(This is a re-post from the JFSP Flash Newsletter)
Region: Mojave Desert
Key Finding: Some plants appear to have the potential to compete with cheatgrass after fire in arid lands, especially in the Mojave.
- Certain species, particularly early successional forbs, are better able to compete with exotic annual grasses.
- It's possible for existing native species and communities to inhibit establishment of exotic annual grasses.
- These species also performed well as transplants in recently burned areas, suggesting that they would be most appropriate for post-fire seeding or transplant efforts.
- A native, early successional forb community reduced biomass (fuel) consisting of exotic grasses Bromus rubens and Schismus by 8- (nitrogen added to soil) to 33 - fold (no added nitrogen).
- The native forb Sphaeralcea ambigua (desert globemallow) performed best overall for reducing exotic grasses and establishing on desert burns.
- Information is needed on factors that determine success or failure of seeding in arid lands. This may include timing and the amount of seed used.
- Studies that take a long-term perspective on post-fire re-vegetation of arid lands are needed.
Public Lands Institute and School of Life Sciences
University of Nevada Las Vegas
School of Life Sciences
University of Las Vegas