Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 15, 2006
Publication Date: February 1, 2006
Citation: Pederson, G.A., Harrison Dunn, M.L. 2006. Utilizing the National Plant Germplasm System as a Rangeland Resource. 60th Annual Meeting and Trade Show hosted by Society for Range Management, Feb 9-16, 20007, Reno/Sparks, Nevada. 2007 CDROM. Technical Abstract: Rangeland programs have traditionally worked closely with the NRCS Plant Materials Program to develop improved plant materials and utilize technical assistance for rangeland revegetation. Extensive collection and evaluation of native plants has been conducted by Plant Materials Center (PMC) specialists resulting in releases of over 500 improved conservation plants. The National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) has collections of over 470,000 accessions from over 11,700 species that are mainly introduced to the U.S. NPGS has traditionally worked with U.S. public and private plant breeders providing diverse genetic resources for research, selection, and cultivar development. NPGS collections have the capability to be a valuable rangeland resource to range scientists by maintaining genetically diverse collections of important native rangeland species and wild relatives. Current NPGS collections do not fully represent the range of genetic variation found in many rangeland species (for example, 14 available accessions of indiangrass, 19 accessions of big bluestem, 18 accessions of little bluestem, and 4 accessions of blue grama). Representative samples from native plant collections of rangeland scientists and PMC specialists should be deposited in the NPGS to preserve these materials for future use. The first steps have been taken recently with deposit of NRCS released materials in NPGS. However, to be of more value for future rangeland research, deposits need to be made of representative samples from wild collections of native rangeland species and closely related species. Future rangeland revegetation efforts will then be able to utilize valuable genetic material that may be otherwise lost over time from current rangelands.