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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Forage and Range Research » Docs » Rangeland Ecology & Plant Improvement

Rangeland Ecology & Plant Improvement
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To develop plant materials and ecological applications to improve weed- and fire-resistance of rangelands.

Research Objectives

  1. Identify and characterize ecologically and economically important functional plant traits (e.g., seedling establishment, growth rate, competitive ability, stress tolerance, and seed production).
  2. Develop germplasms and cultivars improved for these traits for diverse plant communities.
  3. Demonstrate the ecological significance of these traits for rangeland applications.

Interdisciplinary Approach

Provide novel rangeland plant materials for the Intermountain West through an interdisciplinary and interactive scientific effort encompassing genetic analysis of plant populations, the development of better performing plant materials, and the on-the-ground ecological applications of these plant materials.

Primary Research Goals

Rangeland Ecology

Germplasm Development

Introduced Grasses:

Native Grasses and Legumes:

Research Approach

USDA-ARS Plant Materials

Introduced Grasses:


Native Grasses:

"San Luis" (left) and "FirstStrike" (right)
slender wheatgrass
"Trailhead" (left) and "Continental" (right)
basin wildrye

Legumes and Forbs:


Note: Quotation marks indicate cultivar; no quotation marks indicate pre-variety germplasm
1USDA-NRCS, lead agency in cultivar development.

Seed available from the Utah Crop Improvement Association  1-435-797-2082