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Title: Reintroducing native plants to the American West

Author: Tilley, Derek J.;

Date: 2007

Source: Aberdeen, ID: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Aberdeen Plant Materials Center. Online:

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: The Aberdeen PMC is working together with other team members of the Great Basin Restoration Initiative (USDI-BLM) and the Great Basin Native Plant Selection and Increase Project (USDAFS) to develop techniques to increase native plant diversity in crested wheatgrass monocultures. Since the early 1930s crested wheatgrass has been used in range seedings in the Intermountain West as a means to stabilize soils and sites after fires, improve forage production and compete against weeds such as cheatgrass. This introduced perennial bunchgrass has many outstanding characteristics that make it a valuable tool for recapturing and revegetating low precipitation areas in the arid to semi-arid west. However; the historical use of this species was to plant monoculture plantings instead of seed mixtures. This has led to the creation of millions of acres of crested wheatgrass monocultures covering broad expanses of western rangelands. In recent years land management agencies and private land owners have begun to realize the importance of diverse plant communities for the health and stability of ecosystem functions. The Aberdeen PMC is helping others look at ways to reduce crested wheatgrass dominance and to increase native plant diversity in these sites.

Keywords: native plant diversity, crested wheatgrass dominance

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Tilley, Derek J. 2007. Reintroducing native plants to the American West. Aberdeen, ID: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Aberdeen Plant Materials Center. Online:


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