Home Publications Native Plants: Propagating and Planting Restoration of Community Structure and Composition in Cheatgrass Dominated Rangelands

Restoration of Community Structure and Composition in Cheatgrass Dominated Rangelands

Restoration in cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) dominated rangelands is a tremendous challenge. It requires the control of both the existing cheatgrass litter and its seed-bank, as well as the establishment of plants that can compete with future cheatgrass flushes. Perennial plants that are seeded must be capable of utilizing the entire soil profile, provide competitive growth over a long phenological period, and provide tight nutrient cycling, especially of nitrogen and phosphorus. Restoration efforts must include management actions that limit the reintroduction of exotic annual plants and prevent soil surface trampling or disturbance by livestock and off-highway vehicles. Maintenance of a patchy vegetative structure of the plant community appears necessary to retain native species. The perennial bunchgrasses form clumps with an open, low-growing vegetation in the interspaces that typically includes biological soil crusts. The crust component contributes to the maintenance of the community and helps exclude exotic annuals from the site.


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Author(s): Roger Rosentreter

Publication: Native Plants: Propagating and Planting

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