- Determine post-fire seeding effects on cover and density of seeded perennial plants
- Determine cover of bare ground and undesirable non-native annual bromes and forbs
- Determine long-term effects of drill versus aerial seeding on different types of vegetation cover
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
- On average, wildfires burn about 1 million acres annually in the Great Basin.
- Invasive annual grasses are altering Great Basin fire regimes, affecting ecosystem function and fragmenting habitats for species dependent on sagebrush.
- The ES&R (Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation) program on BLM-managed lands may benefit from an adaptive management approach to improve seeding success
- These findings may inform decisions through comparing costs of seeding relative to benefits of achieving seeding objectives.
WHAT WAS LEARNED
- Native perennial grasses did best when sown without non-native perennial grasses.
- Areas where ES&R seedings were successful, providing an increase in perennial grass cover and decrease in cheatgrass, were primarily limited to locations drill-seeded with non-native grasses at moist, high elevation sites.
- Cover of cheatgrass was highest in hot and dry, low elevation areas. Seeding treatments at these locations had little effect on perennial plant cover.
- Seeding at lower, drier locations would likely require multiple interventions to be successful.
- Seeding native shrubs had little effect on shrub cover, however managers might consider transplanting or use of native-only seed-mixes on sites with higher annual precipitation.
- Aerial seeding applications without seed cover methods did not provide establishment of non-native, deep-rooted perennial grasses sufficient for impacting annual bromes.
- The study could not evaluate grazing management practices that likely affected long-term ES&R outcomes and warrants further investigation.