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Stanley G. Kitchen

Dr Stan Kitchen at home in his 'office'.

Research Botanist

735 North 500 East
Provo, UT 84606
Contact Stanley G. Kitchen

Current Research

Dr Kitchen conducts research on historical and current disturbance processes and their effects on shrubland, woodland, and forest ecosystems of the Intermountain Region (USA). Studies include:1) multi-century reconstructions of fire regimes and forest structures using tree-ring-based methods; 2) post-fire succession of mountain sagebrush communities; 3) Great Basin bristlecone pine climate and wildfire vulnerability assessment and 4) long-term effects of livestock grazing practices, invasive weeds and climate variability on grassland and shrubland ecosystem stability. Other work includes investigations of intra-specific variation in life-history attributes for widely-adapted grass, forb and shrub species from the Intermountain West. Attributes of interest include: reproductive potential, mechanisms for regulating seed dormancy and germination, requirements for seedling establishment and plant longevity. Dr Kitchen collaborates in the development and testing of native plants germplasm for use in restoration plantings.

Research Interests

Interests are to use knowledge of past disturbance patterns and vegetation dynamics and their interactions to inform the development of present and future wildland management strategies; improve understanding of interactions between cronic disturbance processes (such as livestock grazing), invasive weeds and climate variability and change; and provide tools (including plant materials) for restoring functional, resilient plant communities.

Past Research

Dr Kitchen has explored within-species variation in seed dormancy and germination regulation for serveral widely-adapted perennial forb, grass and shrub species. He co-led a program to develop standardized protocols for testing seed purity, viability and germinability for numerous species important for wildland restoration plantings. His work contributed substantially to the development and release of the cultivars 'Anatone' bluebunch wheatgrass and 'Maple Grove' Lewis flax which are widely used in restoration plantings.

Why This Research is Important

Successful management and restoration strategies require a thorough understanding of natural disturbance processes and their effects on vegetation. Long-term fire histories provide a means to describe and quantify variation in fire regimes from past eras at various scales and to assess the ecological effects of current departures from historical conditions. For management and restoration strategies to be successful in the future, improved understanding is needed of the interactions of altered patterns of disturbance, invasive species and climate change.


  • Utah State University, B.S., Secondary Ed/Biology, 1980
  • Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, M.S., Horticulture, 1988
  • Brigham Young University Provo, Utah, Ph.D., Wildlife and Wildland Conservation, 2010
  • Featured Publications


    Innes, Peter; Gossweiler, Andre; Jensen, Scott L.; Tilley, Derek; St. John, Loren; Jones, Thomas; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Hulke, Brent S. , 2022. Assessment of biogeographic variation in traits of Lewis flax (Linum lewisii) for use in restoration and agriculture
    Molinari, Rebecca Lee; Bekker, Matthew F.; St. Clair, Benjamin D.; Bartholomew, Jason; DeRose, R. Justin; Kitchen, Stanley G.; St. Clair, Samuel B. , 2022. Facilitation differentially affects competitive responses of aspen and subalpine fir through stages of stand development
    Margolis, Ellis Q.; Guiterman, Christopher H.; Chavardes, Raphael D.; Coop, Jonathan D.; Copes-Gerbitz, Kelsey; Dawe, Denyse A.; Falk, Donald A.; Johnston, James D.; Larson, Evan; Li, Hang; Marschall, Joseph M.; Naficy, Cameron E.; Naito, Adam T.; Parisien, Marc-Andre; Parks, Sean A.; Portier, Jeanne; Poulos, Helen M.; Robertson, Kevin M.; Speer, James H.; Stambaugh, Michael; Swetnam, Thomas W.; Tepley, Alan J.; Thapa, Ichchha; Allen, Craig D.; Bergeron, Yves; Daniels, Lori D.; Fule, Peter Z.; Gervais, David; Girardin, Martin P.; Harley, Grant L.; Harvey, Jill E.; Hoffman, Kira M.; Huffman, Jean M.; Hurteau, Matthew D.; Johnson, Lane B.; Lafon, Charles W.; Lopez, Manuel K.; Maxwell, R. Stockton; Meunier, Jed; North, Malcolm; Rother, Monica T.; Schmidt, Micah R.; Sherriff, Rosemary L.; Stachowiak, Lauren A.; Taylor, Alan; Taylor, Erana J.; Trouet, Valerie; Villarreal, Miguel L.; Yocom, Larissa L.; Arabas, Karen B.; Arizpe, Alexis H.; Arseneault, Dominique; Tarancon, Alicia Azpeleta; Baisan, Christopher; Bigio, Erica; Biondi, Franco; Cahalan, Gabriel D.; Caprio, Anthony; Cerano-Paredes, Julian; Collins, Brandon M.; Dey, Daniel C.; Drobyshev, Igor; Farris, Calvin; Fenwick, M. Adele; Flatley, William; Floyd, M. Lisa; Gedalof, Ze'ev; Holz, Andres; Howard, Lauren F.; Huffman, David W.; Iniguez, Jose; Kipfmueller, Kurt F.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Lombardo, Keith; McKenzie, Donald; Merschel, Andrew G.; Metlen, Kerry L.; Minor, Jesse; O'Connor, Christopher D.; Platt, Laura; Platt, William J.; Saladyga, Thomas; Stan, Amanda B.; Stephens, Scott; Sutheimer, Colleen; Touchan, Ramzi; Weisberg, Peter J. , 2022. The North American tree-ring fire-scar network
    Burchfield, David R.; De Groff, Otto W.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Charlet, David A.; Page, Douglas H.; Millar, Constance I; Merkler, Douglas J.; Taylor, Gregory W.; Ortiz, Héctor G.; Petersen, Steven L. , 2021. A comprehensive distribution map and habitat suitability model for Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva D.K. Bailey)
    Urza, Alexandra K.; Weisberg, Peter J.; Board, David; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Roundy, Bruce A. , 2021. Episodic occurrence of favourable weather constrains recovery of a cold desert shrubland after fire
    Burchfield, David R.; Petersen, Steven L.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Jensen, Ryan R. , 2020. sUAS-based remote sensing in mountainous areas: Benefits, challenges, and best practices
    Molinari, Rebecca Lee; Bishop, Tara BB.; Bekker, Matthew F.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Allphin, Loreen; St. Clair, Samuel B. , 2019. Creosote growth rate and reproduction increase in postfire environments
    Miller, Sue; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Kling, Jason; Guyon, John , 2019. Everyone in - A road map for science-based, collaborative restoration of western quaking aspen
    Kitchen, Stanley G.; Behrens, Patrick N.; Goodrich, Sherel K.; Green, Ashley; Guyon, John; O’Brien, Mary; Tart, David , 2019. Guidelines for aspen restoration in Utah with applicability to the Intermountain West
    Landeen, Melissa L.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Allphin, Loreen; Petersen, Steven L. , 2019. Nondestructive age estimation of mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana) using morphological characteristics
    Evans, Lance S.; Kharran, Tiffany A.; Pena, Ismael; Kitchen, Stanley G. , 2019. Quantification of eccentricity in stems of Artemisia tridentata Nutt
    Padgett, Wayne G.; Reeves, Matt C.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Tart, David L.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Howell, Cheri; Manning, Mary E.; Proctor, John G. , 2018. Effects of climate change on nonforest vegetation [Chapter 7]
    Pineda, Noellyn; Owen, Marjorie; Tucker, Claire; Wojda, Samantha; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Black, Hal; Donahue, Seth , 2017. Hibernating little pocket mice show few seasonal changes in bone properties
    Landeen, Melissa L.; Allphin, Loreen; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Petersen, Steven L. , 2017. Seed production estimation for mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana)
    Balzotti, Christopher S.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; McCarthy, Clinton , 2016. Beyond the single species climate envelope: A multifaceted approach to mapping climate change vulnerability
    Finch, Deborah M.; Boyce, D. A.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Colt, C. J.; Dumroese, Kasten; Kitchen, Stanley G.; McCarthy, C.; Meyer, Susan E.; Richardson, Bryce A.; Rowland, M. M.; Rumble, Mark A.; Schwartz, Michael K.; Tomosy, M. S.; Wisdom, M. J. , 2016. Conservation and restoration of sagebrush ecosystems and sage-grouse: An assessment of USDA Forest Service Science
    Kaufmann, Merrill R.; Huisjen, Daniel W.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Babler, Mike; Abella, Scott R.; Gardiner, Todd S.; McAvoy, Darren; Howie, Josh; Page, Douglas H. Jr. , 2016. Gambel oak ecology and management in the southern Rockies: The status of our knowledge
    Finch, Deborah M.; Pendleton, Rosemary L.; Reeves, Matt C.; Ott, Jeffrey E.; Kilkenny, Francis F.; Butler, Jack L.; Ott, Jacqueline P.; Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Ford, Paulette L.; Runyon, Justin B.; Rumble, Mark A.; Kitchen, Stanley G. , 2016. Rangeland drought: Effects, restoration, and adaptation [Chap. 8]
    Pendleton, Rosemary L.; Pendleton, Burton K.; Meyer, Susan E.; Richardson, Bryce A.; Esque, Todd; Kitchen, Stanley G. , 2015. Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima Torr.): State of our knowledge and future challenges [Chapter 10]
    Kitchen, Stanley G.; Meyer, Susan E.; Carlson, Stephanie L. , 2015. Mechanisms for maintenance of dominance in a nonclonal desert shrub
    Richardson, Bryce A.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Pendleton, Rosemary L.; Pendleton, Burton K.; Germino, Matthew J.; Rehfeldt, Gerald E.; Meyer, Susan E. , 2014. Adaptive responses reveal contemporary and future ecotypes in a desert shrub
    Pendleton, Rosemary L.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Cibils, Andres F. , 2014. Humans in changing shrubland ecosystems
    McArthur, E. Durant; Kitchen, Stanley G. , 2013. Desert Experimental Range: Annotated bibliography
    Zhang, Yongguang; Moran, M. Susan; Nearing, Mark A.; Campos, Guillermo E. Ponce; Huete, Alfredo R.; Buda, Anthony R.; Bosch, David D.; Gunter, Stacey A.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; McNab, W. Henry; Morgan, Jack A.; McClaran, Mitchel P.; Montoya, Diane S.; Peters, Debra P.C.; Starks, Patrick J. , 2013. Extreme precipitation patterns and reductions of terrestrial ecosystem production across biomes
    McArthur, E. Durant; Richardson, Bryce A.; Kitchen, Stanley G. , 2013. Great Basin Experimental Range: Annotated bibliography
    Miller, Sue; Meyer, Susan E.; Richardson, Bryce A.; Pendleton, Rosemary L.; Pendleton, Burton K.; Kitchen, Stanley G. , 2013. Upwardly mobile in the western U.S. desert: Blackbrush shrublands respond to a changing climate
    Morris, C.; Morris, L. R.; Leffler, A. J.; Holifield Collins, C. D.; Forman, A. D.; Weltz, M. A.; Kitchen, Stanley G. , 2013. Using long-term datasets to study exotic plant invasions on rangelands in the western United States
    Friggens, Megan M.; Warwell, Marcus V.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Kitchen, Stanley G. , 2012. Modeling and predicting vegetation response of western USA grasslands, shrublands, and deserts to climate change (Chapter 1)
    Graham, John H.; Duda, Jeffrey J.; Brown, Michelle L.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Emlen, John M.; Malol, Jagadish; Bankstahl, Elizabeth; Krzysik, Anthony J.; Balbach, Harold; Freeman, D. Carl , 2012. The effects of drought and disturbance on the growth and developmental instability of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.)
    Wambolt, Carl L.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Fisina, Michael R.; Sowell, Bok; Keigley, Richard B.; Palacios, Patsy; Robinson, Jill , 2011. Proceedings of the 15th wildland shrub symposium; June 17-19, 2008; Bozeman, MT
    Monaco, Thomas A.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Pendleton, Rosemary L.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Palacios, Patsy K. , 2011. Proceedings of the 16th Wildland Shrub Symposium: Threats to Shrubland Ecosystem Integrity; 2010 May 18-20 Logan, UT
    Kitchen, Stanley G. , 2010. An 800-year fire history
    Wells, Gail; Hayes, Deborah; Krause, Katrina; Bartuska, Ann; LeVan-Green, Susan; Anderson, Jim; Gough, Tivoli; Adams, Mary; Schuler, Thomas; Kolka, Randy; Sebestyen, Steve; Kenefic, Laura; Brissette, John; Stout, Susan; Kanoti, Keith; Swanson, Fred; Greene, Sarah; Herring, Margaret; Ritchie, Martin; Skinner, Carl; Lisle, Tom; Keppeler, Elizabeth; Reid, Leslie; Wohlegemuth, Peter; Kitchen, Stanley G.; McCaughey, Ward; Guldin, Jim; Bragg, Don; Shelton, Michael; Loftis, David; Greenberg, Cathryn; Murphy, Julia , 2009. Experimental forests and ranges : 100 years of research success stories
    Kitchen, Stanley G. , 2008. Cercocarpus Kunth: mountain-mahogany
    Keane II, Robert E.; Agee, James K.; Fule, Peter; Keeley, Jon E.; Key, Carl; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Miller, Richard; Schulte, Lisa A. , 2008. Ecological effects of large fires on US landscapes: benefit or catastrophe?
    Kitchen, Stanley G.; Carlson, Stephanie L. , 2008. Great Basin cold desert shrublands and the Desert Experimental Range
    Kitchen, Stanley G.; Monsen, Stephen B. , 2008. Kochia Roth: kochia
    Kitchen, Stanley G.; Pendleton, Rosemary L.; Monaco, Thomas A.; Vernon, Jason comps. , 2008. Proceedings-Shrublands under fire: disturbance and recovery in a changing world; 2006 June 6-8; Cedar City, UT
    Pendleton, Rosemary L.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; McArthur, E. Durant; Mudge, Joann E. , 2008. The 'Appar' flax release: Origin, distinguishing characteristics, and use; and a native alternative
    Whittaker, Alison; Roundy, Bruce; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Meyer, Susan E.; Blank, Robert; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Korfmacher, John L. , 2008. The effect of herbaceous species removal, fire and cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) on soil water availability in sagebrush steppe
    Kitchen, Stanley G.; McArthur, E. Durant , 2007. Big and black sagebrush landscapes [Chapter 5]
    Sosebee, Ronald E.; Wester, David B.; Britton, Carlton M.; McArthur, E. Durant; Kitchen, Stanley G. , 2007. Proceedings: Shrubland dynamics -- fire and water
    Monsen, Stephen B.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Memmott, Kelly; Shaw, Nancy L.; Pellant, Mike; Young, Stanford; Ogle, Dan; St. John, Loren , 2003. Notice to release Anatone germplasm bluebunch wheatgrass (selected class natural population)
    Kitchen, Stanley G.; Jorgensen, Gary L. , 2001. Winterfat decline and halogeton spread in the Great Basin
    McArthur, E. Durant; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Uresk, Daniel W.; Mitchell, J. E. , 2000. Applicability of Montreal Process Criterion 2: Productive capacity--to rangeland sustainability
    Sagebrush with mountains in the background.
    We paired sagebrush establishment dates from annual growth rings with soil environmental data from sites across the Intermountain West to better understand the environmental drivers of sagebrush recruitment and recovery.
    Aspen clones are commonly seen growing alone (a) or mixed with various species of conifer (b).
    Quaking aspen is the most widely distributed tree species in North America. Healthy aspen forests are highly productive and support greater biodiversity than any other upland forest type in the Intermountain West. Overall, quaking aspen has been in decline throughout much of the Region and is in need of restorative intervention.
    Mountain big sagebrush. Photo by Jeanne Chambers, USDA Forest Service RMRS
    Historically, the sagebrush biome was the most widespread non-forest vegetation type in temperate North America. Compared with historic conditions, current sagebrush ecosystems are reduced in extent, fragmented, degraded, and face multiple threats (Welch 2005), including altered fire regimes (USDI 2015).
    Proper management of naturally forested landscapes requires an understanding of the temporal and spatial patterns in which key disturbance processes are manifest and their effects on species composition and structure. Linked fire and forest histories constructed from tree-ring evidence provide valuable information about drivers of fire occurrence and about the variability and interactions of fire regimes and vegetation on heterogeneous landscapes.
    Big sagebrush plants are easily killed by fire, thus post-fire recovery must be from seeds that either survive fire or are spread from unburned areas, and recovery rate is dependent upon how fast new sagebrush plants are able to establish after fire. Knowledge of fire characteristics compatible with sagebrush-dominated communities of the Intermountain West is critical for maintaining habitat critical for sagebrush-dependent wildlife, such as greater sage-grouse.
    The distribution of plant species and populations will likely be reshaped as climate changes. Understanding these changes is complex and requires the integration of multiple research disciplines including genetics, climate modeling and biogeography. This research focuses on blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima), a widespread shrub that straddles the ecotone, transition area between two plant communities, from the Great Basin and Mojave Desert ecosystems.
    View of the Desert Experimental Station and administrative buildings after a summer rain.
    The Desert Experimental Range (DER) became an outdoor laboratory representative of a prominent ecosystem under stress with expectations that the research conducted there would have broad application.
    Tree-ring based fire histories from Utah and Nevada reveal multi-century fire patterns for quaking aspen, mountain sagebrush and Great Basin bristlecone pine communities.
    Efforts to deploy genetically appropriate plant materials build on the concept of local adaptation, that is, the intent to match adaptive genetic characteristics to variation in ecological clines pertinent to plant establishment and persistence. Here, basin wildrye (Leymus cinereus (Scribn. & Merr.) Á. Löve) sources from 25 wild populations are planted at four test sites representing the species distribution across generalized provisional seed zones in the Central Basin and Range ecoregion. The study evaluates the utility of provisional seed zones as a means of matching seed sources to restoration sites.
    This study evaluated the effects of species, sowing depth and dormancy status, and the treatment effect of row cover on field emergence of 20 forbs native to the Great Basin. Implemented at three sites in 2013 and 2014, forb seeds were sown at four planting depths within the expected variation of the Kemmerer Rangeland or Truax Rough Rider drills.
    Multi-century fire and forest histories are reconstructed using dendrochronological techniques to assess past variation in fire regimes at various scales of time and space.
    Variation in composition, structure,  recruitment history, and genetic heterozygosity are being assessed for Great Basin bristlecone pine stands across the full geographic and ecological range of distribution.