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Current and Potential Utility of Broadleaf Herbs for Sagebrush Communities Scott Walker and Nancy Shaw Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Ephraim, UT.

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Presentation on theme: "Current and Potential Utility of Broadleaf Herbs for Sagebrush Communities Scott Walker and Nancy Shaw Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Ephraim, UT."— Presentation transcript:

1 Current and Potential Utility of Broadleaf Herbs for Sagebrush Communities Scott Walker and Nancy Shaw Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Ephraim, UT and USDA-FS Rocky Mountain Research Station, Boise, ID.

2 (From Cronquist, A., et al 1972) The Great Basin


4 Impacts – Principal Livestock Grazing Weed Invasion

5 Cheatgrass Fire Cycle

6 Restoration Practicality Reduction of weedy competition Preparation of suitable seedbeds Restoration of diverse communities Planting site-adapted species Recovery of residual native species

7 * Broader range of organisms. * Cover and soil stabilization. * Forage availability extended. * Improve esthetics. *Higher quality forage. * Supplies critical nutrients and succulence. *Fruits, seeds, and leaves of forbs are frequently a principal food for upland game birds Increased Diversity of Plant Communities

8 Availability & Utility of Principal Native Species Grasses Forbs Shrubs

9 Large number of plant associations Moderate number of species present Few species occupy broad range of sites Individual taxa consist of diverse ecotypes Status of Broadleaf Forbs for Restoration

10 All plant communities have evolved to support a particular group of compatible species. In the Management of Any Land Type It Is Important to Recognize All Sites Support a Particular Array of Species. These species provide the most complete and effective group of plants for the particular landscape, climate, and exist over time.

11 Native forbs offer unique challenges in seed collecting, handling and seeding Usually hand collected Wildland seed production can be highly erratic Cost and availability are unpredictable Seed handling guidelines have not been developed Seeding requirements and cultural practices have not been developed

12 Principal Broadleaf Forbs Recommended For Seeding Sage and Mt. Brush Communities. Western Yarrow Louisiana sage Pacific aster Blueleaf aster Cicer milkvetch Arrowleaf balsomroot Crownvetch Geranium Utah sweetvetch One flower helianthella Cow Parsnip Ligusticum Lewis flax Lomatium Lupine Alfalfa Yellow sweetclover Sainfoin Sweetanise Penstemon Small burnet Butterweed groundsel Canada goldenrod Globemallow Clover Showy goldeneye

13 Most Commonly Seeded Forbs Alfalfa 126,000 Lewis flax 87,000 Small burnet 65,000 Cicer milkvetch 30,500 Western yarrow 27,000 Yellow Sweetclover 16,550 Sainfoin 10,400 Species Pounds purchased in 2000* *BLM Purchases in 2000

14 Other Seed Purchased Palmer penstemon900 Munroe globemallow250 Gooseberry leaf globemallow 200 Species Pounds purchased in 2000* *BLM Purchases in 2000

15 Forb species were listed as having potential for rangeland restoration. Of the 76 forbs species listed, 63 were natives 13 were introduced.

16 Equipment

17 Seed Bed Preparation Soil disturbance Seed coverage Safe sites for establishment Micro sites for increasing moisture retention

18 Seeding Requirements

19 Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) Dry land types are hybrids between the rhizomatous M. falcata (yellow flower) and the deep rooted M. sativa (purple flower). Dry land types adapted to the great basin at >10 (persists best at 12 +) precipitation. Fruit: legume Germination: Very little dormancy. Will germinate with fall moisture and is susceptible to winter kill. Seed as dormant seeding LATE fall or early spring.

20 Very palatable semi-evergreen, nitrogen fixer, highly nutritious. Cultivar: Delar. Establishes well when seed drilled (at ¼ to ¾ in.), or aerial applied and covered. Establishes well at 12 precipitation does not withstand heavy grazing at dryer sites. Small Burnet: (Sanguisorba minor)

21 Palatable legume, deep rooted, occurring in sagebrush, pinyon/juniper, and oakbrush types. Cultivar: Timp. Seed:Has a lomented pod that disarticulates at ripening. 34,000 seeds per pound. Fall seed, some dormancy requiring 1 month stratification. Seed at ½ in., 2 lbs per acre. Utah Sweetvetch: (Hedysarum boreal)

22 Cicer Milkvetch: (Astragalus cicer) Non-bloating legume, adapted to >12 inches precipitation. Highly palatable and nutritious, is preferred by deer, elk, and sage grouse. Seed: 18,000 seeds per lb. Seed at 2 to 5 lbs per acre in mix. Released varieties: Eski, Remont. Sainfoin: (Onobrychis viciafolia) Adapted to upper sagebrush, pinyon/juniper, and oakbrush (>14). Good forage and seed producer. Bird and small mammals utilize the seed. Released varieties: Lutana, Monarch.

23 Wide distribution Used by hens and chicks, harbors insects. Very small seed- 4 million per pound. Surface seed in the Fall, 0.25 to 1 lb per acre. Establishes readily. Cultivar: Variety from Eagle Id. Will be released soon Western Yarrow (Achillia millifolium)

24 Balsamroot : (Balsamoriza spp.) Asters as a group are an important component to the native communities. Consist of a broad array of species. Small seeded 2.5 million seeds per pound. Requires 2-4 week stratification Wide spread in Intermountain area. Early spring green up, good wildlife forage. Large seeds, 55,000 per pound. Slow to establish, but very persistent. Pacific Aster: (Aster chilensis)

25 V. multiflora- broadly adapted to many vegetative types. When purchasing seed be sure of the source. Ranges from Sage, p/j to sub alpine. V. nevadensis- occurs in drier sites in the Great Basin. Small seeded 1 million per pound. Does well on surface, can be drilled. Good seed producer with strong seedlings. Early spring green up. Readily sought out by wildlife as a herbaceous forage, and seed is utilized by birds. Showy Goldeneye: (Viguiera multifora, V. nevadensis.)

26 Seed: Generally small seeded, but do establish well on disturbed sites. Little information on seed and seeding requirements. No current releases The importance of these species to sage grouse and other wildlife is becoming more understood. Hawksbeard: (Crepis spp.) Fleabane: (Erigeron spp.) Salsify: (Tragopogon spp.)

27 Forbs Family Genus Common name. Apiaceae Lomatium Desert parsley Linaceae Linum Flax Malvaceae Sphaeralcea Globemallow Polygonaceae Eriogonum Desert Buckwheat Scrophulariaceae Penstemon Penstemon Broadleaf Forbs

28 Forb Releases Species Origin Release Class _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Eriogonum niveumSD Umatilla Cultivar E. umbellatumCA Sierra Cultivar Linum perenneSD Appar Cultivar (escaped?) Lomatium spp.--- ----------- ---------- Penstemon eatoniiUT Richfield Selected P. palmeriUT Cedar Cultivar P. strictusNM Bandera Cultivar P. venustusID Clearwater Selected Sphaeralcea coccineaID ARS-2936 Germplasm S. munroanaUT ARS-2892 Selected

29 Seed Quality Testing Species Germination Rule Viability Test Eriogonum X Linum X L. perenne X Lomatium Penstemon X X P. eatonii X P. palmeri X P. strictus X P. venustus X Sphaeralcea X S. coccinea S. munroana

30 Family Linaceae Linum perenne var. Appar Perennial Blue Flax Widely adapted Produced in seed fields Easily seeded Establishes in mixtures

31 Linum lewisii Lewis flax, Wild blue flax Widely distributed Considerable intraspecific variation Great Basin cultivar being developed

32 Family: Polygonaceae Eriogonum spp., Wild buckwheat E. ovalifolium Oval-leaf buckwheat E. umbellatum Sulfurflower buckwheat E. niveum Snow buckwheat E. heracleoides Wyeth buckwheat

33 Eriogonum: Seed Inflorescence: Umbel Fruit: 3-angled achene Seeds/pound: 120,000 (E. umbellatum) 600,000 (E. niveum) Harvest: Summer - Fall Cleaning: Screen, chop, screen Seed quality: Viability test available. Germination: Species and ecotypic variation occur.

34 Eriogonum: Seeding Time: Fall. Method: Drill (shallow), broadcast. Germination: Prechilling usually required. Seedlings/stand: Pioneering species.

35 Umatilla Snow Buckwheat Eriogonum niveum Origin: Umatilla Co., Oregon Area of use: Interior Pacific Northwest.

36 Family Apiaceae Lomatium spp., Biscuitroot, Wild parsley 70 species, nearly all in Western U.S. Lower elevation sagebrush to subalpine Early spring growth Plants usually scattered

37 Lomatium spp.: Seeds and Seeding L. triternatum Nine-leaved biscuitroot Seed supply unreliable Hand harvested Fruits flat, winged, easily cleaned and seeded Seedlings vigorous No cultivars, germination test or viability procedure

38 Family Malvaceae Sphaeralcea spp., Globemallow 25 species in the West, most common in the Southwest 8-12 inch precipitation zone Establishes during wet years, persists in seedbank Several ploidy levels occur One of the few forbs seeded in salt desert shrublands S. munroana Munro globemallow S. grossulariifolia Gooseberryleaf globemallow

39 Sphaeralcea spp.: Seeds and Seeding Flowering indeterminate Seed collected by hand 500,000 seeds per pound Drill seed or broadcast and cover Seeds require scarification and prechilling Germplasm releases: –ARS-2936 S. coccinea –ARS-2892 S. munroana No germination or viability test S. munroana Munro globemallow

40 Family Scrophulariaceae Penstemon spp., Penstemon P. peckii P. speciosus P. deustus P. fruticosus

41 Penstemon: Seed Harvested from native stands or seed fields Seed small (100,000 to 600,000 per pound) Seed easily cleaned and handled Longevity of seed in dry storage: 4 to 6 years Field culture and seed production studied

42 Penstemon: Seeding Fall seeding -prechilling often required Drill (shallow) or broadcast and cover Can be seeded with other small seeded forbs and shrubs Matures fairly rapidly Germination rule and TZ procedures available.

43 Scientific Common Release Release name name Origin name type. P. eatoniiFirecracker UT Richfield Selected P. palmeriPalmer UT Cedar Cultivar P. strictusRocky Mt. NM Bandera Cultivar P. venustusAlpine ID Clearwater Selected Penstemon: Releases

44 The Pre-variety Germplasm Release Program A Fast Track Alternative Release Procedure Certification type: Site-Identified Verified for geographic origin. No comparisons made with other germplasms of the species. Selected Class Germplasm compared on a common site with other germplasms. Tested Class Progeny tested to ensure that observed traits are heritable and stable. Cultivar/Variety Tested material for which there is considerable market demand.

45 Research Requirements Plant ecology –Ecotypic variability and distribution Plant biology –Seed characteristics, germination requirements –Seedbed ecology and establishment Field culture and seed production Forb genetics Revegetation genetics

46 Candidate Species Identification and ranking of important species Field surveys Distribution Wildlife habitat values Summary list

47 Species Proposed for Development Astragalus convallarius A. lentiginosus Crepis acuminata Erigeron pumilus Eriogonum corymbosum E. ovalifolium Hedysarum borealis utahensis Lomatium nuttallii Lupinus argenteus Penstemon attenuatus P. deustus P. speciosus Sphaeralcea coccinea Vicia americana Viguiera multiflora nevadensis

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