Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Precision Restoration: Using Innovative Technology to Overcome Ecological Barriers to Restoration of Sage-Steppe

Location: Range and Meadow Forage Management Research

Project Number: 5360-21630-001-05
Project Type: Reimbursable

Start Date: Dec 01, 2012
End Date: Nov 30, 2017

Objective:
Project Objective 1: Identify and map key biotic and abiotic factors controlling seedling establishment across a heterogeneous landscape, and determine where newly developed seed-coating technologies and traditional reseeding strategies can be cost-effectively applied at spatial scales relevant to restoration practitioners. Project Objective 2: Seek useful relationships between process knowledge developed in Objective 1 to develop GIS-based models that: 1) predict the ecological barriers to reseeding success across a heterogeneous landscape, and 2) estimate the appropriate reseeding technology that can overcome these barriers. Project Objective 3: Provide a landscape-scale demonstration of how seed-coating technologies and traditional reseeding methods can be cost-effectively applied across a heterogeneous landscape. Project Objective 4: Conduct cost-benefit analysis of seed-coating treatments in relationship to standard restoration practices. Project Objective 5: Execute a comprehensive communication and outreach strategy to target audiences.

Approach:
Obj.1 FY 13 Quantify differences in seedbed parameters important for seedling establishment at the NGBER. Plant and monitor first years seed enhancement study. FY 14 Plant and monitor year two’s seed enhancement study. Initiate small plot research at the Heart Rock Ranch (HRR). FY 15 Plant and monitor year two’s seed enhancement study. Plant year two’s small plot study at HRR and make recommendations for large-scale restoration on the ranch. Obj.2 FY13 Begin compiling measured and publically available ecological site characteristic data for incorporation into GIS-based models. FY14 Continue compilation of measured and publically available ecological site characteristic data. Evaluate ecological sites for key similarities, to inform strategic targeting of additional test sites and funds/partnerships necessary to do so. FY15 Continue compilation of measured and publically available ecological site characteristic data. FY16 Initiate GIS model framework and populate with Years 1-3 plot data to make predictions for determining appropriate reseeding technologies to achieve cost-effective restoration. FY17 Incorporate lessons from large-scale demonstration sites into GIS model and publications. Obj.3 FY14 Establish partnerships with commercial seed coating company(s) for future transfer of proven seed-enhancement technologies. FY15 Plan for, select sites, and gather pre-treatment data for large-scale demonstration. FY16 Continue development of seed enhancement manufacturing capacity. Assist HRR with large-scale demonstration. Install FY16 large-scale demonstration site. Conduct HRR post-treatment effectiveness monitoring. FY17 Complete post-treatment effectiveness monitoring of FY16 large-scale demonstration site. Obj.4 FY13 Initiate research for determining direct and effective costs associate with current rangeland reseeding practices. FY14 Initiate research for determining direct and effective costs of newly developed seed-enhancement treatments evaluated in this project. FY 15 Complete evaluation and comparison of direct and effective costs of traditional and developed seed enhancement technologies. Write and submit for publication one peer-reviewed journal article. Obj.5 FY14 Complete work on a publication that presents the use of seed-enhancement technology's in rangelands. Present concepts and preliminary results from seed-enhancement trials at scientific meetings. Submit for publication laboratory results from seed-enhancement trials in FY13. FY15 Submit for publication laboratory results from seed enhancement trials in FY14. FY16 Where appropriate, transfer methods and materials for applying proven seed coating technologies discovered in FY13-15 to commercial seed coating companies. Submit for publication results from small plot field trials from FY13-FY15, and laboratory results from FY15. Present results from trials at scientific meetings. FY17 Conduct field tours of large-scale demonstration sites. Complete, distribute and provide web access to a “Manager’s guide to sage-steppe reseeding practices,” and other produced media. Work with private companies in the commercialization of proven seed-enhancement technologies.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page