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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: RANGELAND RESTORATION AND MANAGEMENT Title: Sagebrush Steppe - Research Progress Report 2007

Authors
item Davies, Kirk
item Nafus, Aleta
item Bates, Jonathan
item Svejcar, Anthony
item Sheley, Roger
item Johnson, D - OSU EXTENSION
item Miller, R - OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY
item Sharp, R - BLM - BURNS OR
item Rhodes, E - TEXAS A&M

Submitted to: Agricultural Research Service Publication
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: April 22, 2008
Publication Date: April 23, 2008
Citation: Davies, K.W., Nafus, A., Bates, J.D., Svejcar, A.J., Sheley, R.L., Johnson, D.D., Miller, R.F., Sharp, R.N., Rhodes, E.C. 2008. Sagebrush steppe - research progress report 2007. Agricultural Research Service Publication. EOARC - Burns pp88

Interpretive Summary: Sagebrush rangelands provide an important forage base for livestock production and are critical habitat for many wildlife species. Information characterizing the affects of burning, grazing, exotic plant invasions, management actions, and the interactions among these factors on sagebrush rangelands remains limited. Information is also lacking detailing interactions among plant species and the influence of climatic conditions and site characteristics on vegetation cover, density, production, and diversity in sagebrush rangelands. This report summarizes twelve studies that investigated the ecology and management of sagebrush rangelands. These studies evaluated the influence of wildfires and prescribed fire on vegetation in sagebrush rangelands, determined that moderately grazing one growing season after fire does not hinder the recovery of desirable vegetation, and identified that soil characteristic often are the most important factors influencing vegetation composition. These studies also determined the impacts of medusahead (an exotic annual grass) invasion, quantified the dispersal and establishment of medusahead in sagebrush plant communities, documented the influence of sagebrush on microsites and associated vegetation, and determined that mowing sagebrush increased the nutritional quality of sagebrush leaves. The results of these studies are of interest to land managers, wildlife biologists, and scientists. These studies provide information that is needed to manage sagebrush rangelands for sustainability and to meet the needs of multiple users.

Technical Abstract: Sagebrush rangelands provide an important forage base for livestock production and are critical habitat for many wildlife species. Information characterizing the affects of burning, grazing, exotic plant invasions, management actions, and the interactions among these factors on sagebrush rangelands remains limited. Information is also lacking detailing interactions among plant species and the influence of climatic conditions and site characteristics on vegetation cover, density, production, and diversity in sagebrush rangelands. This report summarizes twelve studies that investigated the ecology and management of sagebrush rangelands. These studies evaluated the influence of wildfires and prescribed fire on vegetation in sagebrush rangelands, determined that moderately grazing one growing season after fire does not hinder the recovery of desirable vegetation, and identified that soil characteristic often are the most important factors influencing vegetation composition. These studies also determined the impacts of medusahead (an exotic annual grass) invasion, quantified the dispersal and establishment of medusahead in sagebrush plant communities, documented the influence of sagebrush on microsites and associated vegetation, and determined that mowing sagebrush increased the nutritional quality of sagebrush leaves. The results of these studies are of interest to land managers, wildlife biologists, and scientists. These studies provide information that is needed to manage sagebrush rangelands for sustainability and to meet the needs of multiple users.

Last Modified: 10/26/2014
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