Presentation Title

The Effects of Various Big Sagebrush Removal Methods on a Disturbed Site in Lillooet, British Columbia

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented the Friday of the conference

Abstract

In British Columbia, Canada big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) can be over abundant, especially on dry disturbed sites. When this occurs, big sagebrush may pose a threat to species richness and abundance of native grasses and herbs. Although the presence of big sagebrush is correlated with productive environments, less sage cover is typically associated with more grass biomass and more grass species. Furthermore, restoration of grasslands is positively correlated with increased soil carbon storage. My research will test the effect of sagebrush removal on soil bulk density, soil organic carbon sequestration and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) using two sagebrush removal treatments (burn and physical) on a reclamation area located in Lillooet, British Columbia. The design includes five sites, a burn sagebrush removal, a physical sagebrush removal, and a control, at the reclamation area, plus two undisturbed reference sites located in close proximity to the reclamation area. The treatments were applied in 2010 and the data were collected in 2016. I found that the physical removal treatment had greater NDVI, lesser soil bulk density and lesser sagebrush cover, although there was no difference in soil organic carbon compared to the burn treatment. However, the burn treatment is potentially a better representation of natural succession in the region and should be considered for more long-term results. These findings further our understanding of the role big sagebrush plays in ecosystem restoration.

Department

Natural Resource Science

Faculty Advisor

Lauchlan Fraser

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The Effects of Various Big Sagebrush Removal Methods on a Disturbed Site in Lillooet, British Columbia

In British Columbia, Canada big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) can be over abundant, especially on dry disturbed sites. When this occurs, big sagebrush may pose a threat to species richness and abundance of native grasses and herbs. Although the presence of big sagebrush is correlated with productive environments, less sage cover is typically associated with more grass biomass and more grass species. Furthermore, restoration of grasslands is positively correlated with increased soil carbon storage. My research will test the effect of sagebrush removal on soil bulk density, soil organic carbon sequestration and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) using two sagebrush removal treatments (burn and physical) on a reclamation area located in Lillooet, British Columbia. The design includes five sites, a burn sagebrush removal, a physical sagebrush removal, and a control, at the reclamation area, plus two undisturbed reference sites located in close proximity to the reclamation area. The treatments were applied in 2010 and the data were collected in 2016. I found that the physical removal treatment had greater NDVI, lesser soil bulk density and lesser sagebrush cover, although there was no difference in soil organic carbon compared to the burn treatment. However, the burn treatment is potentially a better representation of natural succession in the region and should be considered for more long-term results. These findings further our understanding of the role big sagebrush plays in ecosystem restoration.