Exotic Bromus Grasses in Agroecosystems of the Western US: Reenet Synthesis of Current and Future Invasions, Impacts, and Management.
Exotic grasses in the Bromus genus, such as cheatgrass and red brome, are among the most notorious invasives worldwide, as a result of their widespread invasion, transformation of fire regimes, and ecological and economic damage. Our project will create a network of the many researchers and land managers concerned with these species in the western US. Whereas most research and management has aimed to explain or treat invasions that have already occurred, our group will consider what research and management issues and strategies are needed to deal with Bromus as climate change progresses. Our objectives are to 1) collate and synthesize existing distributional, ecological, biological, and management information on a set of invasive Bromus species in the western US, 2) compare and contrast these variables among species and regions, identify data
gaps and assumptions requiring testing, and address transferability of information and management recommendations among species and regions, and 3) assess potential climate responses of Bromus considering. We will convene in three meetings to refine project questions and develop focal groups, present synthesis of major issues and initial results in a symposium, and write whitepapers and grant proposals. The Bromus REE-net will be a working group in the Great Basin Research and Management Partnership, which will provide an extension aspect and web host for the database. A Bromus database will be developed to allow interactive queries of historic, current, and future changes in Bromus distribution, status, and biological aspects such as genetics. An inclusive internet chatroom will be maintained on the Bromus REE-net website to foster interaction of REE-net participants and others who work
on Bromus. The Bromus REE-net will develop the necessary network and begin the process of analyzing historic and possible future patterns of invasion, effects on native ecosystems and ecosystem services, and management approaches for a suite of related exotic Bromus species.