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Keyword: Great Basin

Quantifying the combined effects of climate, fire, and treatments on the connectivity and fragmentation of wildlife populations across the Great Basin

Projects Posted on: August 17, 2016
Over one million acres will receive treatments across the Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GBLCC) to conserve greater sage-grouse habitat over the next decade. These treatments are intended to restore native sagebrush habitat by reducing encroachment of juniper, infestations of invasive weeds, and wildfire. This project will evaluate the effects of vegetation treatments on population connectivity, genetic diversity and gene flow of wildlife species across the full extent of the Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperative.

Pinyon jays: Orchardists of the Great Basin’s woodlands

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 01, 2016
Over the past century, many pinyon-juniper woodlands in the Great Basin have expanded their range and increased their stand densities. These changes in structure and extent have effects on both the species that use the woodlands and to species whose habitat is being encroached by them. We observed and described where pinyon jays prefer to cache seeds in order to gain an understanding on how and where expansion and infill is likely to occur and to what extent jays are facilitating these processes.

Rush skeletonweed (Chondrilla juncea L.) in the northern Great Basin - Research Summary

Documents and Media Posted on: May 25, 2016
Rush skeletonweed, an exotic herbaceous member of the sunflower family, has spread rapidly from its first known occurrence near Spokane, Washington and now occurs on 2.5 million acres in the Western U.S. Recent research has focused on development of more effective biocontrols, its response to fire in the sagebrush ecosystem and its potential for spread in the Great Basin. Document Type: White Papers

Do container volume, site preparation, and field fertilization affect restoration potential of Wyoming big sagebrush?

Publications Posted on: April 21, 2016
Land management practices, invasive species expansion, and changes in the fire regime greatly impact the distribution of native plants in natural areas. Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis), a keystone species in the Great Basin, has seen a 50% reduction in its distribution.

Genetic diversity and genecology of squirreltail (Elymus elymoides)

Projects Posted on: February 09, 2016
Squirreltail (Elymus elymoides) can rapidly colonize disturbed sites, is relatively fire-tolerant, and is a potential competitor with medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae) and cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum). Determining the extent to which adaptive genetic variation is related to climatic variation is needed to ensure that the proper germplasm is chosen for revegetation and restoration. This study provides (1) seed zones and seed transfer guidelines for developing adapted plant materials of squirreltail for revegetation and restoration in the Great Basin and adjacent areas and (2) guidelines for conservation of germplasm within the National Plant Germplasm System.

Genetic diversity of prairie junegrass (Koeleria macrantha)

Projects Posted on: February 09, 2016
Good drought tolerance and fibrous roots make prairie junegrass (Koeleria macrantha) beneficial for revegetation and erosion control on mined lands, over septic systems, in construction areas, on burned sites, and in other disturbed areas. There is a need for greater genetic knowledge of this species to ensure adapted populations are used for restoration and revegetation projects. This study provides (1) seed zones and seed transfer guidelines for developing adapted plant materials of prairie junegrass for revegetation and restoration in the Great Basin and adjacent areas and (2) guidelines for conservation of germplasm within the National Plant Germplasm System.

Testing the efficacy of seed zones for re-establishment and adaptation of bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata)

Projects Posted on: February 09, 2016
Previous research funded by the Great Basin Native Plant Project found that bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata) populations differed in traits important for adaptation to precipitation and temperature (St. Clair et al. 2013). Forest Service scientists hypothesize that in the long-term, populations from local seed zones will better establish, survive, and reproduce than those from non-local seed zones. This study examines the efficacy of seed zones for bluebunch wheatgrass to ensure successful establishment and allow for long-term adaptation by maintaining genetic diversity.

The Great Basin Native Plant Project

Science Spotlights Posted on: January 22, 2016
The Great Basin Native Plant Project seeks to increase the availability of genetically appropriate native plant materials and to provide the knowledge and technology required for their use in restoring diverse native plant communities across the Great Basin. This multi-state, collaborative research project was initiated in 2001 by the Plant Conservation Program of the BLM and the Grassland, Shrubland, and Desert Ecosystem Research Program of the Rocky Mountain Research Station.

Geomorphic predictors of riparian vegetation in small mountain watersheds

Publications Posted on: August 19, 2015
Hydrogeomorphic processes operating at watershed, process zone and site scales influence the distribution of riparian vegetation. However, most studies examining the relationships between hydrogeomorphic processes and riparian vegetation are conducted at site scales.

Functionally relevant climate variables for arid lands: Aclimatic water deficit approach for modelling desert shrub distributions

Publications Posted on: July 27, 2015
We have three goals. (1) To develop a suite of functionally relevant climate variables for modelling vegetation distribution on arid and semi-arid landscapes of the Great Basin, USA. (2) To compare the predictive power of vegetation distribution models based on mechanistically proximate factors (water deficit variables) and factors that are more mechanistically removed from a plant’s use of water (precipitation).