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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Forage and Range Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #406840

Research Project: Improved Plant Genetic Resources and Methodologies for Rangelands, Pastures, and Turf Landscapes in the Semiarid Western U.S.

Location: Forage and Range Research

Title: Restoration genetics - a consideration of lessons and opportunities

Author
item BROADHURST, LINDA - RETIRED NON ARS EMPLOYEE
item VAN ROSSUM, FABIENNE - BOTANIC GARDEN MEISE
item Jones, Thomas
item JORDAN, REBECCA - CSIRO, AUSTRALIAN COTTON RESEARCH INSTITUTE, NARRABRI
item ENCINAS-VISO, FRANCISCO - CSIRO, AUSTRALIAN COTTON RESEARCH INSTITUTE, NARRABRI
item HARRISON, PETER - CSIRO, AUSTRALIAN COTTON RESEARCH INSTITUTE, NARRABRI

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2023
Publication Date: 6/15/2023
Citation: Broadhurst, L., Van Rossum, F., Jones, T.A., Jordan, R., Encinas-Viso, F., Harrison, P.A. 2023. Restoration genetics - a consideration of lessons and opportunities. Book Chapter. V1: 473-519. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-25412-3_13.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-25412-3_13

Interpretive Summary: Successful restoration is dependent on the ability to correctly match native plant materials to the restoration site. This is complicated by the lack of plant materials being available and in sufficient quantities; low genetic diversity and high inbreeding of plant materials; and changing climates and land uses, novel ecosystems, and modified soils. Due to these issues, local genotypes are unlikely to be the savior of our environment. Nevertheless, recent advances in genetics now permit rapid screening of large numbers of species for desirable genes in a cost-effective fashion. This will greatly improve our ability to appropriately match plant material to restoration site. Hence, the rate of restoration success rate will be increased, providing environmental benefits to society and bestowing a more hopeful legacy upon humankind.

Technical Abstract: Genetics has provided key insights for improving ecological restoration outcomes over several decades, and it is now well established that low genetic diversity and high inbreeding can impact on seed set and seedling vigour for many plant species. These issues can limit seed and species availability for restoration activities, and can explain poor restoration outcomes if seedlings fail to thrive or if an inbreeding population is seen to be established. It is accepted that the world of genetics has changed rapidly in the last 10 years, and that new technologies are now producing orders of magnitude more data than anything that has been gathered previously. In addition, computational advances are beginning to allow us to stitch together disparate datasets such as those collected from soils, climate conditions and genomics to better understand the observed outcomes for species and ecosystems. This bodes well for the future of restoration, as it will allow us to develop more accurate and sensitive predictive models regarding species choice, restoration location and the ability to cope with various changes over time. It is also important to recognise that it is now possible to screen the genomes of hundreds of plants and species rapidly and cost-effectively. If this was routinely undertaken, it could significantly improve restoration success as well as create a long-term legacy for future generations charged with managing the ecosystems of our planet.