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Born of fire - restoring sagebrush steppe

Fact Sheet 126-02

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Abstract

Fire is a natural feature of sagebrush grasslands in the Great Basin. The invasion of exotic annual grasses, such as Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass), has changed the environment in these ecosystems. Invasive annual grasses provide a dense and continuous source of fuel that extends the season for fires and increases the frequency of fires in the region. Frequent fires eventually eliminate the native sagebrush. These annual grasses also change soil nutrients, especially carbon and nitrogen, such that invasive annual grasses are favored over the native plants. The Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is studying how to reduce the problems caused by these invasive annual grasses and restore native sagebrush grasslands. The areas of research include understanding disturbance regimes, especially fire, discerning the role of nutrients in restoring native plants, determining the potential to restore forbs important for wildlife, and ascertaining the past and present use of native and nonnative plants in revegetation projects.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Born of fire - restoring sagebrush steppe
Series title:
Fact Sheet
Series number:
126-02
Year Published:
2002
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description:
2 p.
First page:
1
Last page:
2
Online Only (Y/N):
Y