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    Plant genetic information provides critical knowledge necessary to mitigate the impacts of climate change through ecological restoration. The first step in restoration is recognizing and delineating genetic boundaries at different taxonomic and spatial hierarchies (e.g., species, subspecies and populations). The second step is an assessment of the genetic diversity found within and among populations of a species. "For many of the plants that occupy western North American, little population genetic information is available," says RMRS Director Sam Foster, "which can lead to imperfect matches of plants to environments." These data provide guidance on the health and evolutionary potential of species by understanding the characteristics of their populations, fundamental units of evolution.

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    Finch, Deborah M. 2013. GSD Update: Ushering in a new age of genetics to restore lands and conserve species. May 2013. Albuquerque, NM: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 9 p.


    plant genetic information, conservation, big sagebrush, climate change, seed zones, restoration

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