Russian-olive is a nitrogen-fixing tree invading riparian corridors in western North America. The premise of revegetation after weed removal is that revegetation is required to return native species to a removal site and that revegetation improves site resistance to invasion or reinvasion via competitive exclusion. Therefore, we expected that revegetation would reduce invasive species cover and increase native species cover compared with non-revegetated controls. Native understory species diversity increased with time since removal. We recorded 18.2 native species in 2012, and 28.2 native species in 2016. Out of 22 planted species, 2 did not establish. Diversity in revegetated plots did not differ from unplanted controls, likely because species spread quickly across plot boundaries. Native perennial grass, seeded species, and annual bromes increased over time, while nonnative forbs and native forbs decreased over time. Only invasive perennial grass cover responded to the revegetation treatment with cover much higher in controls compared with revegetated plots (25.7% vs. 7.7%); this was likely a response to a preplanting herbicide treatment. All categories of species diversity except invasive species diversity increased over time. Only 4% of Russian-olive stumps resprouted in the first year of removal, less than 1% resprouted 2 yr after removal. There was no Russian-olive emergence from seed in the removal year, and seed emergence varied exponentially among following years. Seeded native species did not have trouble establishing once adequate spring moisture occurred in the second growing season after Russian-olive removal, indicating that removal did not present substantial obstacles to successful revegetation. Follow-up control of Russian-olive is critical after initial treatment.
Nomenclature Russian-olive, Elaeagnus angustifolia L