USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station
Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
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Using provenance test data to inform ecological restoration in the Tahoe Basin

Proposal [pdf]

Lead Researchers:

Jessica Wright, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station


Climate change is a major concern for forest managers involved in ecological restoration, in part because they are responsible for planting trees that will be part of a healthy and resilient ecosystem for the next 100-200 years. When beginning an ecological restoration project, managers have to decide what seed stock to plant in a given location. Traditionally, seed zones and elevation bands are used to determine what seed stock to deploy. However, climate change is expected to change the growing conditions in those seed zones and elevation bands. Managers need to know now what seed stock will result in a healthy and resilient forest, long after their ecological restoration project has been completed. Moreover, seed procurement efforts, which are aimed at ensuring that seeds are available for ecological restoration after the next major fire event (wherever or whenever that might be), also need to be informed of where seeds need to be collected from in order to be ready to be deployed. It is the goal of this project to provide information from four decades of provenance tests of ponderosa, Jeffrey, and sugar pine that will help guide those decisions.

Relation to Other Research Including SNPLMA Science Projects

Results for the sugar pines concerning white pine blister rust (WPBR) will be tied in with all other measurements and assessments that have been made in studies on this disease across the entire range of trials in the Western United States where five-needle pines have been studied for their vulnerability to this disease. For example, Richard Sniezko, Geneticist at the Dorena Genetic Resource Center (Dorena, OR), completed a detailed WPBR assessment of the trees at all five of the sugar pine test sites in 2009 and 2010. This project will bring together analyses focusing on climate with those focusing on WPBR. Given the importance of sugar pine and WPBR in the Lake Tahoe Basin, such a collaborative effort is critical to ensure a complete understanding of the environmental stresses experienced by sugar pine trees in the basin. SNPLMA and the Nevada Division of State Lands (NVDSL) Lake Tahoe License Plate Program have funded previous work examining the conservation genetics of sugar pine in the basin (Round 11, "Restoration strategies for whitebark, western white, and sugar pine in the Lake Tahoe Basin: ecological and epidemiological considerations," and "Evaluation of montane forest genetic resources in the Lake Tahoe Basin: implications for conservation, management and adaptive responses of Pinus lambertiana to environmental change, " [Vogler, Maloney and Neale; funded through NVDSL]). This new project will also focus on the conservation genetics of sugar pine, but using a more trait-focused approach.

Expected date of final products:

September 2015

Last Modified: Aug 29, 2016 09:50:00 AM