Integrated Control and Assessment of Knapweed and Cheatgrass on Department of Defense Installations. Addendum
Contributor(s)COLORADO STATE UNIV FORT COLLINS DEPT OF MICROBIOLOGY
Environmental Health and Safety
Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
*DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
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AbstractSERDP project SI-1145 has explored alternative control and assessment strategies for knapweeds and annual brome, two non-indigenous plant taxa, on US military installations. These plant taxa infest large areas of the Western United States and they are a major concern for military bases. Heavy maneuvering of troops and equipment causes large disturbances where native vegetation is stressed, soil is lost, and invasive noxious plants often take hold. Replacing stands of noxious weeds with native plant communities on military training grounds will reduce soil erosion and create more sustainable ecological systems. Non-indigenous invasive plants can also reduce and destroy forage for livestock and wildlife, displace native plant species, increase fire frequency, reduce recreational opportunities, and can poison domestic animals. It is imperative to find economical, ecologically sound methods to control these weeds to minimize control costs and degradation of military training grounds. The objective of SI-1145 was to develop a general strategy for the control, monitoring and prediction of knapweed and annual brome infestations on Department of Defense installations in the Western U.S. The driving hypothesis of this research was that the control of invasive exotic plants is best achieved through multiple ecological factors acting in synergy to reduce the target population rather than single factors Biological control, fire, manipulation of soil nitrogen availability, seeding with native late-seral species, and restoration of the soil community were combined in field studies on disturbed weed-infested sites at Yakima Training Center (YTC), WA and Fort Carson (FC), CO. The effects of these manipulations on plant community composition were originally monitored over a 4-year period (2000-2003) on the ground and by using multispectral remote sensing techniques. Data from the field study was incorporated into an ecosystems dynamics simulation (EDYS) model.
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