Table of Contents
ISRN Agronomy
Volume 2012, Article ID 213289, 7 pages
Research Article

Applying the Successional Weed Management Model for Revegetating a Yellow Starthistle-Infested Dryland Pasture in the Chihuahuan Desert

1School of Natural Resources and the Environment, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
2Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Albuquerque, NM 87102, USA
3National Operations Center, Bureau of Land Management, Denver, CO 80225, USA

Received 29 September 2011; Accepted 18 October 2011

Academic Editors: J. L. Gonzalez-Andujar and N. Maruyama

Copyright © 2012 William D. Sommers IV et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A three-year study was conducted in the Chihuahuan Desert in Southwestern New Mexico to evaluate the effectiveness of revegetating a dryland pasture that was heavily infested with yellow starthistle within the context of the successional weed management model. A prescribed burn treatment of the entire study site (designed disturbance) was followed by single-entry revegetation (controlled colonization) and weed suppression (controlled species performance) treatments. Four native perennial grass species were paired with 4 yellow starthistle suppression treatments. We conclude that an integrated, single-entry approach failed to effectively revegetate yellow starthistle-infested dryland pasture in the Chihuahuan Desert, primarily due to a historic severe drought that occurred soon after grasses were seeded. Different strategies and tactics will be required to manage yellow starthistle in the Southwestern USA than have been previously applied in other areas.