Bunchgrass Ridge

Ecology and restoration of conifer-invaded meadows:
Research and adaptive management

     
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Program of research
 
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Research
 
1. Conifer invasion
2. Vegetation responses
3. Gopher disturbance
4. Restoration experiment
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Research at Bunchgrass Ridge addresses fundamental aspects of the ecology, dynamics, and management of montane meadows in the western Cascades. It explores:

  • when, why, and how these systems have undergone invasions by conifers
  • the consequences of these invasions for loss and degradation of meadow habitats
  • the potential to restore meadow through tree removal and prescribed burning

We have designed our research as an integrated series of retrospective and experimental studies that use a common set of study plots. Dendrochronological and chronosequence-based studies of vegetation change provide the historical and ecological contexts for an experiment that tests the potential for, and conditions under which, restoration is possible with tree removal and prescribed fire.

To learn about research at Bunchgrass Ridge, click on a thumbnail or link below, or use the menu at the left.

BG Conifer invasion link 1. Patterns of conifer invasion
 

Introduction
   A. Spatial and temporal patterns
   B. Extrinsic vs. intrinsic controls


      Also see: Change in meadow extent

Key findings
BG Vegetation responses link 2. Vegetation responses to tree encroachment
  Introduction
   A. Effects of conifer encroachment
   B. Effects of tree age and species
   C. Seed bank composition
Key findings
BG Gopher effects link 3. Gopher disturbance and meadow community structure
  Introduction
   A. Plant succession on gopher mounds

   B. Contributions of gopher mounds and castings
      to meadow community structure
New results

      Also see: Gophers mediate effects of prescribed fire
Key findings
BG Restoration experiment link 4. Potential for meadow restoration with tree removal and fire
 

Experimental restoration of meadow communities
   Introduction - Methods - Initial results - Conclusion

Recent results
New results
   Recovery of burn scars
   Conifer reinvasion

Key findings