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Converting crested wheatgrass stands to enhance big sagebrush: A literature review

Author(s): Krystle A. Pehrson, Bok F. Sowell
Year Published: 2011
Description:

Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a high priority species for federal and state land management agencies. Sage-grouse are sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) obligates requiring sagebrush for their survival throughout the year. Sagebrush has been removed and replaced with crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum & A. desertorum) throughout the West. The objectives of this paper were to review the literature (99 papers), as well as consult experts, to determine which methods are most likely to eliminate crested wheatgrass and establish sagebrush. No technique eliminates crested wheatgrass in a single application. Grazing and fire have no long-term impacts on crested wheatgrass. Mechanical treatments, such as plowing, disking, and cultivating reduce and eradicate crested wheatgrass, but a flush of invasive annual grasses following mechanical disturbance can make establishment of seeded species difficult. It appears that the best way to reduce crested wheatgrass cover and establish sagebrush is to spray crested wheatgrass with glyphosate in early spring for two consecutive years at a rate of 1.1 kg/ha of active ingredient. Then, sagebrush should be seeded in the late fall using a compact row seeder or Brillion cultipacker at a rate of 0.22 kg/ha pure live seed.

Citation: Pehrson, Krystle A. and Sowell, Bok F. (2011) "Converting Crested Wheatgrass Stands to Enhance Big Sagebrush: A Literature Review," Natural Resources and Environmental Issues: Vol. 16 , Article 16. Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nrei/vol16/iss1/16
Topic(s): Recovery after fire
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 15425
Record updated: Sep 11, 2017