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Keyword: Great Basin

Seed and seedling traits have strong impacts on establishment of a perennial bunchgrass in invaded semi-arid systems

Publications Posted on: October 02, 2019
Many restoration projects use seeds to found new populations, and understanding phenotypic traits associated with seedling establishment in disturbed and invaded communities is important for restoration efforts world-wide. Focusing on the perennial grass Elymus elymoides, a native species common to sagebrush steppe communities in the Western United States, we asked if seed and seedling traits could predict field establishment.

Genecology of Thurber's Needlegrass (Achnatherum thurberianum [Piper] Barkworth) in the Western United States

Publications Posted on: October 02, 2019
Thurber’s needlegrass (Achnatherum thurberianum [Piper] Barkworth) is a key restoration species in the Great Basin and surrounding areas, yet comprehensive studies of how climate relates to genetic variation and seed zones for restoration projects are lacking. Potentially adaptive phenotypic traits of 66 diverse populations of Thurber’s needlegrass were measured in common gardens at Central Ferry, Washington and Reno, Nevada in 2012 and 2013.

Floral guilds of bees in sagebrush steppe: Comparing bee usage of wildflowers available for postfire restoration

Publications Posted on: October 02, 2019
Healthy plant communities of the American sagebrush steppe consist of mostly wind-pollinated shrubs and grasses interspersed with a diverse mix of mostly spring-blooming, herbaceous perennial wildflowers. Native, nonsocial bees are their common floral visitors, but their floral associations and abundances are poorly known. Extrapolating from the few available pollination studies, bees are the primary pollinators needed for seed production.

Notice of release of fanny germplasm, carmel germplasm, and Bonneville germplasm Searls’ prairie clover

Publications Posted on: October 02, 2019
Three natural-track selected germplasms of Searls’ prairie clover (Dalea searlsiae (A. Gray) Barneby [Fabaceae]) have been released by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) for use in revegetation and restoration of semiarid rangelands in the western US. Searls’ prairie clover is a perennial leguminous forb that is native to Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and California.

Seeing species through the forbs by using DNA sequencing

Projects Posted on: August 01, 2019
Forbs are an integral component of terrestrial ecosystems and critical to pollinator health. However, we know very little about the biology of native forbs. Such knowledge is a prerequisite to developing restoration programs that use diverse forb species in restoration seeding.

The hidden potential within soil seed banks

Science Spotlights Posted on: July 31, 2019
Wildfire and other disturbances to plant communities are becoming larger and more frequent across arid lands of the western U.S. Degradation caused by these disturbances affects the ability of these plant communities to deliver important food and shelter to wildlife. Understanding how to predict the presence of native seeds within the soil seed bank, and where there are abundant seeds of invasive species, will help land managers determine the regeneration potential within the seed bank and inform restoration planning to reestablish biodiversity and ecosystem function in disturbed areas. Wildfire and other disturbances to plant communities are becoming larger and more frequent across arid lands of the western U.S. Degradation caused by these disturbances affects the ability of these plant communities to deliver important food and shelter to wildlife. Understanding how to predict the presence of native seeds within the soil seed bank, and where there are abundant seeds of invasive species, will help land managers determine the regeneration potential within the seed bank and inform restoration planning to reestablish biodiversity and ecosystem function in disturbed areas.

Strong patterns of local adaptation in Great Basin plants

Science Spotlights Posted on: July 31, 2019
Natural selection varies across landscapes and populations often adapt to local environmental conditions. Using a literature review of common garden studies published between 1941 and 2017, we documented the commonness of three signatures of local adaptation in plants native to North America's Great Basin. Our results demonstrate widespread habitat‐related population differentiation and local adaptation across the Great Basin. 

Forb common garden study to inform seed transfer guidance for restoration

Projects Posted on: July 31, 2019
Seed-grown plants from multiple populations of three focal forb species will planted in gardens across the Great Basin in order to capture important information that affects where seeds are sourced for restoring native plants at specific locations.

Using our understanding of resilience to disturbance and resistance to invasive annual grasses to target management actions in the sagebrush biome

Projects Posted on: July 30, 2019
The concepts of ecological resilience and resistance to invasive annual grasses have been used to develop an understanding of sagebrush ecosystem response to disturbances like wildfire and management actions to reduce fuels and restore native ecosystems. A multi-scale framework that uses these concepts to prioritize areas for conservation and restoration at landscape scales and to determine effective management strategies at local scales has been developed by Chambers and her colleagues. Regional SageSTEP (Sagebrush Treatment Evaluation Project) data coupled with west-wide AIM (Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring) data provide a unique opportunity to refine the predictors of resilience and resistance and extend the existing multi-scale framework effort.

Seeding native species to promote ecosystem recovery after fire

Science Spotlights Posted on: July 24, 2019
The use of prescribed fire to reduce expansion of pinyon and juniper to sagebrush ecosystems is a commonly used by managers but can have unwanted consequences. In this Joint Fire Sciences Program Demonstration Project, we show how seeding native species after prescribed fire can decrease invasion of nonnative annual grasses in sites with low resistance.

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