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Promoting Native Vegetation and Diversity in Exotic Annual Grass Infestations
Article first published online: 30 JUN 2009
© 2009 Society for Ecological Restoration International
Volume 19, Issue 2, pages 159–165, March 2011
How to Cite
Davies, K. W. and Sheley, R. L. (2011), Promoting Native Vegetation and Diversity in Exotic Annual Grass Infestations. Restoration Ecology, 19: 159–165. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2009.00548.x
- Issue published online: 30 JUN 2009
- Article first published online: 30 JUN 2009
- prescribed burning;
- Taeniatherum caput-medusae;
Exotic plant invasions are especially problematic because reestablishment of native perennial vegetation is rarely successful. It may be more appropriate to treat exotic plant infestations that still have some remaining native vegetation. We evaluated this restoration strategy by measuring the effects of spring burning, fall burning, fall applied imazapic, spring burning with fall applied imazapic, and fall burning with fall applied imazapic on the exotic annual grass, medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae (L.) Nevski), and native vegetation at six sites in Oregon for 2 years post-treatment. Medusahead infestations included in this study had some residual native perennial bunchgrasses and forbs. Burning followed by imazapic application provided the best control of medusahead and resulted in the greatest increases in native perennial vegetation. However, imazapic application decreased native annual forb cover the first year post-treatment and density the first and second year post-treatment. The spring burn followed by imazapic application produced an almost 2-fold increase in plant species diversity compared to the control. The fall burn followed by imazapic application also increased diversity compared to the control. Results of this study indicate that native plants can be promoted in medusahead invasions; however, responses vary by plant functional group and treatment. Our results compared to previous research suggest that restoration of plant communities invaded by exotic annual grass may be more successful if efforts focus on areas with some residual native perennial vegetation. Thus, invasive plant infestations with some native vegetation remaining should receive priority for restoration efforts over near monocultures of invasive plant species.