Conditions favoring Bromus tectorum dominance of endangered sagebrush steppe ecosystems

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This study investigated factors controlling cheatgrass invasions in sagebrush systems, including the influence of livestock grazing. It found that cheatgrass invasion was limited where few and small gaps existed between bunchgrass and where biological soil crusts were present to stabilize soil and limit cheatgrass establishment. Results also suggest that grazing reduces invasion resistance by decreasing bunchgrass abundance and trampling biological soil crusts. Managing grazing to ensure abundance and variety of bunchgrasses and to preserve biological soil crusts could help restore sagebrush ecosystems.