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Individual Highlight

New Seed Zones for Bluebunch Wheatgrass Tested

Photo of Researchers and crew plant bluebunch wheatgrass to test the efficacy of seed transfer zones for improved restoration success at Steens Mountain, Oregon. USDA Forest ServiceResearchers and crew plant bluebunch wheatgrass to test the efficacy of seed transfer zones for improved restoration success at Steens Mountain, Oregon. USDA Forest ServiceSnapshot : New seed zones for bluebunch wheatgrass will help local, state, and federal land managers in the Interior Northwest to determine sources of bluebunch wheatgrass populations for postfire restoration. This research will inform the Native Seed Strategy by improving scientists’ understanding of methods that yield locally adapted plant materials in an economical fashion.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Prendeville, Holly R. Kilkenny, Francis F.
St. Clair, Brad 
Research Location : U.S. West
Research Station : Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNW)
Year : 2015
Highlight ID : 807

Summary

Bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata) is found throughout the western United States and is often used to re-seed burned areas. Bluebunch wheatgrass populations differ in traits important for adaptation to precipitation and temperature. Scientists developed seed zones for bluebunch wheatgrass for the Interior Northwest. Now, a new transplant experiment is underway to investigate the efficacy of these seed zones to ensure establishment and allow for long-term adaptation by maintaining genetic diversity. The results of this reciprocal transplant study will help land managers determine the best sources of bluebunch wheatgrass populations for postfire restoration for a particular area. The study will explore how different populations of bluebunch wheatgrass will adapt to changing climates. Long-term productivity and adaptation will be modeled to allow evaluation of trade-offs between different management options for current and future climates.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Rocky Mountain Research Station
  • USDI Bureau of Land Management