Russian knapweed restoration seeding trials

Project Description

Located in Grand County, Utah the Bonderman Field Station at Rio Mesa is located along the red rock country of the Dolores River. It is owned and managed by the University of Utah. The project site has abandoned agricultural fields that by 2013 had become invaded with Russian knapweed (Acroptilon repens), which has outcompeted much of the native vegetation at the site. In 2013, funding from the USFWS Partners for Wildlife program and the University was used to treat and restore the knapweed site (about 42 acres of riparian and upland habitat). They hired a contractor to carry out herbicide ...

Project Map

Publicly Accessible: No
County: Grand County, UT
Project Size:
  • 11.87 acres

Project Sites

  • Site 1 (Not publicly accessible)

Goals and Targets

Primary Goals:

  • The projects collected in this database contain summaries and conclusions from a wide variety of papers regarding restoration research relevant to the Colorado Plateau. Using the search engine, search for a particular species (i.e. Atriplex canescens, fourwing saltbush), type of study (i.e. common garden, reciprocal transplant) or keyword (i.e. ecotype, grazing) in order to view the citations, summaries and conclusions of relevant papers.

Targeted Habitats:

  • Shrublands and Grasslands
    • Shrublands and Steppe
  • Special Types
    • Cliff and Canyon

Targeted Species:

  • Alkali Sacaton Sporobolus airoides
  • Blue Gramma Bouteloua gracilis
  • Bottlebrush Squirrel-tail Elymus elymoides
  • Great Basin Lyme Grass Leymus cinereus
  • Indian Mountain-ricegrass Achnatherum hymenoides
  • James' Galleta Pleuraphis jamesii
  • Needle-and-Thread Hesperostipa comata
  • Russian Knapweed Acroptilon repens
  • Sand Dropseed Sporobolus cryptandrus
  • Streamside Wild Rye Elymus lanceolatus

Conservation Actions

Action Status Start Year End Year
Control invasive plants In Progress 2013 2016
Acroptilon repens (Russian knapweed) herbicide treatment and native grass seeding
Research In Progress 2013 2016
Experimental seeding trials within larger invasive species treatment and seeding


Is the success of this project's actions being monitored? Yes

Monitoring Activities
Monitored every year or two, with plans to continue

Lessons Learned and/or Suggestions for Similar Activities
Two years post-treatment, there was less cover of the target invasive species (Russian knapweed) in the seeded treatments than the unseeded treatments, and no significant difference between the herbicided and unherbicided treatments. The local seed mix tended to have lower cover of knapweed than the standard seed mix, but this was not a significant difference. However, it is interesting to consider potential causes of the seeding effects – while there was again no significant difference between the standard and local mix treatments in measures of native or non-native cover, the standard seed mix plots tended to have greater percent cover than local plots. This suggests that belowground processes may be impacting the cover of knapweed more than aboveground processes, and warrants further investigation.


Andrea Kramer, 2016. BONDERMAN FIELD STATION AT RIO MESA RUSSIAN KNAPWEED RESTORATION: NATIVE WINNER SEEDING TRIALS. November 2013 - May 2016. Chicago Botanic Garden, with support from the Bureau of Land Management Plant Conservation Program.

Quick Facts

Owning Organization


Managing Organization

Colorado Plateau Native Plant Program (CPNPP)
(Non-Governmental Organization)

Contact Information

Andrea Kramer
Chicago Botanic Garden

General Information

Project #: 508340
Last Updated: December 19, 2016

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