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3 September 2019 Forb and Invertebrate Response to Treatments for Greater Sage-Grouse in Wyoming Big Sagebrush
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Abstract

Treatments in big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) are often implemented to improve habitat conditions for species such as greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). These treatments aim to increase the availability of forbs and invertebrates critical to juvenile and adult sage-grouse during the breeding season. However, information regarding the response of forbs in treated sagebrush are often conflicting, dependent on the type of sagebrush community treated and time after treatment. In addition, there is little information on the response of invertebrates to treatments, particularly herbicide treatments in Wyoming big sagebrush (A.t. ssp. wyomingensis Beetle & Young) communities. We evaluated the response of forbs and invertebrates in Wyoming big sagebrush that had been mowed or aerially treated with tebuthiuron compared with untreated reference areas. We also compared forb and invertebrate dry matter (DM) between treated plots and locations used by brood-rearing females. Forb and invertebrate DM in mowed and tebuthiuron treatments did not differ from untreated plots up to 4 yr after treatment and were equal to or less than locations used by brood-rearing grouse up to 2 yr after treatment. Our findings corroborate best available science that suggest treating Wyoming big sagebrush may not increase food availability for sage-grouse.

© 2019 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kurt T. Smith, Jason R. LeVan, and Jeffrey L. Beck "Forb and Invertebrate Response to Treatments for Greater Sage-Grouse in Wyoming Big Sagebrush," Rangeland Ecology and Management 72(5), 791-795, (3 September 2019). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rama.2019.05.002
Received: 27 November 2018; Accepted: 9 May 2019; Published: 3 September 2019
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