Location: Forage and Range Research
Project Number: 2080-21000-016-17-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 15, 2016
End Date: Sep 14, 2019
The objectives are: 1) to develop improved populations of native grass and legume species via recurrent selection for restoration of rangelands in the semi-arid western U.S., 2) to characterize released and experimental populations of native species for ecophysiological traits that impact rangeland establishment and productivity, and 3) to assess seedling and mature-plant morphology and development of these species to identify new traits that can be incorporated into selection protocols.
Field, laboratory and greenhouse studies will be conducted for native rangeland species that are currently available in the seed marketplace or could become commercially available as a result of this research. These species have value for restoring damaged rangelands, competing against invasive annual grasses that fuel wildfire, providing forage for livestock and wildlife, and supporting pollinator and sage-grouse populations. Plant populations will be evaluated for critical seed and seedling traits that affect seedling establishment and seed production using traditional and novel technologies. Populations that are superior for seedling establishment and seed production translate into products that are successful on rangelands and in the seed field, respectively. Thus, they can be expected to be adopted by end-users and the seed industry.