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Supporting the development and use of native plant materials for restoration on the Colorado Plateau (Fiscal Year 2021 Report)

May 5, 2022

A primary focus of the Colorado Plateau Native Plant Program (CPNPP) is to identify and develop appropriate native plant materials (NPMs) for current and future restoration projects. Multiple efforts have characterized the myriad challenges inherent in providing appropriate seed resources to enable effective, widespread restoration and have identified a broad suite of research activities to provide the information necessary to overcome those challenges (e.g., Plant Conservation Alliance 2015; Breed et al. 2018; Winkler et al. 2018; McCormick et al. 2021). Many of the most complex information needs relate to identifying the appropriate sources of plant species that can successfully establish in dryland environments, like the Colorado Plateau, where low and highly variable precipitation is standard. Providing this information requires synergistic research efforts in which results from earlier investigations inform the design of subsequent investigations. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Southwest Biological Science Center’s (SBSC’s) research activities to support CPNPP in FY21 followed the FY21 Statement of Work to support a research framework that is continually adapting based on the needs of the restoration community and results from previous investigations; the long-term research framework is outlined in the 2019-2023 5-Year Research Strategy (hereafter referred to as the 5-year plan). This research framework provides support for the National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration (Plant Conservation Alliance 2015), Biden-Harris Administration Executive Order 14008 (Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad), and Department of Interior Priority #4 (Working to conserve at least 30% each of our lands and waters by the year 2030).

Research activities in FY21 centered on landscape genomics, implementing and monitoring a common garden experiment near Vernal, UT, conducting experimental treatments using the GRID (Germination for Restoration Information and Decision-making) framework, and initiating new genetics projects to investigate the impact of production techniques on plant materials and restoration treatments on native plant communities. These activities were supported by four biological science technicians. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic delayed some aspects of the FY21 workplan, especially for outside laboratory services. However, goals were largely met, and the overall progress of research remains on track with respect to the 5-year plan. While Dr. Rob Massatti was the only scientist supported by the SBSC-CPNPP agreement in FY21, other scientists, including Drs. John Bradford, Seth Munson, Mike Duniway, Sasha Reed, and Daniel Winkler, spent a considerable amount of time providing expertise and support for individual projects. Work activities performed in support of each 5-year plan goal are discussed in turn. Products resulting from FY21 research activities are reported in Appendix 1.

Publication Year 2022
Title Supporting the development and use of native plant materials for restoration on the Colorado Plateau (Fiscal Year 2021 Report)
Authors Robert Massatti, Daniel E. Winkler, Sasha C. Reed, Michael C. Duniway, Seth M. Munson, John B. Bradford
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Series Title Fiscal Year Report
Index ID 70232248
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Southwest Biological Science Center