differential bud outgrowth responses of native and invasive species to climate change and grazing could alter...

  2. Bromus response to climate and projected changes with climate change [Chapter 9

    Treesearch

    Bethany A. Bradley; Caroline A. Curtis; Jeanne C. Chambers

    2016-01-01

    A prominent goal of invasive plant management is to prevent or reduce the spread of invasive species into uninvaded landscapes and regions. Monitoring and control efforts often rely on scientific knowledge of suitable habitat for the invasive species. However, rising temperatures and altered precipitation projected with climate change are likely to shift the...

  3. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    Treesearch

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

    2010-01-01

    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...

  6. Granivory of invasive, naturalized, and native plants in communities differentially susceptible to invasion.

    PubMed

    Connolly, B M; Pearson, D E; Mack, R N

    2014-07-01

    Seed predation is an important biotic filter that can influence abundance and spatial distributions of native species through differential effects on recruitment. This filter may also influence the relative abundance of nonnative plants within habitats and the communities' susceptibility to invasion via differences in granivore identity, abundance, and food preference. We evaluated the effect of postdispersal seed predators on the establishment of invasive, naturalized, and native species within and between adjacent forest and steppe communities of eastern Washington, USA that differ in severity of plant invasion. Seed removal from trays placed within guild-specific exclosures revealed that small mammals were the dominant seed predators in both forest and steppe. Seeds of invasive species (Bromus tectorum, Cirsium arvense) were removed significantly less than the seeds of native (Pseudoroegneria spicata, Balsamorhiza sagittata) and naturalized (Secale cereale, Centaurea cyanus) species. Seed predation limited seedling emergence and establishment in both communities in the absence of competition in a pattern reflecting natural plant abundance: S. cereale was most suppressed, B. tectorum was least suppressed, and P. spicata was suppressed at an intermediate level. Furthermore, seed predation reduced the residual seed bank for all species. Seed mass correlated with seed removal rates in the forest and their subsequent effects on plant recruitment; larger seeds were removed at higher rates than smaller seeds. Our vegetation surveys indicate higher densities and canopy cover of nonnative species occur in the steppe compared with the forest understory, suggesting the steppe may be more susceptible to invasion. Seed predation alone, however, did not result in significant differences in establishment for any species between these communities, presumably due to similar total small-mammal abundance between communities. Consequently, preferential seed predation by small

  7. 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

  8. Consequences of seed origin and biological invasion for early establishment in restoration of a North American grass species.

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  11. Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project. Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Report/Statement II. Appendices

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-02-01

    bromeIBromus mollis soft chess Bromus rigidus ripgut grass Bromus rubens red bromeICalochortus albus var. albus white globe lily Calystegia purpurata ssp... Bromus diandrus Rip-gut Brome Bromus mollis Soft Chess Bromus sp. Brome Grass Cakile maritima Sea Rocket Camissonia cheiranthifolia Beach Evening...Seed for native grass species, primarily Stipa sp., Bromus carinatus, Elymus glaucus, and Danthonia califomica, would be collected within Garland

  12. 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.

  13. Evaluating plant invasions from both habitat and species perspectives

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chong, G.W.; Otsuki, Y.; Stohlgren, T.J.; Guenther, D.; Evangelista, P.; Villa, C.; Waters, A.

    2006-01-01

    We present an approach to quantitatively assess nonnative plant invasions at landscape scales from both habitat and species perspectives. Our case study included 34 nonnative species found in 142 plots (0.1 ha) in 14 vegetation types within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah. A plot invasion index, based on nonnative species richness and cover, showed that only 16 of 142 plots were heavily invaded. A species invasive index, based on frequency, cover, and number of vegetation types invaded, showed that only 7 of 34 plant species were highly invasive. Multiple regressions using habitat characteristics (moisture index, elevation, soil P, native species richness, maximum crust development class, bare ground, and rock) explained 60% of variation in nonnative species richness and 46% of variation in nonnative species cover. Three mesic habitats (aspen, wet meadow, and perennial riparian types) were particularly invaded (31 of 34 nonnative species studied were found in these types). Species-specific logistic regression models for the 7 most invasive species correctly predicted occurrence 89% of the time on average (from 80% for Bromus tectorum, a habitat generalist, to 93% for Tamarix spp., a habitat specialist). Even with such a modest sampling intensity (<0.1% of the landscape), this multiscale sampling scheme was effective at evaluating habitat vulnerability to invasion and the occurrence of the 7 most invasive nonnative species. This approach could be applied in other natural areas to develop strategies to document invasive species and invaded habitats.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    Davies, G M; Bakker, J D; Dettweiler-Robinson, E; Dunwiddie, P W; Hall, S A; Downs, J; 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 them. Despite these issues, the majority of studies of fire effects in systems dominated by Artemisia tridentata wyomingensis 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 contiguous areas of sagebrush steppe habitat in the state until large wildfires burned the majority of it in 2000 and 2007. We analyzed data from permanent vegetation transects established in 1996 and resampled in 2002 and 2009. Our objective was to describe how the fires, and subsequent postfire 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 furthest 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, although there was some recovery where communities were dominated by resprouters. Bromus tectorum dominance was reduced by herbicide application in areas where it was previously abundant, but it increased significantly in untreated areas. Several resprouting species, notably Phlox longifolia and Poa secunda, expanded remarkably following competitive release from shrub canopies and/or abundant B. tectorum. Our

  17. Fire as a long-term stewardship issue for soils contaminated with radionuclides in the western U.S

    SciTech Connect

    Shafer, David S.; DuBois, David; Etyemezian, Vic; Kavouras, Ilias; Miller, Julianne J.; Nikolich, George; Stone, Mark

    2007-07-01

    On both U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Department of Defense sites in the southwestern United States (U.S.), significant areas of surface soils are contaminated with radionuclides from atmospheric nuclear testing, and with depleted uranium, primarily from military training. At DOE sites in Nevada, the proposed regulatory closure strategy for most sites is to leave contaminants in place with administrative controls and periodic monitoring. Closure-in-place is considered an acceptable strategy because the contaminated sites exist on access-restricted facilities, decreasing the potential risk to public receptor, the high cost and feasibility of excavating contaminated soils over large areas, and the environmental impacts of excavating desert soils that recover very slowly from disturbance. The largest of the contaminated sites on the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada covers over 1,200 hectares. However, a factor that has not been fully investigated in the long-term stewardship of these sites is the potential effects of fires. Because of the long half-lives of some of the contaminants (e.g., 24,100 years for {sup 239}Pu) and changes in land-cover and climatic factors that are increasing the frequency of fires throughout the western U.S., it should be assumed that all of these sites will eventually burn, possibly multiple times, during the time frame when they still pose a risk. Two primary factors are contributing to increased fire frequency. The first is the spread of invasive grasses, particularly cheat grass (Bromus tectorum and Bromus rubens), which have out-competed native annuals and invaded inter-spaces between shrubs, allowing fires to burn easier. The second is a sharp increase in fire frequency and size throughout the western U.S. beginning in the mid-1980's. This second factor appears to correlate with an increase in average spring and summer temperatures, which may be contributing to earlier loss of soil moisture and longer periods of dry plant biomass

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Temperature and functional traits influence differences in nitrogen uptake capacity between native and invasive grasses.

    PubMed

    Leffler, A Joshua; James, Jeremy J; Monaco, Thomas A

    2013-01-01

    Performance differences between native and exotic invasive plants are often considered static, but invasive grasses may achieve growth advantages in western North America shrublands and steppe under only optimal growing conditions. We examine differences in N uptake and several morphological variables that influence uptake at temperatures between 5 and 25 °C. We contrast two native perennial grasses in western North America: Elymus elymoides and Pseudoroegneria spicata; two invasive annual grasses: Bromus tectorum and Taeniatherum caput-medusae; and one highly selected non-native perennial grass: Agropyron cristatum. The influence of temperature on N uptake is poorly characterized, yet these invasive annual grasses are known to germinate in warm soils in the autumn, and both experience cool soils during the short growing season following snowmelt in the spring. To further explore the influence of temperature on the correlation between morphological variables and N uptake, our data are applied to a previously published path model and one proposed here. Differences in N uptake between native and invasive grasses were small at the lowest temperature, but were large at the highest temperature. At lower temperatures, uptake of N by annuals and perennials was correlated with leaf N and mass. At higher temperatures, uptake by annuals was correlated only with these leaf traits, but uptake by perennials was correlated with these leaf traits as well as root N and mass. Consequently, our results imply that annual grasses face fewer morphological constraints on N uptake than perennial grasses, and annual grasses may gain further advantage in warmer temperature conditions or during more frequent warm periods.

  4. Imposing antecedent global change conditions rapidly alters plant community composition in a mixed-grass prairie.

    PubMed

    Concilio, Amy L; Nippert, Jesse B; Ehrenfeucht, Shivani; Cherwin, Karie; Seastedt, Timothy R

    2016-11-01

    Global change drivers are altering climatic and edaphic conditions of ecosystems across the globe, and we expect novel plant communities to become more common as a result. In the Colorado Front Range, compositional changes have occurred in the mixed-grass prairie plant community in conjunction with shifts in winter precipitation and atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition. To test whether these environmental changes have been responsible for the observed plant community change, we conducted an in situ manipulative experiment in a mixed-grass meadow near Boulder, CO. We simulated historical conditions by reducing N availability (+500 g C m(-2) year(-1)) and winter precipitation (with rainout shelters) for 2 years (2013-2014) and compared vegetation response to these treatments with that of ambient conditions. The site experienced an extreme precipitation event in autumn 2013 which allowed comparison of an exceptionally wet year with an average year. We measured pre-treatment species composition in 2012, and treatment responses in the spring and summer of 2013 and 2014. As predicted, simulating historical low N-winter dry conditions resulted in a plant community dominated by historically abundant species. Cool-season introduced species were significantly reduced in low N-winter dry plots, particularly the annual plants Bromus tectorum and Alyssum parviflorum. These same species responded strongly to the extreme precipitation event with large increases, while native grasses and forbs showed little change in productivity or composition under varying climatic or edaphic conditions. This work provides clear evidence linking on-going global change drivers to altered plant community composition in an otherwise relatively undisturbed grassland ecosystem.

  5. Secondary invasions of noxious weeds associated with control of invasive Tamarix are frequent, idiosyncratic and persistent

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    González, Eduardo; Sher, Anna A.; Anderson, Robert M.; Bay, Robin F.; Bean, Daniel W.; Bissonnete, Gabriel J.; Cooper, David J.; Dohrenwend, Kara; Eichhorst, Kim D.; El Waer, Hisham; Kennard, Deborah K.; Harms-Weissinger, Rebecca; Henry, Annie L.; Makarick, Lori J.; Ostoja, Steven M.; Reynolds, Lindsay V.; Robinson, W. Wright; Shafroth, Patrick B.; Tabacchi, Erich

    2017-01-01

    Control of invasive species within ecosystems may induce secondary invasions of non-target invaders replacing the first alien. We used four plant species listed as noxious by local authorities in riparian systems to discern whether 1) the severity of these secondary invasions was related to the control method applied to the first alien; and 2) which species that were secondary invaders persisted over time. In a collaborative study by 16 research institutions, we monitored plant species composition following control of non-native Tamarix trees along southwestern U.S. rivers using defoliation by an introduced biocontrol beetle, and three physical removal methods: mechanical using saws, heavy machinery, and burning in 244 treated and 79 untreated sites across six U.S. states. Physical removal favored secondary invasions immediately after Tamarix removal (0–3 yrs.), while in the biocontrol treatment, secondary invasions manifested later (> 5 yrs.). Within this general trend, the response of weeds to control was idiosyncratic; dependent on treatment type and invader. Two annual tumbleweeds that only reproduce by seed (Bassia scoparia and Salsola tragus) peaked immediately after physical Tamarix removal and persisted over time, even after herbicide application. Acroptilon repens, a perennial forb that vigorously reproduces by rhizomes, and Bromus tectorum, a very frequent annual grass before removal that only reproduces by seed, were most successful at biocontrol sites, and progressively spread as the canopy layer opened. These results demonstrate that strategies to control Tamarix affect secondary invasions differently among species and that time since disturbance is an important, generally overlooked, factor affecting response.

  6. 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.

  7. Soil nitrogen mineralization not affected by grass species traits

    Treesearch

    Maged Ikram Nosshi; Jack Butler; M. J. Trlica

    2007-01-01

    Species N use traits was evaluated as a mechanism whereby Bromus inermis (Bromus), an established invasive, might alter soil N supply in a Northern mixed-grass prairie. We compared soils under stands of Bromus with those from three representative native grasses of different litter C/N: Andropogon...

  8. Metropolitan Spokane Region Water Resources Study. Appendix E. Environment and Recreation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1976-01-01

    gromwell, yellow goat’s beard, arrowleaf balsomroot, sagebrush buttercup , Holboell rockcress, littleflower collinsia, cheatgrass, willowweed, Nuttall’s...associations: Sandberg’s bluegrass; arrowleaf bal- somroot; sagebrush buttercup ; western yarrow; yellow goat’s beard; purple-eyed grass; low pussytoes...beard, sagebrush buttercup , low pussytoes and slender fringecup. The Rannuals in the abundant category are cheatgrass, collinsia, narrow- leaved montia

  9. 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

  10. Assessing the risk of nitrogen deposition to natural resources in the Four Corners area

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, Sasha C.; Belnap, Jayne; Floyd-Hanna, Lisa; Crews, Tim; Herring, Jack; Hanna, Dave; Miller, Mark E.; Duniway, Michael C.; Roybal, Carla M.

    2013-01-01

    the approach utilized here (e.g., we have fertilization plots to explore how N deposition affects Bromus tectorum invasion that will surely yield provoking results), we plan to continue this exciting line of questioning and expect further insight to be forthcoming.

  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. Recommended Species for Vegetative Stabilization of Training Lands in Arid and Semi-Arid Environments

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-09-01

    semibacata Awnless bush sunflower Helianthus sp. Bahia grass Paspalum notatum Barley Hordeum vulgare Basin wildrye Elymus cinereus Bearded wheatgrass...Boer lovegrass Eragrostis curvuLa *Brittlebush Encelia farinosa *Brome grasses Bromus spp. Buckwheat s Eriogonum spp. Buffalograss Buchloe dactyloides...mexicana *Millets Panicum spp. Mountain brome Bromus montanum Mountain mahogany Gercocarpus montanus *Mountain penstenion Penstemon montanus *Muhly grasses

  13. 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.

  14. Trace Gas Emissions and Soil C and N Transformations Following Moisture Pulses in Sagebrush: Effects of Invasive and Native Companion Plant Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norton, U.; Morgan, J. A.; Mosier, A. R.; Derner, J. D.

    2004-12-01

    Simulating water pulses is an important tool for understanding biogeochemical processes in semi arid environments. Global change triggered shifts in plant species composition exert significant control over belowground C and N transformations. They also affect the ecosystem resiliency and its ability to withstand exotic weed invasion. We monitored effects of water additions on trace gas emissions and soil C and N in sagebrush soils, both canopy and shrub interspace, on sites dominated by either native bunchgrass, western wheatgrass, or an exotic annual, cheatgrass. Our results indicate that long-term cheatgrass establishment affects not only soil under its own thatch, but also soil under shrubs within cheatgrass stand. Overall, soil total N and total organic C on cheatgrass sites were lower than these of western wheatgrass. Trace gas measurements of non-wetted soils showed greater N2O and smaller CH4 fluxes compared to western wheatgrass sites. Upon water pulse, cheatgrass soils demonstrated greater CO2 production rates, relative to pre-wet conditions, greater N2O flux per unit soil total N, and more rapid soil microbial biomass C and dissolved organic C response compared to western wheatgrass. Possible mechanisms include faster turnover of microbial biomass and greater nitrification potential of cheatgrass soils.

  15. 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

  16. American River Watershed Investigation, California, Feasibility Report. Part 1. Main Report. Part 2. Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-12-01

    oak Avena fatua X X X Datlis grass Paspalum dilatatum X X Red brome Bromus rubra X X X Botttebrush squirrettaiL Sitanion hystrix X X X Notes: OAK...Continuied) COIWOM MANE SCIENTIFIC NME TYPICAL COIMJNITY Wild oats Avena fatua GRASS Crab grass Digitaria sanguinatis GRASS Brome grass Bromus rubens GRASS ...River. The Auburn area is generally developed, with heavy traffic volumes passing along Interstate 80 and northward along Highway 49 to Grass Valley

  17. Environmental Assessment: Proposed Lakeview Marina Site Boat Ramp and Access, Saylorville Lake, Polk County, Iowa

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-08-01

    cover of yellow sweet clover, red clover, and a small amount of brome grass ( Bromus sp.). Trees within the upper zone include sapling and intermediate...clover, brome grass , and switchgrass ( Paspalum virgatum) with small amounts of goldenrod (Solidago sp.) poison ivy, milkweed (Amaranthus sp.), thistle...amount of brome grass ( Bromus sp.). Trees within the upper zone include sapling and intermediate size shagbark hickory, sumac (Rhus glabra), and white

  18. [Floral structure of two species of Trachycarpea (Arecaceae)].

    PubMed

    Guevara, Lorena I; Jáuregui, Damelis J; Stauffer, Fred W

    2014-09-01

    Copernicia and Washingtonia are two genera of the Trachycarpeae for which no subtribal classification has been proposed, mainly because of the lack of resolution in phylogenetic studies. Morphology and anatomy of flowers whithin Coryphoideae have proven useful for taxa delimitation and supporting relationships among their members. A description of the morphological and anatomical structure of flowers of C. tectorum and W. filifera is presented in order to explore reproductive characters that may clarify their classification within the subfamily and to contribute with floral biology studies. Flowers of cultivated specimens of both taxa and developing fruits of C. tectorum were fixed in FAA, dissected for morphological analysis, and parafin-embedded flowers and fruits were serially sectioned for obtaining permanent slides, using conventional techniques and safranin-fast green staining. All procedures were carried out in the Laboratory of Morpho-Anatomy, Agronomy Faculty of the Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV). Both species have hermaphroditic flowers. C. tectorum flowers have a thick and pubescent perianth, six stamens with filaments forming a tube fused to the corolla, with rounded projections and an acute apex where the anthers are inserted. W. filifera flowers have an irregularly dentate calyx, and a shortly acuminate corolla, six stamens united by their filaments to the corolla which at the same time are briefly fused to the gynoecium. Cells with druse crystals in the staminal tube are reported for C. tectorum. Only one of the carpels of the gynoecium of C. tectorum develops at fruit stage, and a layer of abundant raphide cells forming a crustaceous endocarp in mature fruits, was found. W. filifera presents the perianth mesophyll with few layers of thick walled cells and schlerenchymatic tissue, gynoecium with apically fused carpels in the ventral region of ovary, free at the base and the apex of the style, where the ventral sutures are opened. C. tectorum

  19. 77 FR 28703 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Status for Eriogonum codium (Umtanum...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-15

    ... Range also serves as a source of cold air drainage, which has a considerable effect on the wind regime... harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex occidentalis), a common native species, gathering mature achenes (seeds) of..., may also be potential seed sources to nearby natural areas and rangelands, as cheatgrass is a common...

  20. Seasonal neighbors: residential development encroaches on mule deer winter range in central Oregon

    Treesearch

    Marie Oliver; Jeff Kline

    2012-01-01

    Mule deer populations in central Oregon are in decline, largely because of habitat loss. Several factors are likely contributors. Encroaching juniper and invasive cheatgrass are replacing deer forage with high nutritional value, such as bitterbrush and sagebrush. Fire suppression and reduced timber harvests mean fewer acres of early successional forest, which also...

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

    Treesearch

    Mary M. Rowland; Michael J. Wisdom; Lowell Suring; Cara W. Meinke

    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...

  2. 'Umatilla' snow buckwheat for rangeland restoration in the interior Pacific Northwest

    Treesearch

    A. R. Tiedemann; S. M. Lambert; J. R. Carlson; C. J. Perry; N. L. Shaw; B. L. Welch; C. H. Driver

    1997-01-01

    Native plants are generally considered the best option for plant materials to restore productivity and diversity to degraded rangelands (McArthur 1988). It is difficult to find native plants capable of becoming established from seed in dense stands of introduced annual species such as cheatgrass. It has been easier to import species such as crested wheatgrass to...

  3. LONG-TERM HERBACEOUS RESPONSE TO JUNIPER DEBRIS BURNING

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. Putting resilience and resistance concepts into practice

    Treesearch

    Jeanne C. Chambers; Jeremy D. Maestas; Mike Pellant

    2015-01-01

    Land managers are increasingly interested in improving resilience to disturbances, such as wildfire, and resistance to invasive species, such as cheatgrass and medusahead. This factsheet is designed to assist land managers in using resilience and resistance concepts to assess risks, prioritize management activities, and select appropriate treatments.

  7. Sagebrush in western North America: habitats and species in jeopardy.

    Treesearch

    Jonathan. Thompson

    2007-01-01

    Sagebrush habitats are declining rapidly across western North America, with over 350 associated plant and animal species at risk of local or regional extirpation. The sagebrush ecosystem is one of the largest in the United States, and it is vulnerable to a litany of threats. Chief among them is invasion of cheatgrass into the understory, followed by high-severity fires...

  8. Green strips or vegetative fuel breaks

    Treesearch

    Loren St. John; Dan Ogle

    2009-01-01

    According to the National Interagency Fire Center, between 1998 and 2008 there were on average 65,581 fires per year and an average of 6,114,135 acres burned each year in the United States. Rangelands in the western United States have been invaded by many annual weed species including cheatgrass, an introduced winter annual grass that produces large quantities of...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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,

  13. Stockpiled Prairie Grass For Fall-Grazing Lambs

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  14. Vegetative Analysis of the Flookplain of the Trinity River, Texas,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1974-09-30

    Fisch. & Mey. Baby blue-eyes Nemophila phacelioides Nutt. Bahia grass Paspalum notatum Flugge Baldwin ironweed Vernonia Baldwinii Torr. Balloon...dracunculoides (DC.) Shinners Broomweed Xanthocephalum texanum (DC.) Shinners Brownseed paspalum . Paspalum plicatulum Michx. Browntop panic grass Panicum...Filiformis (Lam.) Beauv. Redtop bentgrass Agrostis stolonifera L. Reflexed sedge Carex retroflexa Michx. Rescue grass Bromus unioloides H.B.K. Rice

  15. Terrestrial Biological Inventory Degognia and Fountain Bluff Levee and Drainage District and Grand Tower Drainage and Levee District, Jackson County, Illinois.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1978-08-01

    orchids. Southern Illinois Univ. Press, Carbondale, Illinois. 288 pp. Mohlenbrock, R. H. 1972. The illustrated flora of Illinois: Grasses : Bromus to... Paspalum . Southern Illinois Univ. Press, Carbondale, Illinois. 332 pp. Mohlenbrock, R. H. 1973. The illustrated flora of Illinois: Grasses : Panicum to...75%. Manna grass (Glyceria striata) and yellow buttercup (Ranunculus septentrionalis) are most frequent, with a frequency of 67%. Next frequent, at 50

  16. Registration of 'Newell' Smooth Bromegrass

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    ‘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...

  17. Registration of Arsenal meadow bromegrass

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  19. Environmental Assessment: Military Family Housing Revitalization Travis Air Force Base, California

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-05-01

    spp.), bromes (Bromus spp.), medusa head grass (Taeniatherum caputmedusae), spiny cocklebur (Xanthium spinosum), and yellow star thistle (Centaurea...melodia), tricolored blackbird (Aegelius tricolor), killdeer (Charadrius vociferus), house sparrow (Passer domesticus), western harvest mouse ...shrew (Sorex sinuousus), valley pocket gopher (Thomomys bottae), house mouse (Mus musculus), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), raccoon (Procyon lotor

  20. Protein degradation of smooth bromegrass switchgrass and big bluestem in grazing cattle

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The objective of this two-year study was to estimate the influence of plant maturity on protein escaping ruminal degradation in steers grazing a cool-season grass, smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss.) (SB), and two warm-season grasses, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) (SG) and big bluestem (An...

  1. Environmental Assessment: BRAC Construction and Operation of Armed Forces Reserve Center at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Great Falls, Montana

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-06-01

    Medicago sativa ) (USAF, 2007). Approximately 36 acres of wet areas and moist seeps have been identified on Malmstrom AFB and range from retained...grazing lands is predominantly crested wheatgrass, with areas of smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and alfalfa ( Medicago sativa ) (USAF, 2007). MALMSTROM

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  3. 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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  4. Forage production of grass-legume binary mixtures on Intermountain Western USA irrigated pastures

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    A well-managed irrigated pasture is optimized for forage production with the use of N fertilizer which incurs extra expense. The objective was to determine which binary grass-legume mixture and mixture planting ratio of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) (TF), meadow brome (Bromus bieberstei...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, Matthew 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 ofBromus 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.

  7. Genotype by environment interaction effects of propagation and defoliation on meadow bromegrass

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Sixty-three meadow bromegrass (Bromus riparius Rehm.) half-sib families were evaluated over two years at Millville, UT location for biomass production and nutritive value. Families were evaluated under either space-plant or sward conditions combined with either grazed or cut management. The objectiv...

  8. Soil sulfur amendments suppress Selenium uptake by alfalfa and western wheatgrass

    Treesearch

    C. L. Mackowiak; M. C. Amacher

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  13. Preliminary Assessment/Site Investigation: Tooele Army Depot, Utah. Volume 1. North Area and Facilities at Hill Air Force Base

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-12-12

    vetch , balsam root, and yarrow. This area is being invaded by low sagebrush and big sagebrush. To the southeast, the Foothill Range has medium-textured...wheatgrass, Indian ricegrass, sweet vetch , balsam root, and yarrow. This range is also being invaded by Ho’ogeton and cheatgrass. The third soil type is in...spiked vheatgrass, nature blue, needle and thread grass, western wheatgrass, sweet vetch , balsam root, and yarrow. This area has pockets of big sagebrush

  14. Capabilities of Seven Species of Aquatic Macrophytes for Phytoremediation of Pentachlorophenol Contaminated Sediment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Liangyuan; Guo, Weijie; Li, Qingyun; Li, Huan; Zhao, Weihua; Cao, Xiaohuan

    2017-01-01

    Sediments are regarded as the ultimate sink of pentachlorophenol(PCP) in aquatic environment, and capabilities of seven species of aquatic macrophytes for remediating PCP contaminated sediment were investigated. Seven species of aquatic macrophytes could significantly accelerate the degradation of PCP in sediments. Among all, canna indica L., Acorus calamus L. and Iris tectorum Maxim. can be used as efficient alternative plants for remediation of PCP contaminated sediment, which attained 98%, 92% and 88% of PCP removal in sediments, respectively. PCP was detected only in root tissues and the uptake was closely related to the root lipid contents of seven plants. The presence of seven aquatic macrophytes significantly increased microbial populations and the activities of dehydrogenase compared with control sediments, indicating that rhizosphere microorganism played important role in the remediation process. In conclusion, seven species of aquatic macrophytes may act as promising tools for the PCP phytoremediation in aquatic environment, especially Canna indica L., Acorus calamus L. and Iris tectorum Maxim.

  15. 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].

  16. 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.

  17. Environmental Inventory and Analysis for Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Volume II. Appendices. Pine Bluff Metropolitan Area, Arkansas Urban Water Management Study. Revised.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1975-10-01

    Grass D-22 Table D-2 (continued)4 4 Arundinaria gigantea Wet areas Cane Bromus racemosus Open areas, old fields Br-me Grass ...sandy soil U Panic Grass Panicum scoparium Moist woods, sandy soil C Panic Grass Panicum virgatum Moist open areas C Panic Grass Paspalum floridanum...Moist open areas C Paspalum Paspalum laeve Open woods U Paspalum Paspalum urvillei Moist disturbed areas C Vasey Grass Setaria lutesens Fields,

  18. Final Environmental Impact Statement. Relocation of the 146th Tactical Airlift Wing of the California Air National Guard. Volume 1. EIS Text

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-08-01

    the widespread herbs indicating moderately moist conditions. Other moisture indicator species occasionally found are fescue grass ( Bromus willdenavii...vineyards) o Shelter (trees, shrubs, grasses , ground cover) Bird strikes may be expected to increase as a function of the following physical conditions and...Mexican tea and bermuda grass , and lesser of willow-weed, water grass and South American horseweed. Three principal biotic associations exist in the

  19. American River Watershed Investigation, California. Volume 3. Appendix M

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-12-01

    fatua X X X Dallis grass Paspalum dilatatum X X Red brome Bromus rubra X X X Bottlebrush squirreltail Sitanion hystrix X X X Notes: OAK -- Associated with...was ignored for two reasons. First, the analyses discounts apparent cohesion at very low stresses. In fact, vegetation ( grass roots) in the upper 6...roots or grass (See Plates 2 and 3 for typical banks). Closer examination of the banks revealed that the materials were often deposited in layers from

  20. Environmental Assessment. Sugar Bottom Day Use Access Road, Coralville Reservoir, Johnson County, Iowa

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-12-01

    proposed road passes through old field succes- sion habitat. Vegetation includes brome grass (Bromus sp.), goldenrod (Solidago sp.), and common milkweed...lot. The planted prairie and old field provide habitat for a number of animal species including the cottontail rabbit, ring-necked pheasant, eastern...and parking lots would displace approximately .6 of an acre of restored prairie and 1.3 acres of old field habitat. A small number of trees also would

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. The effect of rodent seed predation on four species of California annual grasses.

    PubMed

    Borchert, M I; Jain, S K

    1978-01-01

    The effect of seed predation by Microtus californicus and Mus musculus on plant numbers of four species of California annual grasses was investigated for one year period on a grassland near Davis, California. In winter, mice utilized dead star thistle plants for cover when grasses in open areas were short, but moved into open areas when grass grew tall in spring.Using exclosures and plots sown with known quantities of seed, it was estimated that a mouse population (approximate density 120/acre) consumed 75% of Avena fatua seed, 44% of Hordeum leporinum seed, and 37% of Bromus diandrus seed. Mice showed a strong preference for Avena seed.Plant numbers of Avena and Hordeum were reduced by 62% and 30%, respectively. Hordeum, Lolium, and to a lesser extent, Bromus responded to a competitive release from Avena by increases in plant size and reproductive output. In addition, seed predation markedly increased seed to adult plant survivorship of Avena, Hordeum, and Bromus.Vertebrate seed predation is discussed as a potentially important factor in the yearly patterns of plant population regulation in California annual grasslands.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Ecotoxicological study of arsenic and lead contaminated soils in former orchards at the Hanford Site, USA.

    PubMed

    Delistraty, Damon; Yokel, Jerry

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess ecotoxicity of former orchard soils contaminated with lead arsenate pesticides at the Hanford Site in Washington state (USA). Surface soil, plant, and invertebrate samples were collected from 11 sites in former orchard areas. Mean (standard deviation [SD]) for As and Pb in soil were 39.5 (40.6) and 208 (142) mg/kg dry wt, respectively (n = 11). These concentrations exceeded Hanford background levels but were similar to orchard soils elsewhere. In our study, As and Pb soil concentrations were positively and significantly correlated (r = 0.87, Bonferroni P < 0.05). Speciation of total inorganic As in soil (n = 6) demonstrated that As+5 was the dominant form (>99%). Mean (SD) for As and Pb in cheatgrass were 3.9 (7.9) and 12.4 (20.0) mg/kg dry wt, respectively (n = 11), while mean (SD) for As and Pb in darkling beetles were 5.4 (2.6) and 3.9 (3.0) mg/kg dry wt, respectively (n = 8). Linear regressions were constructed to estimate soil to cheatgrass and soil to darkling beetle uptake for As and Pb. These were significant (Bonferroni P < 0.05) only for cheatgrass versus soil (As) and darkling beetle versus soil (Pb). Standardized lettuce seedling and earthworm bioassays were performed with a subset of soil samples (n = 6). No significant effects (P > 0.05) were observed in lettuce survival or growth nor in earthworm survival or sublethal effects. Based on these bioassays, unbounded no observed effect concentrations (NOECs) in soil for As and Pb were 128 and 390 mg/kg dry wt, respectively. However, our range of soil concentrations generally overlapped a set of ecotoxicological benchmarks reported in the literature. Given uncertainty and limited sampling related to our NOECs, as well as uncertainty in generic benchmarks from the literature, further study is needed to refine characterization of As and Pb ecotoxicity in former orchard soils at the Hanford Site.

  12. Supplement Analysis for the Transmission System Vegetation Management Program FEIS (DOE/EIS-0285-SA-32) - Re-Vegetation Plot Study Along the Lower Monumental-McNary Transmission Line ROW

    SciTech Connect

    Hutchinson, Ken

    2001-11-15

    Re-vegetation Plot Study along the Lower Monumental-McNary Transmission Line ROW. The study area sections are located near structures 38/4 and 39/3. The line is a 500kV Single Circuit Transmission Line having an easement width of 165 feet. The proposed work will be accomplished in the indicated sections of the transmission line corridor as indicated on the attached checklist. A summer of 2001 fire burned the subject area leaving the ROW in a bare ground situation. Before, the fire the site was dominated by annual vegetation (cheatgrass) and noxious weeds (yellowstar thistle). As a study of plant succession after the fire for a local Boy Scout group, two 100 X 100 foot areas will be identified for study over the next 2-3 years. The two test plots will be identified and permanently marked. One will receive treatment while the other will not be treated and used as a control plot.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Dated tribe-wide whole chloroplast genome phylogeny indicates recurrent hybridizations within Triticeae.

    PubMed

    Bernhardt, Nadine; Brassac, Jonathan; Kilian, Benjamin; Blattner, Frank R

    2017-06-16

    Triticeae, the tribe of wheat grasses, harbours the cereals barley, rye and wheat and their wild relatives. Although economically important, relationships within the tribe are still not understood. We analysed the phylogeny of chloroplast lineages among nearly all monogenomic Triticeae taxa and polyploid wheat species aiming at a deeper understanding of the tribe's evolution. We used on- and off-target reads of a target-enrichment experiment followed by Illumina sequencing. The read data was used to assemble the plastid locus ndhF for 194 individuals and the whole chloroplast genome for 183 individuals, representing 53 Triticeae species and 15 genera. We conducted Bayesian and multispecies coalescent analyses to infer relationships and estimate divergence times of the taxa. We present the most comprehensive dated Triticeae chloroplast phylogeny and review previous hypotheses in the framework of our results. Monophyly of Triticeae chloroplasts could not be confirmed, as either Bromus or Psathyrostachys captured a chloroplast from a lineage closely related to a Bromus-Triticeae ancestor. The most recent common ancestor of Triticeae occurred approximately between ten and 19 million years ago. The comparison of the chloroplast phylogeny with available nuclear data in several cases revealed incongruences indicating past hybridizations. Recent events of chloroplast capture were detected as individuals grouped apart from con-specific accessions in otherwise monopyhletic groups.

  18. 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.

  19. Refining the cheatgrass–fire cycle in the Great Basin: Precipitation timing and fine fuel composition predict wildfire trends

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pilliod, David; Welty, Justin; Arkle, Robert

    2017-01-01

    Larger, more frequent wildfires in arid and semi-arid ecosystems have been associated with invasion by non-native annual grasses, yet a complete understanding of fine fuel development and subsequent wildfire trends is lacking. We investigated the complex relationships among weather, fine fuels, and fire in the Great Basin, USA. We first modeled the annual and time-lagged effects of precipitation and temperature on herbaceous vegetation cover and litter accumulation over a 26-year period in the northern Great Basin. We then modeled how these fine fuels and weather patterns influence subsequent wildfires. We found that cheatgrass cover increased in years with higher precipitation and especially when one of the previous 3 years also was particularly wet. Cover of non-native forbs and native herbs also increased in wet years, but only after several dry years. The area burned by wildfire in a given year was mostly associated with native herb and non-native forb cover, whereas cheatgrass mainly influenced area burned in the form of litter derived from previous years’ growth. Consequently, multiyear weather patterns, including precipitation in the previous 1–3 years, was a strong predictor of wildfire in a given year because of the time needed to develop these fine fuel loads. The strong relationship between precipitation and wildfire allowed us to expand our inference to 10,162 wildfires across the entire Great Basin over a 35-year period from 1980 to 2014. Our results suggest that the region's precipitation pattern of consecutive wet years followed by consecutive dry years results in a cycle of fuel accumulation followed by weather conditions that increase the probability of wildfire events in the year when the cycle transitions from wet to dry. These patterns varied regionally but were strong enough to allow us to model annual wildfire risk across the Great Basin based on precipitation alone.

  20. Arid site water balance: evapotranspiration modeling and measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Gee, G.W.; Kirkham, R.R.

    1984-09-01

    In order to evaluate the magnitude of radionuclide transport at an aird site, a field and modeling study was conducted to measure and predict water movement under vegetated and bare soil conditions. Significant quantities of water were found to move below the roo of a shallow-rooted grass-covered area during wet years at the Hanford site. The unsaturated water flow model, UNSAT-1D, was resonably successful in simulating the transient behavior of the water balance at this site. The effects of layered soils on water balance were demonstrated using the model. Models used to evaluate water balance in arid regions should not rely on annual averages and assume that all precipitation is removed by evapotranspiration. The potential for drainage at arid sites exists under conditions where shallow rooted plants grow on coarse textured soils. This condition was observed at our study site at Hanford. Neutron probe data collected on a cheatgrass community at the Hanford site during a wet year indicated that over 5 cm of water drained below the 3.5-m depth. The unsaturated water flow model, UNSAT-1D, predicted water drainage of about 5 cm (single layer, 10 months) and 3.5 cm (two layers, 12 months) for the same time period. Additional field measurements of hydraulic conductivity will likely improve the drainage estimate made by UNSAT-1D. Additional information describing cheatgrass growth and water use at the grass site could improve model predictions of sink terms and subsequent calculations of water storage within the rooting zone. In arid areas where the major part of the annual precipitation occurs during months with low average potential evapotranspiration and where soils are vegetated but are coarse textured and well drained, significant drainage can occur. 31 references, 18 figures, 1 table.