Common Garden Studies
Common garden studies are being conducted on six grasses––Achnatherum hymenoides, Koeleria macrantha, Poa fendleriana, Hesperostipa comata, Poa secunda, and Elymus elymoides––by US Forest Service ecologist, Kelly Memmott. Study sites are located on the Ashley, Dixie, Fishlake, and Manti-LaSal National Forests in Utah and seed source materials represent a broad area of the northern portion of the Colorado Plateau.
Photo: Dr. Troy Wood, USGS Colorado Plateau Research Station
This effort is measuring survival, biomass, height, stature, and seed production of these species and the data will be used to identify the most broadly adapted populations, which will serve as seed sources for agronomic increase.
In the future, the US Forest Service will work on higher elevation Colorado Plateau species of importance to their agency, such as bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata), slender wheatgrass (Elymus trachycaulus), and Utah sweetvetch (Hedysarum boreale).
USGS is currently developing greenhouse common garden studies that focus on the species being studied with genetic markers (see above).
Results of these studies will be available on this web site in the future.
The BLM established a partnership with the University of Utah, Rio Mesa Center along the Dolores River northeast of Moab, Utah. The Rio Mesa Center is in the process of developing a native plant demonstration garden on-site that will be used to increase awareness of the need for, and use of locally-adapted native plant materials in the restoration of resilient ecosystems on the Colorado Plateau. The garden is part of a larger expansion of the research program at Rio Mesa and the Development of new research facilities on site.
Research Priorities: 2013 and Beyond
Dr. Wood is currently developing a research strategy paper for the CPNPP program. We will continue to work with partners on developing a broad list of potential research opportunities.
Our research program is focused on supporting other ongoing agency priorities including, but not limited to:
- Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperative
- National Landscape Conservation System
- Healthy Lands Initiative
- Colorado Plateau Rapid Ecoregional Assessment
- National Greater Sage Grouse Planning Strategy