Southwest Biological Science Center

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Four pits filled with water.
November 5, 2018

RestoreNet treatments

RestoreNet locations are testing commonly used restoration techniques, including pitting, mulching, and above-ground micro sites. Here, pits have filled with water, illustrating how this technique increases soil moisture by capturing rainwater. The project will illustrate which techniques work to establish plants depending on local conditions (like soil type) and climate

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Wire crosses, called ConMods installed at a RestoreNet site.
November 5, 2018

RestoreNet treatments

RestoreNet locations are testing commonly used restoration techniques, including pitting, mulching, and above-ground micro sites. Here, metal crosses create an above-ground microsite that can increase soil moisture by providing shade and collecting debris under some conditions. The project will illustrate which techniques work to establish plants depending on local

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Mulch treatment
November 5, 2018

RestoreNet treatments

RestoreNet locations are testing commonly used restoration techniques, including pitting, mulching, and above-ground micro sites. This photo shows the mulching treatment, which can increase soil moisture and lead to higher plant survival under some conditions. The project will illustrate which techniques work to establish plants depending on local conditions (like soil

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A RestoreNet garden with plots covered by white cloth.
August 31, 2018

RestoreNet garden testing seedling establishment.

The RestoreNet gardens test seedlings of priority restoration species across the Southwest. This is a recently installed garden located in the juniper woodlands of the Colorado Plateau. The experiemental network will support land managers by providing insight into various restoration techniques, including testing seedlings vs seeds.

A restoration field trial site on red soils, adjacent to buttes.
August 16, 2018

A RestoreNet Garden on the Colorado Plateau

A completed restoration field trial site just after installation. Half of the site is seeded, and the other half had plants and weed cloth (white fabric) installed. RAMPS will be collecting data on this site for

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A group of field workers installs an experimental garden.
August 16, 2018

Installing a restoration field trial site

These workers are planting seedlings as part of the restoration field trial network. Each garden in the network is examining seedlings and seeds in conjunction with restoration treatments to better understand how

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Bare ground with 2x2 meter square plots of various restoration treatments.
August 16, 2018

Seeding treatment experiment

View of a recently installed Restoration Field Trial Network site in the rangelands of Northern Arizona. This part of the site contains the seeding treatments: mulch, ConMods (metal crosses), pits, and two

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Students stand in front of a scientific poster at a poster fair
May 31, 2018

Collaborating with university students

The Southwest Biological Science Center loves working with students. Here, a group of undergraduates from Northern Arizona University help RAMPS define the reasons why ecosystem restoration is important for human health and the economy. Follow the link to learn more about RAMPS.

A group of university students works on clearing cinder blocks from a future ecological restoration site
April 30, 2018

Investing in future biological science leaders

RAMPS works with a restoration club at Northern Arizona University, teaching best practices for restoration, and building capacity for future scientisits and land managers to tackle challenging ecological issues.

A group of people seed trays in a greenhouse
April 30, 2018

Restoration happens one seed at a time

In water-limited systems of the desert Southwest, land managers sometimes restore using seedlings (small plants) instead of seeds alone. This method has shown to be successful in extreme environments like the Mojave desert and also in grasslands where weed pressure can be to high for seeds to germinate and survive. Here, a group of interns starts seedlings of penstemon in

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Sonoran desert scene showing invasion by red brome grass and fire scars on a saguaro cactus.
April 30, 2018

Red Brome Carries Fire and Burns Saguaros

Bromus Rubens (red brome) is an invasive annual grass that grows in warmer deserts of the Southwest U.S. It can carry fires in systems that aren't fire adapted, causing lasting damage to desert flora, as shown here in the Sonoran desert north of Phoenix, AZ. The

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Two men stand in a grassland beneath a sky filled with fluffy cumulus clouds and a blue sky.
March 31, 2018

Standing in the field with mangers

Touring public lands, guided by the people who manage the lands, is a important to RAMPS. On these tours we get to meet the passionate people, understand their challenges and aspirations, and help make steps towards innovative science-based solutions. In this photo staff from BLM's Aqua Fria National Monument stand with USGS scientist, Seth Munson and discuss how to

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