Multiple constraints on ecological restoration: Re-establishment of black grama grass (Bouteloua eriopoda) after intensive grazing

TitleMultiple constraints on ecological restoration: Re-establishment of black grama grass (Bouteloua eriopoda) after intensive grazing
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsTartowski, Sandy L., James D.K.
Conference NameEcological Society of America Abstracts
Date PublishedAugust 4-8, 2008
Conference LocationMilwaukee, WI
ARIS Log Number230387
Keywordsabstract, climate change, restoration
AbstractClimate change may alter potential ecological restoration of semi-arid rangeland. Bouteloua eriopoda (black grama, BOER) is a perennial C4 grass that usually fails to re-establish in degraded rangeland and may be constrained by increased atmospheric CO2 and reduced or seasonally redistributed rainfall. Eighteen contiguous 0.5-ha plots were established in a remnant black grama grassland at the Jornada Experimental Range in the Northern Chihuahuan Desert. Removal of mesquite shrubs (Prosopis glandulosa) and intensive seasonal grazing (none, winter, summer) were applied in a randomized complete block design. From 1996-2000 annual grazing removed 65-85% of the available forage in 24-36 h, a grazing intensity 30X greater than in the previous 40 years. In 2002 the mean percent cover of BOER was 5.82±0.94 in grazed plots compared to 27.3±1.33 in ungrazed plots. By 2005 BOER had not re-established. A pair of circular 1 m diameter, 6.35 mm wire mesh exclosures, were randomly located in each of the 18 plots. Annually from 2005-2007 the treatment exclosure of each pair had non-BOER above-ground biomass removed and viable BOER seed planted and fertilized.