On August 25, 2015 speaker Matt Germino presented on his work restoring sagebrush in the Great Basin. Shrubs are ecosystem foundation species in most of the Great Basin’s landscapes. Most of the species, including sagebrush, are poorly adapted to the changes in fire and invasive pressures that are compounded by climate change. This presentation gives an overview of challenges and opportunities regarding restoration of sagebrush and blackbrush, focusing on climate adaptation, selection of seeds and achieving seeding and planting success. Results from Great Basin LCC supported research on seed selection and planting techniques are presented.
Effects of Genotype and Management Treatments of Native and Invasive Herbs on Success of Sagebrush Restoration
FY2013The increase in large wildfires at a time when habitat for Greater Sage Grouse and other species dependent on big sagebrush has also increased has led to substantial needs for big sagebrush seeds. Significant decisions on which sagebrush seed to use and on management treatments that affect competing herb layers on the same restoration sites affect the trajectory of habitat.This project will evaluate how seed source, specifically genotype and climate-of-origin, interact with landscape-scale and replicated treatments (fencing, herbicide application, mowing, and seeding).
FY2010In addition to regional Science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge projects that the Great Basin LCC (GBLCC) supports, GBLCC staff lend technical expertise to a range of projects and have contributed to important regional publications on a range of subjects. These publications range in type from textbooks, to management-oriented science and conservation plans, to scientific papers and have covered subjects like wind erosion following fire, soil microbiota response to drought, plant community resilience to invasive species, and alpine plant communities. In many cases these publications form foundations for scientifically-informed management strategies across the Great Basin.
Development of Tools and Technology to Improve the Success and Planning of Restoration of Big Sagebrush Ecosystems
FY2013Shrub-dominated ecosystems of the Great Basin are being threatened by disturbances, typically wildfire followed by encroachment of invasive plants (e.g., cheat grass). To mitigate these threats and future changes in the climate to big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), restorationists require a knowledge base and tools to inform them of the most appropriate seed sources to plant to greatly enhance the success of restoration under contemporary and future climates. We propose to develop climate-responsive seed transfer zones based on associating plant quantitative traits and ecophysiological data from common gardens to the climate of the seed source.