The University of Arizona

Establishment of silver sagebrush in the Northern Mixed Prairie.

J.T. Romo, R.W. Grilz


Interest has been expressed in using silver sagebrush (Artemisia cana Pursh ssp. cana) in restoring the Northern Mixed Prairie in Saskatchewan. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of seedbed manipulation treatments and autumn or spring sowing on establishment of silver sagebrush on sites previously seeded to native, perennial grasses. Seeds (achenes) were sown by broadcasting at 20 pure live seeds m(-2). Seedling emergence ranged from 5 to 6% of seeds sown. Most seedlings emerged in May and June; no seedlings emerged after July or in the second year after planting. Seventy-four to 84% of emerging seedlings survived the first growing season with 96 to 98% of these seedlings establishing. On upland sites, seedling emergence (1.1 seedlings m(-2) SE +/- 0.1) and establishment (0.9 seedlings m(-2) SE +/- 0.1) were similar between autumn and spring sowing and among seedbed manipulation treatments. On lowland sites, seedling emergence (1.4 seedlings m(-2) SE+0.2) and establishment (0.8 seedlings m(-2) SE +/- 0.2) were similar between autumn and spring seeding. Density of seedlings establishing was greatest when the seedbed was tilled. Establishment of silver sagebrush appears primarily limited by low numbers of seedlings emerging, indicating very specific safe site requirements for this shrub. Drastic disturbance of the seedbed is not required to establish silver sagebrush in established stands of perennial grasses. Sowing silver sagebrush in late autumn when temperatures are consistently below 0 degrees C or in early spring immediately after snowmelt is recommended.



mowing;sowing date;natural resource management;artemisia cana;haymaking;tillage;seedbed preparation;glyphosate;highlands;lowlands;seedling emergence;sowing rates;precipitation;plant communities;land restoration;application rate;establishment;temperature;seasonal variation

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