Restoring Palmer's agave in a Lehmann lovegrass dominated grassland in southeastern Arizona
AffiliationSchool of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona
Research Engagement, University Libraries, University of Arizona
MetadataShow full item record
CitationGill, A. S., Oliver, J. C., Fitting, H., Kubby, B. K., & Gornish, E. S. (2022). Restoring Palmer’s agave in a Lehmann lovegrass dominated grassland in southeastern Arizona. Restoration Ecology.
Rights© 2022 The Authors. Restoration Ecology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Society for Ecological Restoration. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractDryland restoration is becoming increasingly challenging in arid and semiarid regions, such as in the southwestern United States, due to rapid land degradation, the spread of non-native species, and climate change. The development of strategies to enhance restoration of native species, particularly culturally and ecologically important native plants like Palmer's agave (Agave palmeri), is particularly critical in southeastern arid lands where scarce rainfall, herbivory, and invasive species dominance pose unique challenges to land management. In a large field experiment in southeastern Arizona, U.S.A., we assessed the utility of several management techniques to promote restoration and revegetation outcomes for Palmer's agave survival and growth, including protection from solar insolation and herbivory, and reduction in the competitiveness of Lehmann lovegrass (Eragrostis lehmanniana). We found that the combination of herbivory protection and shade resulted in the highest survival of planted agaves, while the shade treatment alone resulted in the largest agaves. In fact, our results suggest that dense Lehmann lovegrass cover protects agaves from direct sunlight and predation. If land managers are challenged by widespread Lehmann lovegrass, they can opt to mechanically reduce it. However, if population recovery of Palmer's agave is a priority and fire hazard is minimal, our work suggests that stakeholders concerned with population recovery of Palmer's agave can forgo removing existing vegetation and plant agaves in a matrix of (and/or under the canopy of) existing vegetation.
NoteOpen access article
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsBat Conservation International
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2022 The Authors. Restoration Ecology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Society for Ecological Restoration. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License.