|Abstract or Summary
- There is growing interest in using nutrient manipulations to control invasive
plants such as Brornus lectorurn L. (cheatgrass). Both labile (sucrose) and recalcitrant
(straw and sawdust) carbon sources are added to the soil surface to reduce plant
available soil N via soil microbial immobilization. However, the application rates
used in previous research can be very high and application techniques are labor
intensive. The goal of this research was to determine if established hydrornulching
technology could be adapted to nutrient-manipulation-based restoration projects to
lower costs. Hydromulching is an established technology for treating large areas on a
landscape. It requires the use of a tackifier to adhere the treatment to the soil surface.
Three tackifiers are available commercially; guar, psyllium, and polyacrylamide
(PAM). Tackifiers are long chain carbon compounds that could induce the same soil
responses as other recalcitrant carbon compounds. The objectives of this study were to investigate: 1) whether tackifiers alone or combined with two levels of a labile
carbon source (sucrose) decreased cheatgrass biomass; 2) whether the tackifiers
differed in their ability to reduce cheatgrass biomass; 3) the degree to which nitrogen
immobilization occurs in soil under each tackifier; and each sucrose treatment; and 4)
whether treatments affected cheatgrass emergence. Research was conducted in a
glasshouse. Cheatgrass biomass was negatively correlated with soil microbial N,
although cheatgrass and microbial N responded to different treatments. Cheatgrass
biomass was not effected by any of the tackifiers. even though soil microbial N was.
None of the treatments had any effect on cheatgrass emergence. If our results are
supported in field experiment, hydrornulching technology may easily be adapted to
nutrient manipulation based restoration projects considerably lowering costs.
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