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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Forage and Range Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #325407

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: Notice of release of Turkey Lake germplasm of bottlebrush squirreltail

item Jones, Thomas

Submitted to: Native Plants Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/23/2016
Publication Date: 4/1/2016
Citation: Jones, T.A. 2016. Notice of release of Turkey Lake germplasm of bottlebrush squirreltail. Native Plant Journal. 17:59-63.

Interpretive Summary: Improved perennial-grass plant materials are needed for restoration and conservation of semiarid rangelands in the Snake River Plain and ecologically similar areas in the northwestern United States. Many of these rangelands have been damaged by wildfire and invasive plants. Stand establishment is the greatest single factor limiting successful restoration efforts in the Intermountain West. Turkey Lake Germplasm of bottlebrush squirreltail displays superior stand establishment relative to previously released squirreltail plant materials. The intention of this release is to make available improved bottlebrush squirreltail plant material that originates in the Twin Falls District of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), an area where rangeland wildfires are frequent. It is anticipated that this germplasm will be a valuable tool for restoration efforts in the Snake River Plain of southern Idaho.

Technical Abstract: Turkey Lake Germplasm of bottlebrush squirreltail (Elymus elymoides ssp. californicus) was released by USDA-Agricultural Research Service in 2015 as a selected class of pre-variety germplasm (natural track). This new plant material originates in Gooding County in southern Idaho's Snake River Plain. In replicated rangeland trials at three locations (Juab County, UT; San Pete County, UT; White Pine County, NV), Turkey Lake Germplasm displayed substantially better establishment frequency than Toe Jam Creek Germplasm, a previous release of E. elymoides ssp. californicus (origin: Elk County, NV), as well as other released squirreltail plant materials. Comparative trials were also conducted in Cache County, UT and Bingham County, ID.