Effects of Conversion From Sagebrush to Non-Native Grasslands on Sagebrush-Associated Species

Rottler, Caitlin M.
Noseworthy, Cara E.
Fowers, Beth
Beck, Jeffrey L.
Society for Range Management
Publication Year: 
On the Ground• There are as many as 170 vertebrate wildlife speciesthroughout the western United States and Canadathat are associated with and sometimes dependenton sagebrush habitats and can be negatively affectedby conversion of sagebrush ecosystems to non-nativeperennial or annual grassland.• We briefly summarize the mechanisms responsiblefor this conversion and synthesize its effects onwildlife species that are not often in the spotlight, aswell as potential effects on management efforts.• Conversion to non-native annual grasslands is especiallydifficult for sagebrush obligates because annualgrass dominance of former sagebrush sites increasesfire frequency, effectively eliminating the ability offunctioning sagebrush communities to re-establishfollowing burning.• Conversion to non-native perennial grasslands alsonegatively affects sagebrush obligates, because nonnativeperennial grasses are able to grow inmonocultures that compete with native plants andprevent their re-establishment in areas that aredominated by non-native perennials.Keywords: ecosystem conversion, exotic grasses, fireeffects, sagebrush obligate, wildlife habitat.
Document Type: 
Journal Issue/Article
Society for Range Management

Rangelands, a publication of the Society for Range Management, serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of facts, ideas, and philosophies pertaining to the study, management, and use of rangelands. The journal features scientific and historical articles as well as Society news. It provides readers with scientifically accurate information in a user-friendly format, placed in context of the world we live in today. Rangelands is a practical (non-technical) counterpart of Rangeland Ecology & Management (formerly the Journal of Range Management). The Global Rangelands collection includes articles from Rangelands up to 3 years from the current year. Access to more recent content is available by subscription from BioOne and the Society for Range Management and may also be available at your local university library. 
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