Submitted to: Native Plants Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/9/2006
Publication Date: 12/1/2006
Citation: Adair, R., Johnson, R.C., Hellier, B.C., Kaiser, W. 2006. Collecting taper tip onion (allium acuminatum hook.) in the great basin using traditional and gis methods. Native Plant Journal. 7:141-148.
Interpretive Summary: Allium acuminatum (tapper-tip onion) is a perennial herb native to North America which grows throughout most of the Western States and Western Canada. A collection of 55 populations of tapper tip onion was completed in the Great Basin for purposes of conservation and future use in rangeland reclamation and restoration projects. Potential collection sites were identifyed based on herbarium samples, information from USFS and BLM personnel, and habit type. The use of the geographic information system (GIS) allowed for efficient planning and organization of field collections. Maps were created prior to collection providing a visual aid for route planning to potetnial collections sites. Assigning geographic coordinates or general descriptive locations were useful when searching in remote areas with unmarked roads. GIS data such as ecoregions and land status (ownership) were helpful in determining priority and appropriateness of collection sites. These A. acuminatum populations are being used in molecular and phenotypic studies to choose sites for on-site and genebank conservation. Methods employed by this study will strenghten restoration efforts and provide a framework for utilizing genetics and geographic information to develop seed collection and seed transfer protocol for ecological restoration of A. acuminatum and other native Allium species.
Technical Abstract: We collected 55 populations of taper-tip onion (Allium acuminatum Hook. [Alliaceae]) throughout the Great Basin Region of the United States (Idaho, Oregon, Nevada) as part of a biodiversity assessment and germplasm conservation project. Population data from personal observations and herbarium specimens were entered into a geographic information system (GIS) to facilitate efficient sampling strategies and maximize the diversity of ecoregions represented. Although limited by the quality of source data, GIS based population location information greatly aided in the organization and time management of field collection. Collected plant materials will be used to evaluate species diversity throughout the region and develop in situ germplasm conservation sites for future native rangeland restoration efforts. Ex-situ collections will also be entered into the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) and be available for research, ecological restoration efforts and germplasm enhancement.