Location: Forage and Range Research
Title: Lotus utahensis: southern great basin legume for possible use in rangeland revegetation Authors
Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 30, 2013
Publication Date: February 3, 2014
Citation: Johnson, D.A., Connors, K.J., Bushman, B.S., Jones, T.A. 2014. Lotus utahensis: southern great basin legume for possible use in rangeland revegetation. Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts. I.1. Technical Abstract: Rangeland ecosystems in the western USA are increasingly vulnerable to wildland fires, weed invasion, and mismanagement. On many of these rangelands, revegetation/restoration may be required to improve degraded conditions, speed recovery, and minimize soil erosion. Legumes native to the Great Basin are of interest in revegetation/restoraiton because they have the potential to biologically fix nitrogen, provide high protein forage for livestock and wildlife, and enhance native pollinator habitat. Few native legumes, however, are commercially available as seed. Utah trefoil (Lotus utahensis Ottley) is a legume species that is native to the southern Great Basin and occurs in southern Utah, southern Nevada, and Arizona. Species in the genus Lotus contain tannins, which are known to prevent bloat, reduce parasites in the intestinal tract, and enhance amino acid absorption. We used the Southwest Environmental Information Network (SEINet) to identify possible collection sites for Utah trefoil (http://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/index.php). Seed was collected from 18 sites throughout its distribution, plants were germinated and grown in a greenhouse, and transplants were established in common gardens at three sites in northern Utah during May 2013. Plant development, morphological, and physiological characteristics will be evaluated for each of the collections at the three sites. Genetic relationships among the collections will be evaluated using Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR) molecular markers. These data will form the basis for an eventual germplasm release of Utah trefoil.