2015 Restoration Strategies & Equipment
Our primary objective is to evaluate the fall placement of Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata spp. wyomingensis) plants, harvested at near seed-ripe, in recently burned areas and cheatgrasss (Bromus tectorum)-dominated plant communities, where the harvested sagebrush will serve both as snow catchments and seed source as the seeds dehisce.
During each of 2 years and at each of 3 replicated study areas within the 20-25 cm (8-10 inch) precipitation zone (Nevada), and 25-30 cm (10-12 Inch) precipitation zone (Oregon) we will establish treatments within a newly burned site and a cheatgrass monoculture. We will employ a randomized block design, with 5 blocks at each site. Within each block, six 15-m-2 circular plots per treatment will be established; plots within a block will be installed at 20 m intervals. Plots will be randomly assigned to treatment in 2015 or 2016 and as either treated with a shrub placement, seeded, or untreated (control). At each plot randomly selected for sagebrush placement, a Wyoming big sagebrush plant (harvested just before seed-ripe) will be placed and secured (if necessary) with wire and rebar. Seeded plots will be hand-broadcast with commercially purchased Wyoming big sagebrush seed to simulate standard agency seeding practice.
Establishment of sagebrush plants will be determined by counting seedlings during the first growing season after shrub placements and seeding; survival for each year of treatment will be determined by counting the number of sagebrush plants remaining during the second growing season. Size differences will allow differentiation between seedling cohorts of the 2 planting years (Boyd and Obradovich 2014). Data will be analyzed using mixed-model ANOVA (PROC MIXED, Littell et al. 1996) with repeated years.