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The Wild And Bitter Roses

James Young, Charlie Clements

Publication Year: 2002

Published by: University of Nevada Press


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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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pp. xiiii

More has been written about antelope bitterbrush than about any other shrub native to western North America. For more than a half-century antelope bitterbrush has been synonymous with deer management on ranges where big game animals seek food in the winter. The recent decline in the productivity of antelope bitterbrush stands and lack of recruitment...

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1 The Wild and Bitter Roses

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pp. 1-13

The road down Leadville Canyon from the volcanic highlands of northwestern Nevada to the Black Rock Desert is still surfaced with gravel, although it is greatly improved compared with 1910, when the underground mines were operating at Leadville. You...

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2 Hunters, Herdsmen, and Brush

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pp. 14-30

It took a long time for brush and the browse it produces to be recognized as an important component of rangeland production. Even after the birth of scientific range management early in the twentieth century, grass was looked on as the basic component of rangeland forage. Arthur W. Sampson, often considered one of the founders of scientific...

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3 Bitterbrush Plant Communities

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pp. 31-51

Bitterbrush plants, by their abundance, stature, and extent, characterize certain communities. During the last three decades it has become popular among certain wildland scientists and land managers to develop vegetation classification systems based on the polyclimax theory of plant community ecology, which considers the potential natural..

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4 Ecophysiology of Purshia

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pp. 52-72

The term ecophysiology is scientific jargon, but useful if properly defined. We interpret it to mean plant physiology as it applies to field situations in terms of functions that allow the plant to survive, grow, reproduce, and renew stands. Much has been written about the physiology of Purshia, especially Purshia tridentata. The classic paper on the...

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5 Purshia Seed Physiology

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pp. 73-97

As soon as August Hormay began to experiment with the artificial planting of antelope bitterbrush seeds he discovered that the seeds are initially dormant.1 He correctly described most of the characteristics of the germination of the seeds. However, some of the misconceptions about the germination ecology of this species that became...

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6 Seeding Purshia Species

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pp. 98-123

The very first publications concerning antelope bitterbrush ecology made it clear that natural populations, especially those in critical mule deer wintering areas, were not renewing themselves and that artificial establishment of the valuable shrub appeared to be highly desirable. In his pioneer treatment of antelope bitterbrush August Hormay...

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7 Granivore Relations

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pp. 124-137

Granivores are animals that depend on seeds as a major component of their diet. Ground squirrels, chipmunks, rats, mice, various birds, and harvester ants are all examples of granivores. Granivory, the consumption of seeds by animals, can limit the establishment of plant species through seed predation, but it can also be essential in..

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8 Ruminant Nutrition

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pp. 138-155

The Purshia species are very important in the nutrition of mule deer and, to a lesser extent, domestic livestock in the western United States. In order to appreciate the nutritional aspects of bitterbrush, some understanding of the unique nutritional requirements of mule deer, the primary consumers of Purshia browse, is necessary.1 Analyses of forage...

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9 Insects and Plant Diseases

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pp. 156-170

Compared with plants, soils, and vertebrate animals, insects do not receive a lot of attention from the average natural resource manager or scientist. Few people doubt the importance of insects in wildland ecosystems, but attempts at indepth understanding of their roles in communities are frustrated by the insects’ exceptionally...

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10 Wildfire Relations

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pp. 171-194

One of the most influential factors in bitterbrush population dynamics is fire. Rangelands dominated by woody vegetation suggest the absence of fire; domination by herbaceous vegetation suggests the presence of fire. Herbaceous vegetation apparently dominated the landscape before Europeans arrived in the American West....

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11 The Role of Nitrogen

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pp. 195-210

During the 1970s we were experimenting with herbicidal control of western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) on the Modoc Plateau in northeastern California, the area where the Devil’s Garden mule deer herd had a spectacular population crash during the...

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12 Purshia Management

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pp. 211-228

The management of Purshia species today is strongly focused on antelope bitterbrush, primarily because of its importance to mule deer. For much of the nineteenth century, however, range managers managed Purshia as forage for domestic livestock...


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pp. 229-256


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pp. 257-266

E-ISBN-13: 9780874175868
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874174915

Page Count: 280
Illustrations: 45 b/w illustrations, 37 tables, 3 maps
Publication Year: 2002