Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) is an important native shrub in the Great Basin because of its wide distribution where it dominates over 60 million ha and provides essential habitat and forage for many varied species. The hand collection of sagebrush seed often results in seed scarcity and the available seed quantities are at times inadequate to revegetate large areas that have been disturbed, resulting in a demand for sagebrush seed. Study locations were selected near Scipio and Sahara sand dunes of Utah, and treatments were 1-) control, no treatment applied area left undisturbed 2-) general chemical strip thinning 3-) general chemical thinning of entire stand, 4-) general mechanical strip thinning, and 5-) general mechanical thinning of the entire stand. Significant differences among treatments in seed yields were collected in 2011 at Scipio but not at Sahara. At Scipio, the mechanical strip of competing sagebrush in 3m strips was the most effective of all treatment and produced 2.47kg/ha compared to 4.624kg/ha in the control, but the mechanical land area was only utilizing half the compared control area. The chemical treatments produced 1.819kg/ha and 1.31kg/ha. The percent of sagebrush mortality by each treatment determined the level of competition killed in treatment areas. All treatments at both locations killed at least 57% of the sagebrush. Chemical treatments had a consistent kill rate at both locations, although lower than anticipated, but mechanical kill was the highest at 93% in Scipio. Both mechanical and chemical treated plots had increased cover levels of cheatgrass when compared to the control plots.
College and Department
Life Sciences; Plant and Wildlife Sciences
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Elder, Kurt David, "Cultural Thinning of Native Sagebrush Stands to Increase Seed Yields" (2012). All Theses and Dissertations. 3441.
sagebrush, seed yield, cheatgrass, seed collection, treatment