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Landscape-scale Rehabilitation of Medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae) Dominated Sagebrush Steppe

Sheley, Roger L., Vasquez, Edward A., Chamberlain, Anna_Marie, Smith, Brenda S.
ARS USDA Submissions 2012 v.5 no.4 pp. 436
Agropyron cristatum, Artemisia, Taeniatherum caput-medusae, annual weeds, application timing, grasses, imazapic, integrated weed management, land restoration, landscapes, perennials, pesticide application, rangelands, sowing, spraying, steppes, watersheds, Oregon
Producers facing infestations of invasive annual grasses regularly voice the need for practical revegetation strategies that can be applied across broad landscapes. Our objective was to determine the potential for scaling up the single entry approach for revegetating medusahead-infested rangeland to broader, more heterogeneous landscape-scale revegetation of winter annual grass–infested rangeland. We hypothesized, when applied on a highly variable landscape scale, the combination of imazapic and seeding would provide highest abundance of perennial grasses and lowest amount of annual grasses. Treatments included a control, seeding of crested wheatgrass (‘Hycrest’) and Sandberg’s bluegrass, spraying (60 g ai ha-1 imazapic), and a simultaneously applied combination of spraying and seeding. The HyCrest and Sandberg’s bluegrass seeding rates were 19 and 3.4 kg ha-1, respectively. The treatments were applied to large plots (1.4 to 8 ha) and replicated five times, with each replication located in different watersheds throughout southeastern Oregon. This study shows that the single-entry approach can be scaled up to larger landscapes, but variation within establishment areas will likely be high. This procedure should reduce the costs over multientry treatment applications and make revegetating annual grass–infested rangeland across landscapes more affordable.