Shrubland and Desert Ecosystem
The Rocky Mountain Research Station was recently
restructured into eight science program areas. The
Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystem Research Program
addresses the biology, use, management, and restoration of public
dominated by grasses and shrubs.
Scientists of the research program are located in
laboratories in Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, South Dakota,
and Utah. RMRS scientists, cooperating scientists, and land managers are
working on solving ecological problems, identifying and developing
native plants for restoration, controlling and managing invasive
weeds, and improving wildlife habitats and rangelands.
Boise Research Team
The cycle of wildfires
and annual weed invasion has altered millions of acres of western shrublands and
grasslands, disrupted ecosystem functioning, increased wildfire size and
frequency, reduced plant and animal diversity, and set the stage for invasion by
secondary perennial weeds that are even more difficult to control. Active
restoration in the Great Basin requires the availability of adequate and
genetically appropriate native seed supplies and effective means of
reestablishing native communities on disturbed wildlands.
Our research focuses on
the development of native Great Basin species for use in restoration including
plant selection, seed technology, agricultural seed production practices,
seed increase, and improved knowledge of invasive species biology and ecology. New studies are focusing on effective strategies and
technologies to improve establishment of native species and communities.
Francis Kilkenny, Research Biologist
Nancy Shaw, Research Botanist (retired)
Jeff Ott, Postdoctoral Researcher
Biological Science Technician (Plants)
Research Work Unit
Grassland, Shrubland and
Desert Ecosystem Research Program