Agricultural Research Service (ARS) rangeland scientists Jon Bates and Tony Svejcar conducted a study at a site dominated by a stand of invasive western junipers to assess different management strategies after the junipers have been cut down. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.
In the past century, junipers have begun to dominate some sagebrush grasslands in the western United States. Rangeland managers sometimes just cut down the invasive trees and leave them where they fall, which can help protect the soil from erosion. But the dead trees are an increased fire risk and may also create conditions that help cheatgrass--an invasive annual that fuels fierce wildfires--crowd out native perennials.
Bates and Svejcar, who work at the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center in Burns, Ore., cut down a group of junipers and then burned them during the winter one and two years after they were felled. A control group of felled trees at the site was left unburned.
Ten years after the trees were burned, total herbaceous and perennial grass cover was 1.5 to 2 times greater in the areas where trees had been burned than in the areas where they were not burned. Perennial grass density was 60 percent greater in the burned sites than in the unburned sites, and cheatgrass cover was twice as dense in the control area than in the two burn areas.
The researchers concluded that burning the cut trees in winter helped protect existing perennials at the site because the soils were wet and frozen. This protection gave the perennials a head start in their growth the following spring, when they needed an edge against invasive annuals.
Results from this work, which support the USDA priority of responding to climate change, were published in Western North American Naturalist.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).
Ann Perry | EurekAlert!
Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli
26.04.2017 | University of the Basque Country
New data unearths pesticide peril in beehives
21.04.2017 | Cornell University
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy