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Project ID: 16-1-03-25

Year: 2016

Date Started: 08/15/2016

Ending Date:  01/30/2019

Title: Long-term effects of restoration treatments in a Wyoming big sagebrush community invaded by annual exotic grasses

Project Proposal Abstract: Restoration efforts in sagebrush often involve the removal of juniper to increase ecosystem resilience and resistance to invasion. In 2008 we initiated a study to examine the response of vegetation to a juniper (Juniperus occidentalis ssp. occidentalis) removal experiment in an invaded Wyoming big sagebrush community in central Oregon where areas highly disturbed by treatment operations were seeded with natives post-treatment (JFSP Project ID: 05-2-1-05; Kerns and Day, 2014).Prior to treatment, the project area had infestations of some of the most invasive annual grasses in western North America: medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae), cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and North Africa grass (Ventenata dubia). Two years after seeding Kerns and Day (2014) found that seeded species had successfully established, especially after slash pile burning, and seeded treatments on slash piles increased total cover and total and native richness; seeding was not particularly successful on skid trails. Seeding did not reduce the cover of exotic annual grasses (specifically cheatgrass) in the short term. Restoration of Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata subsp. wyomingensis) communities invaded by annual grasses can be particularly problematic (Miller et al., 2011). However, longer-term evaluation is needed to fully understand the impacts of our treatments, especially of long-lived sagebrush. Evaluation of herbaceous recovery and exotic invasive species persistence, and the development of management recommendations are hampered by our lack of understanding of long-term outcomes associated with restoration treatments (Bates et al., 2005). Despite calls for more linkages between short- and long-term restoration outcomes (Rangeland Fire Task Force, 2015), and conflicting outcomes between short-and long-term responses from the limited long-term studies that have been completed (Rinella et al., 2012), long-term seeding studies are extremely rare. We propose to remeasure seeded plots used in Kerns and Day (2014) and transects (unpublished) to assess the longer-term (~8-10 yr) response of juniper removal and experimental seeding treatments in restoring sagebrush community composition and structure and increasing ecosystem resilience.

Principal Investigator: Becky K. Kerns

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: PNW-Forestry Sciences Lab-Corvallis

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Vi T. Ta

Forest Service

PNW-Pacific Northwest Research Station

Budget Contact

Phillip A. Won

Forest Service

PNW-Pacific Northwest Research Station

Co-Principal Investigator

Michelle A. Day

Oregon State University

Department of Forest Ecosystems & Society

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network

Great Basin








Crooked River National Grassland

Project Deliverables

There is no final report available for this project.
There are no deliverables available for this project.

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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