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Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems
Contact Information
  • Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems
  • 333 Broadway SE. Suite 115
  • Albuquerque, NM 87102-3497
  • 505-724-3660
  • 505-724-3688 (fax)
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Ecological Genetics of Big Sagebrush

Project Title

Ecological Genetics of Big Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata): Genetic Structure and Climate Responsive Seed Zone Mapping

Abstract

Garden study plots of big sagebrush
One of three common garden study plots of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) located in different ecotypes to measure adaptive traits. Data collected from these plots will be instrumental in the development of seed zones for this species.

Big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) is one of the most ecologically important and landscape dominant plant species in western North America. This species is a major focus for ecosystem restoration after disturbances because of its importance in wildlife forage, invasive weed exclusion (e.g., cheat grass), snow catchment and nutrient cycling. The objectives of this study are to:

  • elucidate genetic structure using molecular markers and adaptive traits;
  • determine climatic factors important to adaptation within and among big sagebrush ecological races;
  • develop climatic responsive seed zone maps across the range of big sagebrush;
  • discover associations between adaptive trait variation and molecular markers.

GSD Principal Investigators

Richardson, Bryce    Research Geneticist    801-356-5112
Shaw, Nancy    Research Botanist    208-373-4360

Cooperators and Sponsors

Joshua Udall, Department of Plant and Wildlife Sciences, Brigham Young University

Project Focal Areas