Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Asian Grasslands May Hold Global Promise To Restore Grasslands In Arid Areas

Date:
January 8, 2009
Source:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Summary:
Grazinglands in the Asian steppes and the rangelands in the western United States share similar climates, vegetation, land-use practices and problems. So an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist joined a search in Asia to find and preserve native forage plants--and to see if these plants can be used to sustain and restore arid grasslands in other parts of the world.

Rangeland plants collected in Mongolia and China's Inner Mongolia may have potential for helping sustain and restore arid grasslands in other parts of the world including the U.S.
Credit: Map courtesy of Ann Perry

Grazinglands in the Asian steppes and the rangelands in the western United States share similar climates, vegetation, land-use practices and problems. So an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist joined a search in Asia to find and preserve native forage plants—and to see if these plants can be used to sustain and restore arid grasslands in other parts of the world.

ARS plant physiologist Doug Johnson is part of an international collaboration that has been collecting the seeds of rangeland plant species for more than a decade in Mongolia and China’s Inner Mongolia. Pastoral livestock and native herbivores in this region graze year-round on natural pastures of grasses and legumes.

These forages have evolved over thousands of years under sustained grazing pressures, extreme heat and cold, droughts and saline soils. But overgrazing, increased soil erosion and weed infestations now threaten the diversity of this rangeland vegetation.

Johnson works at the ARS Forage and Range Research Laboratory in Logan, Utah. From 1994 to 1998, he and other researchers from Mongolia and China logged approximately 13,000 miles in Mongolia to maximize their search for native forage plant species.

The payoff for their efforts came in the collection of 1,373 plants, including 323 different genera and 581 species. Subsequent field evaluations in Mongolia identified the most promising plants for revegetating abandoned croplands and restoring post-mining landscapes and abandoned urban areas.

In 2006, the collectors also sent 123 collections of seeds from China’s Inner Mongolia to the United States. These seeds are now part of the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System, which contains approximately 509,000 plant accessions from around the world. The Asian seed collections will provide valuable material to U.S. forage breeding programs that are improving forage species and reduced-input turf grasses.

This work will complement Johnson’s previous contributions involving the collection, evaluation, and release of novel and economically important forage cultivars. These forages are widely used by farmers, ranchers and land managers in the semi-arid western United States to increase production efficiency and conserve natural resources.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by U.S. Department of Agriculture. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

U.S. Department of Agriculture. "Asian Grasslands May Hold Global Promise To Restore Grasslands In Arid Areas." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081228193530.htm>.
U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2009, January 8). Asian Grasslands May Hold Global Promise To Restore Grasslands In Arid Areas. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081228193530.htm
U.S. Department of Agriculture. "Asian Grasslands May Hold Global Promise To Restore Grasslands In Arid Areas." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081228193530.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Cultural transmission — the passing of knowledge from one animal to another — has been caught on camera with chimps teaching other chimps. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Annual Dog Surfing Competition Draws California Crowds

Annual Dog Surfing Competition Draws California Crowds

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — The best canine surfers gathered for Huntington Beach's annual dog surfing competition, "Surf City, Surf Dog." Duration: 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins