Date of Award
Master of Natural Resources (MNR)
The increase in abundance and distribution of bulbous bluegrass (Poa bulbosa) has been a concern of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. Very little research has been conducted to analyze the invasiveness of bulbous bluegrass in the Intermountain West. This study used data from 1982 to 2012 at range trend study sites across the state of Utah to investigate trends in bulbous bluegrass abundance, range expansion, and co-occurrence with big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) and cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum). This study addressed the question of whether the increase of bulbous bluegrass correlates with changes in sagebrush and/or cheatgrass in Utah using a log-response ratio analysis. The log-response ratio identified the correlation of dominance of each species to one another over time. Results of this analysis illustrated an increased abundance of bulbous bluegrass in relation to cheatgrass and sagebrush. In addition to the log-response analysis, a series of maps were created that clearly show the increase abundance and range expansion of bulbous bluegrass during the study period. The results illustrate the need for more research to identify if bulbous bluegrass is detrimental to sagebrush populations. The increased abundance of bulbous bluegrass within sagebrush rangelands could threaten desirable flora and fauna and have negative effects on human dimensions and economics. Further research is recommended to identify the effects of bulbous bluegrass on sagebrush rangelands, and whether bulbous bluegrass is detrimental to sagebrush plant communities and how this will affect social and economic aspects of human dimensions. In addition, research is needed to examine whether climatic, landscape, or anthropogenic variables are attributing to the increase of bulbous bluegrass within sagebrush rangelands.
Cox, Jason D., "The Relationship of Bulbous Bluegrass and Big Sagebrush in Utah" (2013). All Graduate Plan B and other Reports. Paper 357.
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