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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Forage and Range Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #316199

Research Project: Develop Improved Plant Genetic Resources to Enhance Pasture and Rangeland Productivity in the Semiarid Regions of the Western U.S.

Location: Forage and Range Research

Title: Evaluation of Utah trefoil (Lotus utahensis Ottley) collections for rangeland restoration/revegetation in the southern Great Basin and Colorado Plateau

Author
item Johnson, Douglas
item Stettler, Jason
item Bushman, Shaun
item Connors, Kevin
item MACADAM, JENNIFER - Utah State University
item Jones, Thomas

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/25/2015
Publication Date: 4/10/2015
Citation: Johnson, D.A., Stettler, J.M., Bushman, B.S., Connors, K.J., Macadam, J.W., Jones, T.A. 2015. Evaluation of Utah trefoil (Lotus utahensis Ottley) collections for rangeland restoration/revegetation in the southern Great Basin and Colorado Plateau. National Native Seed Conference Program Meeting Abstract, p.46.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Wildfires, weed invasion, and various land uses have created a need for revegetation/restoration of rangeland ecosystems in the Intermountain Region of the western U.S.A. These rangelands may require revegetation/restoration to improve degraded conditions, speed recovery after wildfires, minimize soil erosion, and enhance wildlife food and habitat. Legumes native to the Intermountain Region are of particular interest because they are adapted to these climatic conditions and ecosystems, have the potential to biologically fix nitrogen, and provide high-protein food for juvenile and adult sage-grouse and native pollinators. However, seeds of few North American legumes are commercially available for revegetation/restoration projects in the Intermountain Region. Utah trefoil (Lotus utahensis Ottley) is a legume species native to the southern Great Basin and Colorado Plateau. Seeds were collected from 19 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, genetic diversity, morphological and physiological characteristics, and tannin content are being evaluated for each of the collections. Preliminary results have shown considerable variation in flower morphology and growth habit, and generally high tannin concentrations with a wide range in their degree of polymerization. Results from these studies will form the basis for one or more germplasm releases of Utah trefoil.