Ventenata response to grazing and Rx fire on PNW bunchgrass prairie

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This study documented a 30% increase in ventenata cover and 55% increase in frequency on the PNB over the past 15 yr, including areas that were not disturbed by fire or cattle grazing. We found only weak evidence that cattle grazing increased ventenata standing crop when compared with cattle-excluded paddocks, something that could be related to timing of use. There was no evidence that prescribed burning impacted the response of ventenata on its own. However, we found some evidence of interactions between cattle grazing and prescribed fire that suggests prescribed burning could help reduce the abundance of ventenata in areas grazed by livestock. These studies reinforce the important differences between ventenata and other invasive winter annuals in grasslands and clarify a need for research that focuses primarily on the dynamics between this relatively new exotic species in grasslands and the many ecosystems it now inhabits.

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