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Project ID: 07-1-3-10

Year: 2007

Date Started: 06/04/2007

Date Completed: 09/30/2010

Title: Annual Brome Biocontrol after Wildfire Using a Native Fungal Seed Pathogen

Project Proposal Abstract: Competition from annual bromes (cheatgrass and red brome) is a major obstacle to post-fire seeding success in arid ecosystems. Currently available control methods do not eliminate the annual brome carryover seed bank We will examine the feasibility of using a native fungal seed pathogen (Pyrenophora semeniperda) as a biocontrol organism to eliminate these carryover seeds. This pathogen is already abundant in annual brome seed banks and can kill up to 90% of carryover seeds, even at naturally occurring inoculum levels. Our study has three principal objectives: to determine the effectiveness of this pathogen as a biocontrol organism, alone and in combination with other control measures, to evaluate risk to non-target organisms, including seeded species, and to develop strategies for minimizing identified risks. This pathogen is a generalist known to attack seeds of many cool season grasses. We will examine the risk to the seeds of native species in laboratory host range and field inoculum persistence studies, and will develop a method to mitigate any risk using fungicidal seed dressings that can protect at-risk seeded species. We will carry out field inoculation experiments in two years on burned areas at three cheatgrass sites and two red brome sites. We will determine how effectively the seed pathogen eliminated the carryover seed bank, how well the combined treatments reduced total seed bank size, whether pathogen inoculum loads created by the treatments pose a risk to seeded species, and how this risk can be mitigated using fungicidal seed dressings. We will also address the question of inoculum persistence.

Principal Investigator: Susan E. Meyer

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: RMRS-Shrub Sciences Laboratory

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Phil S. Allen

Brigham Young University

Department of Plant & Wildlife Sciences

Co-Principal Investigator

Julie Beckstead

Gonzaga University

Department of Biology

Federal Cooperator

Susan E. Meyer

Forest Service

RMRS-Shrub Sciences Laboratory

Federal Fiscal Representative

Judy A. Perry

Forest Service

RMRS-Forestry Sciences Lab-Fort Collins

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network

Great Basin

There are no project locations identified for this project.

Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
view or print   962 Government Publication Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) Biocontrol Using Indigenous Fungal Pathogens
view or print   2410 Journal Article Journal of Ecology
view or print   2411 Journal Article Epidemiology
view or print   2412 Journal Article First Report of Pyrenophora seminiperda in Turkey and Greece
view or print   2416 Journal Article New Phytologist
view or print   2760 Journal Article Biological Control
view or print   158 MS Thesis The Grass Seed Pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda as a Biocontrol Agent for Annual Brome Grasses

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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