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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVED PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES FOR PASTURES AND RANGELANDS IN THE TEMPERATE SEMIARID REGIONS OF THE WESTERN U.S. Title: Adaptive Zones Based on Phenotypic Data for a Newly Recognized Subspecies of Bottlebrush Squirreltail

item Parsons, M -
item Jones, Thomas
item Larson, Steven
item Monaco, Thomas
item Mott, Ivan

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 8, 2010
Publication Date: May 10, 2010
Citation: Parsons, M.C., Jones, T.A., Larson, S.R., Monaco, T.A., Mott, I.W. 2010. Adaptive Zones Based on Phenotypic Data for a Newly Recognized Subspecies of Bottlebrush Squirreltail. Meeting Abstract.

Technical Abstract: Bottlebrush squirreltail (Elymus elymoides) is a highly ecotypic cool-season grass species that is prized for restoration applications in the Intermountain Region of the western U.S. Three major subspecies (elymoides, californicus, and brevifolius) have traditionally been recognized in this species, but recently molecular data have demonstrated that brevifolius accessions from the northern Intermountain Region are taxonomically distinct from brevifolius accessions from the Rocky Mountains (races A and B) and western Great Plains (race D). For this reason, the northern Intermountain accessions are now informally referred to as ssp. C instead of ssp. brevifolius race C. Using 32 accessions of "C", we identified four preliminary seed-transfer zones, termed adaptive zones, based on common-garden and greenhouse measurements of phenology, biomass, and functional traits of tillers, leaves, and roots. Correlations among genetic distance (AFLP data), phenotypic distance (greenhouse and common-garden data), and environmental distance (geographic and climatic data) were positive and high, ranging from 0.72-0.90. Colletion-site elevation was a better variable to match plant material to restoration site than was latitude, longitude, average annual precipitation, average maximum temperature, or average minimum temperature. We have released two selected pre-variety germplasms to reflect two of the adaptive zones: Pleasant Valley Germplasm (eastern Blue Mountains) and Antelope Creek Germplasm (western Blue Mountains/eastern Cascades Slopes and Foothills). Pleasant Valley (northeastern Oregon) and Antelope Creek (north-central Oregon) are the first two "C" releases, and they are geographic and ecological complements to the previous releases of ssp. elymoides (Fish Creek [ID] and Rattlesnake [ID] germplasms), ssp. californicus (Toe Jam Creek [NV] germplasm), and ssp. brevifolius race A (Tusas [NM], Wapiti [CO], and Pueblo [CO] germplasms).

Last Modified: 8/24/2016
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