USING NATIVE WEEDS FOR RESTORATION: CAN NATIVE ANNUALS HELP, RATHER THAN HURT, RESTORATION EFFORTS?

Author: 
Leger, Elizabeth A.
Publisher: 
Society for Range Management
Publication Year: 
2018
Description: 
In the Great Basin, native annual plants occupy a niche similar to the niche exploited by invasive annuals, increasing in abundance after soil disturbances and wildlife. In arid systems, some native annual species have been shown to compete effectively with weeds. Native annuals are also an important component of wildlife habitat, and provide resources for many species. Despite their ecological importance, native annuals have rarely been used in restoration and habitat improvement projects in the Great Basin, and their potential for propagation has not been investigated. Seed source development for restoration and wildlife habitat improvement has focused on native perennials, and great strides have been made for those species. Similar work has not been attempted for annual species, despite preliminary results that suggest that annual species can play important roles in occupying disturbed habitats and reducing the fecundity of annual weeds. Here, we present evidence from field and greenhouse trials indicating that native annuals can compete effectively with invasive annual plants, as well as results from seed increase trials of wild-collected populations. While native annuals are, by definition, short-lived additions to any restoration project, their ability to quickly increase from seed and persist in the seed bank during unfavorable periods makes them a unique contributor to current restoration mixes, which typically focus on perennial species that may be slow to reproduce and are vulnerable to drought or other disturbances. Incorporating native annuals into restoration projects may allow for increased restoration success, and developing effective methods for seed increase will allow the seeding of larger-scale trials in invaded and degraded habitats.
Conference Name: 
SRM Reno, NV
Conference Date: 
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Resource Type: 
Text
Document Type: 
Conference Proceedings
Society for Range Management

A collection of presentation titles and abstracts from the SRM Annual Meeting and Tradeshows