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Biology and control of Russian thistle (Salsola tragus L.) in bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis Shaw) winter ranges in montane grasslands of Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada Open Access


Other title
bighorn sheep
Salsola tragus
Jasper National Park
winter range
invasive species
Russian thistle
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Antill, Timothy
Supervisor and department
Naeth, Anne (Department of Renewable Resources)
Examining committee member and department
Bork, Edward (Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Hudson, Robert (Department of Renewable Resources)
Foote, Lee (Department of Renewable Resources)
Department of Renewable Resources

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Russian thistle (Salsola tragus L.) invaded areas of native montane grassland important to winter survival of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis Shaw) were studied in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. The biology of Russian thistle and its control in the Park were studied in the field and greenhouse. Russian thistle in grasslands were 9.1 cm tall with 37.5 seeds per plant, whereas larger plants in naturally disturbed habitats were 29.8 cm tall with 1562.4 seeds per plant. Plants travelled up to 4,180 m during dispersal. With soil seed contact, litter depth did not inhibit performance or survivability; without soil contact, thick litter reduced germination and plant performance. Russian thistle responded positively to increased greenhouse temperature and drier conditions. Seven control treatments involving herbicide, seeding mixes, hand pulling, and grazing exclusion were assessed. Grazing exclusion was the best field management option, increasing litter and biomass, while reducing Russian thistle density and biomass.
License granted by Tim Antill ( on 2010-01-08T16:22:08Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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