By James A. Young

It is a medical and ancient account of the cheatgrass invasion. it's a research of the plant which has replaced the ecology of hundreds of thousands of acres of western rangeland.

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Extra info for Cheatgrass: Fire and Forage on the Range

Example text

Cheatgrass likewise arrived at one point in the panorama and will eventually yield its dominance to other species. Just as plant communities change on various time scales, so do the herbivores that eat the plants. The American bison had already withdrawn from the western Great Basin at contact time. The mule deer population expanded exponentially following overgrazing of the perennial grasses and dramatic increases in the density of woody browse species. After the terrible winter of 1889–1890, the range sheep industry underwent a great expansion that lasted until after World War II.

The mule deer population expanded exponentially following overgrazing of the perennial grasses and dramatic increases in the density of woody browse species. After the terrible winter of 1889–1890, the range sheep industry underwent a great expansion that lasted until after World War II. Federal legislation protected free-roaming horses and burros and brought concurrent increases in year-round grazing by these animals on certain Great Basin rangelands. The spread of cheatgrass to certain salt desert ranges has greatly increased available herbage for harvest by herbivores.

The mounds consist of trapped soil particles, subaerially deposited silts, and sand particles bounced along the soil surface by a process called saltation. The accumulation occurs because the woody shrub canopy changes the aerodynamics of its microenvironment. 5 In a land so bare of trees, a 2-foot-tall shrub canopy is a major windbreak. Leaf and fruit fall contribute to the microenvironment of shrub mounds. The accumulated organic matter plus the microclimate altered by the shrub canopy create an environment for the growth of microphytic crusts of microscopic blue-green algae and mosses.

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