Integrated monitoring and seed testing to improve restoration outcomes on the Colorado Plateau

Release Date:

Northern Arizona University published an article that referenced SBSC’s Restoration Assessment & Monitoring Program for the Southwest (RAMPS) program. RAMPS is a program that scientifically tests and explores restoration approaches in the arid Southwest.

RAMPS scientist meeting with two land managers in arid shrubland
RAMPS scientist meeting with two land managers in arid shrubland (Credit: Mike Duniway, USGS, Southwest Biological Science Center. Public domain.)

The Northern Arizona University (NAU) article focuses on the research of a RAMPS partner, Brad Butterfield from NAU’s Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research. RAMPS is a collaborative program between the SBSC, other USGS Science Centers, BLM, NPS, USFWS, NAU, and other universities that aims to strengthen restoration strategies and outcomes in the hot and dry American Southwest. The use of a network of experimental restoration plots, studying native plant response to rainfall, understanding the effects of land treatment practices, testing the utility of connectivity modifiers, and understanding the effects of drought and climate change are some of the avenues of research contributing to RAMPS.

NAU’s article is title, “Integrated monitoring and seed testing to improve restoration outcomes on the Colorado Plateau”, and can be found here: http://news.nau.edu/butterfield/#.WZ2yhyiGOUl. More information on RAMPS can be found here: https://www.usgs.gov/centers/sbsc/science/restoration-assessment-monitoring-program-southwest-ramps-0?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects.

Related Content

Filter Total Items: 6
Date published: August 5, 2017
Status: Active

Distributed Field Trial Network for Dryland Restoration

Recovery from disturbance represents a substantial challenge to agencies that manage large tracts of land in the Southwest. Despite the demand for restoration and rehabilitation, little information is available to help managers effectively reestablish native perennial vegetation and stabilize soils, especially given changing climate and disturbance regimes.

Forestry and agriculture have...

Contacts: Molly McCormick, Seth Munson, Brad Butterfield
Date published: December 16, 2016

Colorado Plateau Native Plant Program Field Trial Study

In the southwest US, monsoon precipitation increases sharply along a northwest to southeast gradient. Pleuraphis jamesii or galleta grass, is an important C4 grass species that spans across this large range in precipitation pattern. In this study we are assessing the ability of galleta grass to adapt to changes in the seasonality of rainfall (termed “plasticity”). In the fall of 2014, we...

Contacts: Mike Duniway, Ph.D., Dave Hoover
Date published: December 15, 2016

New Approaches for Restoring Colorado Plateau Grasslands

Historic over-grazing of arid grasslands in the Intermountain West has led to widespread soil erosion, loss of plant diversity, and invasion by exotic species.  Degraded grassland conditions can be very persistent, even after livestock use has ceased. For example, in national parks on the Colorado Plateau, livestock have been excluded for decades, but soil and native plants have not recovered...

Contacts: Mike Duniway, Ph.D., Rebecca Mann, Mark E. Miller, Liz Ballenger
Date published: December 14, 2016

Plant Responses to Drought and Climate Change in the Southwestern United States

Land managers face tremendous challenges in the future as drought and climate change alter the abundance, distribution, and interactions of plant species. These challenges will be especially daunting in the southwestern US, which is already experiencing elevated temperatures and prolonged droughts, resulting in reduced soil moisture in an already water-limited environment.  These changes will...

Contacts: Seth Munson
Date published: December 7, 2016

Chronic Drought Impacts on Colorado Plateau ecosystems (Rain-Out Experiment)

In drylands, chronic reductions in water availability (press-drought) through reduced precipitation and increased temperatures may have profound ecosystem effects, depending on the sensitivities of the dominant plants and plant functional types. In this study, we are examining the impacts of moderate, but long-term chronic drought using a network of 40 drought shelters on the Colorado Plateau...

Contacts: Mike Duniway, Ph.D., Jayne Belnap, David Hoover
Date published: November 18, 2016

Colorado Plateau Extreme Drought in Grassland Experiment (EDGE)

In drylands, short-term extreme droughts can have profound ecosystem effects, depending on the timing (seasonality) of drought and the sensitivities of the dominant plants and plant functional types. Past work suggests that cool season drought may disproportionately impact regionally important grass and shrub species. In this study, we are examining the impacts of extreme seasonal drought on...

Contacts: Mike Duniway, Ph.D., Jayne Belnap, David Hoover
Filter Total Items: 2
Date published: April 18, 2017

Radio Interview about a Technique to Restore Native Plant Species in Drylands

Mike Duniway and Becky Mann were interviewed by KZMU, a community radio station located in Moab, UT. They discussed a strategy that uses 6" tall structures to provide safe places for native plant seed germination and seedling survival, and should benefit restoration efforts in water-limited systems.

Attribution: 
Date published: December 28, 2016

Saving the Desert: Push to Restore Arches & Canyonlands National Parks

A video put out by CBS discusses some of the ecological issues of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in UT such as nonnative annual grasses, disturbance caused by cattle grazing, and the difficulty of getting native, perennial grasses established. The video focuses on the research of SBSC’s Rebecca Mann and Mike Duniway, who are studying the use connectivity modifiers (ConMods) in...

Attribution: