Submitted to: Native Plant Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 8, 2011
Publication Date: September 28, 2011
Citation: Johnson, D.A., Bushman, B.S., Bhattarai, K., Connors, K.J. 2011. Notice of release of: 1)Majestic germplasm and 2) Spectrum germplasm western prairie clover. Native Plant Journal. 12:249-256. Interpretive Summary: Use of a diversity of species in rangeland revegetation programs in the western USA can help minimize weed invasion. Legumes are of interest in rangeland revegetation programs in the western U.S. because they provide biologically fixed nitrogen, which results in increased plant productivity, enhanced forage quality for herbivores, and important food sources for pollinators. However, few indigenous legumes are available in the commercial seed trade for rangeland revegetation in the semiarid western U.S. Western prairie clover (Dalea ornata) is one legume that holds promise for rangeland revegetation. We made seed collections of western prairie clover at 22 sites in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington and grew these collections in two common gardens to compare their growth characteristics. We also used DNA fingerprinting techniques to look at genetic diversity in the collections. Based on our field and laboratory results, Majestic Germplasm is being released to the commercial seed trade to represent the Deschutes River watershed in northern Oregon, and Spectrum Germplasm is being released to represent areas of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Primary beneficiaries of this germplasm are expected to be land management agencies, ranchers, landowners enrolled in USDA conservation programs, and the seed industry.
Technical Abstract: Two natural-track selected germplasms of western prairie clover [Dalea ornata (Douglas ex Hook.) Eaton & J. Wright] [Fabaceae] have been released for use in revegetation of semiarid rangelands in the western USA. Western prairie clover is a perennial leguminous forb that occurs naturally in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada. Majestic Germplasm western prairie clover originates from seed collected from indigenous plants near Sherar's Bridge in Sherman County, Oregon, whereas Spectrum Germplasm western prairie clover originates from seed collected from indigenous plants near Succor Creek Natural Area in far eastern Oregon in Malheur County, Oregon. Common-garden and DNA data for 22 collections of western prairie clover were used to develop these releases on a genetic basis. Majestic Germplasm was selected to represent the genetic diversity structure of western prairie clover from the western Columbia Plateau and western Blue Mountains Ecoregions. Spectrum Germplasm was selected to represent the genetic diversity structure from the central and eastern Columbia Plateau, central and eastern Blue Mountains, Northern Basin and Range, and Snake River Plain Ecoregions. This is a new species in the commercial seed trade, and these are the first releases of this species.