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Kasten Dumroese

Kas Dumroese

Research Plant Physiologist / National Nursery Specialist

Address: 
1221 South Main Street
Moscow, ID 83843
Phone: 
208-883-2324
Contact Kasten Dumroese

Current Research

My current research focuses adaptive management strategies that support restoration toward improving the resiliency and function of ecosystems. Specific research includes (1) assessing assisted migration as a potential adaptation to climate change; (2) helping land managers initiate functional restoration on their landscapes; (3) evaluating biochar, the by-product of converting woody biomass to bioenergy, as an amendment to substrates used to grow native plants; (4) understanding carbon and nitrogen pools under different land management scenarios; and (5) completion of volume 2 of Agriculture Handbook 730.

I'm also Director the Western Center for Native Plant Conservation and Restoration Science, a collaboration of scientists in the Pacific Northwest, Pacific Southwest, and Rocky Mountain research stations working in these fields.

Research Interests

My research interests include all aspects of propagating and outplanting native plants. From the nursery perspective, my research includes nursery production systems, specifically propagation, plant-disease interactions, plant nutrition, and water management. From the outplanting perspective, my research includes assisted migration as a management adaptation to climate change and functional restoration of plant communities.

View my video profile: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZ3w60gcoBo&list=PLNsZX2SBTlVmV1MpNisJ4NdNpsV9Hulrj&index=20

Past Research

My past research solved many complex nursery management and establishment problems faced by nursery managers and land managers throughout the world. Templates I devised for plant propagation protocols are routinely followed in the Native Plants Journal and on the Native Plant Network. I have provided nursery managers with techniques for propagating native plants. I defined new methods to avoid or mitigate pitfalls of confounding factors in nursery research and in deploying stocktype trials. My plant–disease relationship work with Fusarium root disease led to new best management plans (BMPs) for mitigating disease; key to those BMPs was development of a container-cleaning protocol used worldwide. My finding that the fungus Fusarium commune, rather than Fusarium oxysporum, is the more virulent pathogen has markedly changed the paradigm of future research endeavors concerning this nursery pathogen. I provided nursery managers with creative, science-based methods to improve nutrient and water management and was the first to demonstrate the scope of the problem of errant discharge of nutrients from container nurseries producing native plants. I did this by devising techniques to measure leachate and irrigation system spray patterns and subsequently developed fertilization and irrigation techniques that nursery managers are using to mitigate the problem. I have synthesized and delivered my personal research, along with that of other scientists, and subsequently provided nursery managers and field restorationists holistic tools; my Agriculture Handbook 674, Volume 7 is being translated into Spanish and Chinese, and my Afghan nursery manual was translated into Dari. To improve science delivery, I initiated a new journal that prints both refereed research and general technical articles to encourage "cross pollination" among researchers and field professionals. My Internet database, and the 2500+ native plant propagation protocols in it, was accessed more than 32,000 times during 2010.

Why This Research is Important

In the US, more than 1200 native plant nurseries, operated by federal, tribal, state, private, and not-for-profit entitiies, annually produce more than a billion seedlings for reforestation and restoration. Ensuring seedlings are produced efficiently and with high quality reduces costs and improves seedling performance (survival and growth) after outplanting. The end result is that restoration work to maintain ecosystem function is done in the most efficient and economic ways possible. In addition, my research with assisted migration and functional restoration will help ensure that appropriate plant materials, in terms of adaptation, are applied to the landscape.

Education

  • University of Idaho, Moscow, Ph.D., Forestry, 1996
  • University of Idaho, Moscow, M.S., Forest Resources, 1986
  • Michigan Technological University, Houghton, B.S., Forest Management, 1984
  • Professional Experience

    Director, Western Center for Native Plant Conservation and Restoration Science, USDA Forest Service
    2016 to present

    National Nursery Specialist, USDA Forest Service
    2002 to present

    Research Plant Physiologist, USDA Forest Service
    2001 to present

    Research Scientist, University of Idaho (Moscow), College of Forestry, Wildlife, and Range Sciences, Department of Forest Resources, Forest Research Nursery
    2000 to 2001

    Research Associate, University of Idaho (Moscow), College of Forestry, Wildlife, and Range Sciences, Department of Forest Resources, Forest Research Nursery
    1986 to 2000

    Assistant Manager, University of Idaho (Moscow) Forest Research Nursery
    1984 to 1986

    Professional Organizations

    • International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), Member ( 2006 to present )
      2015: Served on the science committee organizing Reforestation Challenges. Belgrade, Serbia. 2010 to 2012: Served on the science committee organizing Restoring Forests: Advances in Techniques and Theory, focused on the nursery and outplanting aspects of forest restoration. Madrid, Spain.
    • Society of American Foresters (SAF), Member ( 1984 to present )
    • New Forests, Guest Associate Editor ( 2017 to 2018 )
      Served as associate editor for a special issue containing manuscripts from the USFS Reforestation Matters Workshop.
    • Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Associate Editor ( 2011 to 2016 )
    • Native Plants Journal, Editor-In-Chief ( 2000 to 2014 )
      I initiated the journal and served as Editor-in-Chief for the first 15 volumes.
    • New Forests, Associate Editor ( 2011 to 2012 )
      Served as associate editor for a special issue containing manuscripts from the IUFRO conference: Restoring Forests: Advances in Techniques and Theory. Madrid, Spain.
    • Tree Planters' Notes, Associate Editor ( 1996 to 1999 )

    Awards

    Chief's Honor Award, 2017
    From Forest Service Chief Tony Tooke for Applying Knowledge Globally as part of the National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources team.
    Outstanding Technology Transfer Publication, 2015
    From John Phipps, Director, Rocky Mountain Research Station, for Tropical Nursery Manual: A Guide to Starting and Operating a Nursery for Native and Traditional Plants, USDA Forest Service Agriculture Handbook 732.
    Science Delivery Award, 2015
    From John Phipps, Director, Rocky Mountain Research Station, for leadership in initiating the Native Plants Journal and sustaining it as editor for 15 volumes.
    National Technology Transfer Award, 2013
    From the Society of American Foresters, the scientific and educational organization representing the forestry profession in the United States.
    Civil Rights Award, 2011
    From G. Sam Foster, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Director, for innovative, high performance professionalism to their tribal constituents in support of the Station s program of service to tribal communities.
    Tribal Relations Professional Excellence Award, 2011
    From the Office of Tribal Relations, Washington Office, for the Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetics Resources Tribal Nursery Emphasis.
    Outstanding Technology Transfer Publication, 2009
    From G. Sam Foster, Director, Rocky Mountain Research Station, for Nursery Manual for Native Plants A Guide for Tribal Nurseries, USDA Forest Service Agriculture Handbook 730.
    Karl Urban Celebrating Wildflowers Award Excellence in Native Plant Materials Management, 2007
    From National Forest System, Washington Office, for initiating the Native Plants Journal, the Native Plants Propagation Protocol Database, and developing native plant work with American Indians.
    Two Chiefs' Partnership Award, 2006
    From Dale Bosworth, Chief of the Forest Service, and Arlen Lancaster Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service for restoring riparian forests on the Hopi reservation, a collaborative effort involving these two USDA agencies.
    Director s Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer, 2005
    From Peter Roussopoulos, Director, Southern Research Station, for work hosting meetings and training sessions to increase participation of American Indian tribal members in nursery work to help restore native plant communities.
    Director's Partnership Award, 2005
    From Peter Roussopoulos, Director, Southern Research Station, for partnerships between the Forest Service (Research and Development and Cooperative Forestry), Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Native American tribes."
    Director's Natural Resource Stewardship Award, 2004
    From Peter Roussopoulos, Director, Southern Research Station, to employees of RWU-4111 for their work in restoration of longleaf pine ecosystems, long-term forest sustainability, and national nursery and reforestation technology transfer.

    Featured Publications

    Publications

    Dumroese, Kasten; Balloffet, Nicole; Crockett, John W.; Stanturf, John A.; Nave, Lucas E., 2019. A national approach to leverage the benefits of tree planting on public lands
    Dumroese, Kasten; Terzaghi, Mattia; Chiatante, Donato; Scippa, Gabriella S.; Lasserre, Bruno; Montagnoli, Antonio, 2019. Functional traits of Pinus ponderosa coarse-roots in response to slope conditions
    Acevedo, Manuel; Alvarez, Carolina; Cartes, Eduardo; Dumroese, Kasten; Gonzalez, Marta, 2019. Production and establishment techniques for the restoration of Nothofagus alessandrii, an endangered keystone species in a Mediterranean forest
    Montagnoli, Antonio; Dumroese, Kasten; Terzagh, Mattia; Onelli, Elisabetta; Scippa, Gabriella Stefania; Chiatante, Donato, 2019. Seasonality of fine root dynamics and activity of root and shoot vascular cambium in a Quercus ilex L. forest (Italy)
    Topping, Melissa L.; Dumroese, Kasten; Pinto, Jeremiah R., 2019. Successfully storing milkweed taproots for habitat restoration
    Dumroese, Kasten; Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Heiskanen, Juha; Tervahauta, Arja; McBurney, Katherine G.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Englund, Karl, 2018. Biochar can be a suitable replacement for Sphagnum peat in nursery production of Pinus ponderosa seedlings
    Matt, Clarice P.; Keyes, Christopher R.; Dumroese, Kasten, 2018. Biochar effects on the nursery propagation of 4 northern Rocky Mountain native plant species
    Luna, T.; Mousseaux, M. R.; Dumroese, Kasten, 2018. Common native forbs of the northern Great Basin important for Greater Sage-grouse
    Montagnoli, Antonio; Dumroese, Kasten; Terzaghi, Mattia; Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Fulgaro, Nicoletta; Scippa, Gabriella Stefania; Chiatante, Donato, 2018. Tree seedling response to LED spectra: Implications for forest restoration
    Dumroese, Kasten; Haase, Diane L., 2018. Water management in container nurseries to minimize pests
    Haase, Diane L.; Dumroese, Kasten; Zabel, Richard, 2017. Tips for executing exceptional conferences, meetings, and workshops
    Williams, Mary I.; Dumroese, Kasten; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Hardegree, Stuart P., 2016. Can biochar be used as a seed coating to improve native plant germination and growth in arid conditions?
    Finch, Deborah M.; Boyce, Douglas A.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Colt, Chris J.; Dumroese, Kasten; Kitchen, Stanley G.; McCarthy, Clinton; Meyer, Susan E.; Richardson, Bryce A.; Rowland, Mary M.; ; Schwartz, Michael K.; Tomosy, Monica S.; Wisdom, Michael J., 2016. Conservation and restoration of sagebrush ecosystems and sage-grouse: An assessment of USDA Forest Service Science
    Herriman, Kayla R.; Davis, Anthony S.; Apostol, Kent G.; Kildisheva, Olga. A.; Ross-Davis, Amy; Dumroese, Kasten, 2016. Do container volume, site preparation, and field fertilization affect restoration potential of Wyoming big sagebrush?
    Stewart, J. E.; Otto, K.; Cline, G. A.; Dumroese, Kasten; Klopfenstein, Ned B.; Kim, M. -S., 2016. First report of Fusarium proliferatum causing Fusarium root disease on sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana) in a forest container nursery in California
    Williams, Mary I.; Dumroese, Kasten, 2016. Planning the future's forests with assisted migration [Chapter 8]
    Dumroese, Kasten; Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Finch, Deborah M., 2016. Restoring arid western habitats: Native plants maximize wildlife conservation effectiveness
    Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Marshall, John D.; Dumroese, Kasten; Davis, Anthony S.; Cobos, Douglas R., 2016. Seedling establishment and physiological responses to temporal and spatial soil moisture changes
    Hubbel, Kyrstan; Barkley, Yvonne; Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Dumroese, Kasten; Deristin, Sabine; Joseph, Raymond; Brooks, Randy; Davis, Anthony S., 2016. Tree planting in Haiti: How to plant and care for your nursery grown seedlings
    Dumroese, Kasten; Palik, Brian J.; Stanturf, John A., 2015. Forest restoration is forward thinking
    Williams, Mary I.; Dumroese, Kasten; Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Jurgensen, Martin F., 2015. Foundational literature for moving native plant materials in changing climates
    Dumroese, Kasten; Landis, Thomas D., 2015. Growing container seedlings: Three considerations
    Dumroese, Kasten; Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Davis, Anthony S., 2015. Light-emitting diode lighting for forest nursery seedling production
    Kim, Mee-Sook; Stewart, Jane E.; Dudley, Nicklos; Dobbs, John; Jones, Tyler; Cannon, Phil G.; James, Robert L.; Dumroese, Kasten; Klopfenstein, Ned B., 2015. Molecular genetic characterization of the koa-wilt pathogen (Fusarium oxysporum): Application of molecular genetic tools toward improving koa restoration in Hawai'i
    Wright, Jessica; Dumroese, Kasten; Symstad, Amy; Pitts-Singer, Theresa; Cane, Jim; Krupnick, Gary; Olwell, Peggy; Love, Byron; Sellers, Elizabeth; Englert, John; Wood, Troy, 2015. Native plant development and deployment [Section VII]
    Dumroese, Kasten; Montville, Mark E.; Pinto, Jeremiah R., 2015. Using container weights to determine irrigation needs: A simple method
    Li, Guolei; Zhu, Yan; Liu, Yong; Wang, Jiaxi; Liu, Jiajia; Dumroese, Kasten, 2014. Combined effects of pre-hardening and fall fertilization on nitrogen translocation and storage in Quercus variabilis seedlings
    Landis, Thomas D.; Luna, Tara; Dumroese, Kasten, 2014. Containers [Chapter 7]
    Landis, Thomas D.; Dumroese, Kasten; Horning, Matthew E., 2014. Create a pollinator garden at your nursery: An emphasis on monarch butterflies
    Stanturf, John; Palik, Brian J.; Williams, Mary I.; Dumroese, Kasten, 2014. Forest restoration paradigms
    Landis, Thomas D.; Dumroese, Kasten, 2014. Integrated pest management - an overview and update
    Potvin, Lynette R.; Jurgensen, Martin F.; Dumroese, Kasten; Richter, Dana L.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S., 2014. Mosaic stunting in bareroot Pinus banksiana seedlings is unrelated to colonization by mycorrhizal fungi
    Haase, Diane L.; Landis, Thomas D.; Dumroese, Kasten, 2014. Outplanting [Chapter 17]
    Dumroese, Kasten; Williams, Jasmine L.; Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Zhang, Peng, 2014. Oxyfluorfen strongly affects Larix occidentalis but minimally affects Sagina procumbens in a bareroot nursery
    Williams, Mary I.; Dumroese, Kasten, 2014. Planning the future's forests with assisted migration
    Landis, Thomas D.; Luna, Tara; Dumroese, Kasten; Wilkinson, Kim M., 2014. Problem prevention and holistic pest management [Chapter 14]
    Williams, Mary I.; Dumroese, Kasten, 2014. Role of climate change in reforestation and nursery practices
    Luna, Tara; Wilkinson, Kim M.; Dumroese, Kasten, 2014. Seed germination and sowing options [Chapter 9]
    Wilkinson, Kim M.; Landis, Thomas D.; Haase, Diane L.; Daley, Brian F.; Dumroese, Kasten, 2014. Tropical Nursery Manual: A guide to starting and operating a nursery for native and traditional plants
    Dumroese, Kasten; Barnett, James P.; Jackson, D. Paul; Hainds, Mark J., 2013. 2008 interim guidelines for growing longleaf pine seedlings in container nurseries
    Zhu, Y.; Dumroese, Kasten; Li, G. L.; Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Liu, Y., 2013. Fall fertilization enhanced nitrogen storage and translocation in Larix olgensis seedlings
    Landis, Thomas D.; Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Dumroese, Kasten, 2013. Light emitting diodes (LED): applications in forest and native plant nurseries
    Luna, Tara; Landis, Thomas D.; Dumroese, Kasten, 2012. Contenedores: Aspectos tecnicos, biologicos y economicos
    Friggens, Megan M.; Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Dumroese, Kasten; Shaw, Nancy L., 2012. Decision support: Vulnerability, conservation, and restoration (Chapter 8)
    Dumroese, Kasten; Jacobs, Douglass F.; Wilkinson, Kim M., 2012. Fases de cultivo: Establecimiento y crecimiento rapido
    Dumroese, Kasten, 2012. Integrated nursery pest management
    Cram, Michelle M.; Dumroese, Kasten, 2012. Mycorrhizae in forest tree nurseries
    Kim, Mee-Sook; Stewart, Jane E.; Dumroese, Kasten; Klopfenstein, Ned B., 2012. Occurrence of the root-rot pathogen, Fusarium commune, in forest nurseries of the midwestern and western United States
    Stewart, J. E.; Dumroese, Kasten; Klopfenstein, Ned B.; Kim, M. -S., 2012. Occurrence of the root-rot pathogen, Fusarium commune, in midwestern and western United States
    Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Marshall, John D.; Dumroese, Kasten; Davis, Anthony S.; Cobos, Douglas R., 2012. Photosynthetic response, survival, and growth of three ponderosa pine stocktypes under water stress enhanced by vegetative competition
    Dumroese, Kasten; Jacobs, Douglass F.; Wilkinson, Kim M., 2012. Planificacion y registros
    Dumroese, Kasten; Landis, Thomas D., 2012. Produccion de plantas grandes usando minicontenedores
    Dumroese, Kasten; Landis, Thomas D.; Luna, Tara, 2012. Raising native plants in nurseries: basic concepts
    Dumroese, Kasten; Landis, Thomas D.; Wilkinson, Kim M., 2012. Riego y fertirriego
    Landis, Thomas D.; Dumroese, Kasten, 2012. Using organic fertilizers in forest and native plant nurseries
    Stewart, J. E.; Abdo, Z.; Dumroese, Kasten; Klopfenstein, Ned B.; Kim, M. -S., 2012. Virulence of Fusarium oxysporum and F. commune to Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) seedlings
    Landis, Thomas D.; Dumroese, Kasten, 2011. Care and handling of container plants from storage to outplanting
    Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Dumroese, Kasten; Davis, Anthony S.; Landis, Thomas D., 2011. Conducting seedling stock type trials: A new approach to an old question
    Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Marshall, John D.; Dumroese, Kasten; Davis, Anthony S.; Cobos, Douglas R., 2011. Establishment and growth of container seedlings for reforestation: A function of stocktype and edaphic conditions
    Davis, Anthony S.; Ross-Davis, Amy L.; Dumroese, Kasten, 2011. Nursery culture impacts cold hardiness in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) seedlings
    Kildisheva, Olga A.; Dumroese, Kasten; Davis, Anthony S., 2011. Overcoming dormancy and enhancing germination of Sphaeralcea munroana seeds
    Haase, Diane L.; Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Dumroese, Kasten; Hernandez, George; Karrfalt, Bob; Overton, Ron, 2011. RNGR: A national resource for reforestation, restoration, and nursery professionals
    Schmal, Justin L.; Dumroese, Kasten; Davis, Anthony S.; Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Jacobs, Douglass F., 2011. Subirrigation for production of native plants in nurseries - concepts, current knowledge, and implementation
    Jackson, D. Paul; Dumroese, Kasten; Barnett, James P.; Patterson, William B., 2010. Effects of liquid fertilizer application on the morphology and outplanting success of container longleaf pine seedlings
    Koll, Paul; Jurgensen, Martin F.; Dumroese, Kasten, 2010. Effects of pine sawdust, hardwood sawdust, and peat on bareroot soil properties
    Dumroese, Kasten; Landis, Tom D., 2010. Forest Nursery Notes, Volume 30, Issue 1
    Potvin, Lynette; Dumroese, Kasten; Jurgensen, Martin F.; Richter, Dana, 2010. Mosaic Stunting in jack pine seedlings in a northern Michigan bareroot nursery
    Riley, L. E.; Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Dumroese, Kasten, 2010. National Proceedings: Forest and Conservation Nursery Associations-2009
    Landis, Thomas D.; Steinfeld, David E.; Dumroese, Kasten, 2010. Native plant containers for restoration projects
    Landis, Thomas D.; Dumroese, Kasten; Haase, Diane L., 2010. The Container Tree Nursery Manual: Volume 7, Seedling processing, storage, and outplanting
    Dumroese, Kasten; Barnett, James P.; Jackson, D. Paul; Hainds, Mark J., 2009. 2008 interim guidelines for growing longleaf pine seedlings in container nurseries
    Luna, Tara; Landis, Thomas D.; Dumroese, Kasten, 2009. Containers [Chapter 6]
    Islam, M. Anisul; Apostol, Kent G.; Jacobs, Douglass F.; Dumroese, Kasten, 2009. Fall fertilization of Pinus resinosa seedlings: nutrient uptake, cold hardiness, and morphological development
    Landis, Thomas D.; Luna, Tara; Dumroese, Kasten, 2009. Holistic pest management [Chapter 15]
    Dumroese, Kasten; Luna, Tara; Landis, Thomas D. editors, 2009. Nursery manual for native plants: A guide for tribal nurseries - Volume 1: Nursery management
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Coleman, Mark; Jones, Greg; Venn, Tyron; Dumroese, Kasten; Anderson, Nathanial; Chung, Woodam; Loeffler, Dan; Archuleta, Jim; Kimsey, Mark; Badger, Phil; Shaw, Terry; McElligott, Kristin, 2009. Portable in-woods pyrolysis: Using forest biomass to reduce forest fuels, increase soil productivity, and sequester carbon
    Luna, Tara; Wilkinson, Kim; Dumroese, Kasten, 2009. Seed germination and sowing options [Chapter 8]
    Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Dumroese, Kasten; Jurgensen, Martin F.; Abbott, Ann; Henseik, Jennifer J., 2008. Effect of nursery storage and site preparation techniques on field performance of high-elevation Pinus contorta seedlings
    Dumroese, Kasten; Riley, L. E. tech. coords., 2008. National Proceedings: Forest and Conservation Nursery Associations-2007
    Riley, L.E.; Dumroese, Kasten; Landis, T.D., 2007. National Proceedings: Forest and Conservation Nursery Associations - 2006
    Stewart, Jane E.; Kim, Mee-Sook; James, Robert L.; Dumroese, Kasten; Klopfenstein, Ned B., 2006. Molecular characterization of Fusarium oxysporum and fusarium commune isolates from a conifer nursery
    Landis, Thomas D.; Dreesen, David R.; Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Dumroese, Kasten, 2006. Propagating native plants for the Hopi Nation
    Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Dumroese, Kasten; Marshall, John D., 2006. Run for cover! What's covering your greenhouse and how is it affecting seedling growth?
    Dumroese, Kasten; Page-Dumroese, Deborah S.; Salifu, K. Francis; Jacobs, Douglass F., 2005. Exponential fertilization of Pinus monticola seedlings: nutrient uptake efficiency, leaching fractions, and early outplanting performance
    Riley, Lee E.; Dumroese, Kasten; Landis, Thomas D., 2004. National Proceedings: Forest and Conservation Nursery Associations-2003
    Dumroese, Kasten; Thompson, Gale; Wenny, David L., 1990. Lime-amended growing medium causes seedling growth distortions
    Milkweed plants are an important host species for both monarch larvae and adult butterflies.
    Iconic monarch butterflies are disappearing from the landscape. They require milkweed plants to complete their life cycle. Milkweed seeds are often produced for restoration in nurseries in special beds. Our work shows that once these beds have served their purpose, milkweed taproots can be harvested, stored, and used for restoration, thus increasing the benefit of these beds.
    Tree planting after a wildfire on the Boise National Forest
    The number of global initiatives for forest restoration, and the scope of these initiatives, continues to increase. An important tool for meeting objectives of these global initiatives is reforestation, achieved by natural processes or by tree planting. Worldwide, organizations are challenged to most efficiently and effectively direct resources to the most critical reforestation needs. Currently in the United States, the reforestation efforts of the USDA Forest Service, are challenged by changes in policy, funding, climate change, and mega-fires, to name a few, and identifying strategies for timely successful reforestation at scale is needed.
    Measuring gas exchange on an establishing seedling. Photo by Kasten Dumroese, USDA Forest Service.
    Restoration and reforestation using nursery-produced seedlings can be an effective means of increasing successful establishment and rapid growth following outplanting. This, in turn, can accelerate the recovery trajectory of these ecosystems. However, in many ecosystems of the world, seasonal changes as well as changing climate can create dry conditions that are not favorable to seedling establishment.
    Monarch Butterfly on flower
    Focusing on wildflowers (forbs) during restoration work in the western sagebrush ecosystem can benefit sage-grouse, pollinators, and the iconic Monarch butterfly. Can a more holistic approach be taken to maximize the effectivness of wildlife conservation? Outplanting forb seedlings in high-density islands may be a way to accelerate the pace of restoration, reduce the amount of seeds required, and provide critical linkage among remaining high-quality sagebrush habitat.
    RNGR specialists provide necessary on-site support to nursery managers to improve production of native plants for reforestation and restoration.
    The Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources (RNGR) Team, established through a Forest Service memorandum of understanding, is tasked with transferring information on native plants, including their collection, propagation, and deployment. One issue the team addresses is ensuring that nursery managers, reforestation and restoration specialists, and others in related fields receive timely information.
    A severely degraded forest in the dry tropical forest zone of Ghana (photo by John Stanturg, USFS).
    The estimated billion acres globally of degraded forests presents a formidable challenge to scientists, managers, and policymakers. To provide managers with an understanding of the many factors to be considered in planning and undertaking forest restoration, Forest Service scientists synthesized information on contemporary approaches to forest restoration, resulting in two publications and an expert workshop.
    Tribe members attending a native plant nursery planning workshop.
    The Forest Service’s Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources Team provides an important forum for Native American tribes to network regarding native plant production and restoration. Team leaders have worked with nearly 80 tribes and one-on-one with more than 500 tribal members across the United States and Canada, teaching them how best to propagate culturally significant plants for their own uses.
    Western larch
    Researchers compiled a literary database about native plant transfer guidelines, climate change, and assisted migration. This database can help inform scientists, land managers, and university students about climate change and assisted migration through presentations and publications that cover the historical, biological, social, legal, and ethical aspects of assisted migration.
    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.
    The Lassen and Modoc National Forests are revising their Forest Plans, guided by the 2012 Planning Rule. This requires public and tribal input throughout the process and embraces the fact that ecological, social, and economic objectives are interrelated. Because ecological, social, and economic conditions have changed since the original forest plans were written and new science is available, preparing a science synthesis, guided by input from the public, tribes, and forest staffs, is the first step in a multi-step process that eventually leads to revised forest plans.
    Successful ecosystem restoration often relies on outplanting seedlings grown in nurseries. These seedlings must be of high quality; a healthy, vigorous root system is essential. This project examines how root modification achieved in nurseries affects long-term root architecture and current fine-root growth of ponderosa pine.
    The goal of this partnership between RMRS and the Curlew National Grassland is to restore pollinator habitats and understand the best strategies to support forest botanists. Through a series of projects, partners will look into the needs and pitfalls of creating a seed menu tool. Specifically, the project will analyze the effectiveness of strategically planted forbs, or "islands", in restoring pollinator communities.
    Because milkweed plants (Asclepias spp.) readily reproduce from their roots, scientists examined how roots could be harvested in fall, stored during winter, and then outplanted in spring. Scientists found that roots can be successfully stored during winter. This provides land managers with another tool for increasing monarch butterfly habitat.  
    Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists and their partners are evaluating biochar as a seed coating and as an amendment to nursery substrates to improve germination and growth of native plants. The goal is to reduce costs associated with restoring ecosystems.