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Conserving and restoring habitat for Greater Sage-Grouse and other sagebrush-obligate wildlife: The crucial link of forbs and sagebrush diversity

Posted date: January 15, 2016
Publication Year: 
2015
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Native Plants Journal. 16(3): 276-299.

Abstract

In the western US, Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus Bonaparte [Phasianidae]) have become an indicator species of the overall health of the sagebrush (Artemisia L. [Asteraceae]) dominated communities that support a rich diversity of flora and fauna. This species has an integral association with sagebrush, its understory forbs and grasses, and the invertebrate community dependent on that flora. Adult birds and their growing chicks consume a wide variety of understory species, and the invertebrates that develop on this flora are an important source of protein, especially for developing broods. Restoration plans for degraded sagebrush communities must consider outplanting the correct species and seed source of sagebrush and its diverse array of native forbs. Changes in climate and the problem with invasive species, especially annual grasses that spawn large-scale fires, will need to be addressed so that restoration efforts can succeed.

Citation

Dumroese, R. Kasten; Luna, Tara; Richardson, Bryce A.; Kilkenny, Francis F.; Runyon, Justin B. 2015. Conserving and restoring habitat for Greater Sage-Grouse and other sagebrush-obligate wildlife: The crucial link of forbs and sagebrush diversity. Native Plants Journal. 16(3): 276-299.