exotic invasive plants
MetadataShow full item record
CitationKerns, B. K., & Day, M. A. (2014). Fuel Reduction, Seeding, and Vegetation in a Juniper Woodland. Rangeland Ecology & Management, 67(6), 667–679.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalRangeland Ecology & Management
AbstractWestern juniper has increased in density and distribution in the interior Pacific Northwest since the late 1800s. Management goals for many juniper woodlands are now focused on reducing tree densities and promoting biodiversity, prompting the use of fuel reduction treatments. Fuel reduction often involves mechanical cutting and disturbances such as slash pile burning and skid trail formation. While these activities may reduce tree densities, the extent to which they will restore native biodiversity and community composition, particularly in woodlands invaded by exotic annual grasses, is unclear. We evaluated the effects of juniper cutting in two experiments of disturbance type (slash piles and skid trails) followed by three native seeding treatments (cultivar, locally sourced, and no seed) on vegetation in central Oregon. Prior to cutting, native perennial grass cover and richness were positively associated and exotic grass cover was negatively associated with juniper basal area. After cutting and 2 yr after seeding, species composition was altered for both disturbance types. Some seeded areas had higher total species richness, higher native species richness, higher cover of seeded species, and higher overall cover compared to areas that were not seeded. But seeding effectiveness in mitigating exotic species spread varied based on exotic species functional group, pretreatment propagule pressure, and experiment disturbance type. Neither seed mix lowered exotic grass cover. There was limited evidence that the cultivar mix outperformed the locally sourced native seed mix. In the short term, fuel reduction activities may have facilitated further conversion of this woodland to an exotic grassland, but longer-term evaluation is needed. In juniper woodlands that have been invaded by exotic species, fuel reduction activities may facilitate further invasion, and exotic species control may be needed to limit invasion and promote native vegetation. © 2014 Society for Range Management