Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 6, 2006
Publication Date: October 31, 2006
Citation: Booth, D.T., Vogel, K.P. 2006. Revegetation priorities. Rangelands. 28(5):24-30. Technical Abstract: Major controversies exist over seed sources used for revegetating forests, parks, rangelands, roadsides, and other open space. Here, we discuss the issues and present facts of history, genetics, ecology, and economics to explain our advocacy in seed-source selection and to argue for action on ecological priorities in reference to less-healthy (ecologically-speaking) and costly choices influenced by fear, fad, fashion, or folklore. The issues in this controversy include using "native" versus "introduced" plants, using local types or strains versus seed grown or collected from other areas, and genetic and plant adaptation considerations. In particular we wish to discuss the use of cultivars of native plants. A cultivar or variety is a strain or population of known genetic origin, produced under cultivation in a way to ensure its genetic integrity is maintained (Fehr 1987). New cultivars are "released" by being officially named and registered with one or more state or national seed certifying organizations or agencies. Seed of officially released and registered cultivars can be certified for genetic purity under state and federal seed laws. A cultivar of a native plant would be seed sources like 'Critana' thickspike wheatgrass; 'Whitmar' or 'Goldar', or 'P-7' bluebunch wheatgrass; 'Nezpar', or 'Rimrock', or 'Paloma' Indian ricegrass. Should we, or should we not, be using these native cultivars?