Potential for Successional Theory to Guide Restoration of Invasive Plant-Dominated Rangeland

Sheley, R.L., J.M. Mangold and J.L. Anderson

Publication Date:

Successional management has been proposed as a useful model for managing and restoring invasive-plant-dominated rangeland because it provides a framework in which ecological processes can be manipulated by managers to achieve a desired plant community. Our hypothesis was that successively modifying the factors influencing the causes of succession in an integrated fashion would favor the establishment and abundance of native grasses over singularly applied treatments. In most cases, integrating treatments that addressed multiple causes of succession favored a desired plant community. Thus, we accomplished our goal of using successional management to direct plant communities toward native desired species, but the treatments used did not improve species richness. Since naturally occurring native forbs did not respond favorably to any treatment combination, ecological restoration using successional management may best be thought of as an iterative procedure where various components and processes of the system are methodically repaired or replaced over time.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Ecological Monographs