Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Plant breeding helps revive western rangelands

Date:
February 12, 2010
Source:
United States Department of Agriculture-Research, Education, and Economics
Summary:
Scientists have been developing new grasses and forages that can hold their own on the rugged rangelands of the western United States.

ARS scientists like research leader Jack Staub develop new grasses and forages that help restore rangeland vegetation communities struggling for survival in the face of extreme weather conditions, wildfires, soil erosion, invasive plant species and other challenges.
Credit: Photo by Peggy Greb

For more than two decades, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have been developing new grasses and forages that can hold their own on the rugged rangelands of the western United States. As a result of that work, the scientists have released many improved plant varieties that help restore vegetation communities struggling for survival in the face of extreme weather conditions, wildfires, soil erosion, invasive plant species and other challenges.

Research leader Jack Staub and other scientists at the ARS Forage and Range Research Laboratory (FRRL) in Logan, Utah, use genetic material from both native and introduced plant sources in their breeding work. In some cases, they begin restoration efforts with introduced grasses and then follow up with the use of native plants as soil conditions improve.

In 1984, FRRL scientists partnered in the development of Hycrest crested wheatgrass, which became the leading crested wheatgrass grown on the western rangelands for approximately 10 years. It provides forage in the early spring and summer, stabilizes the soil, holds its own against aggressive invasive grasses and thrives in as little as 8 inches of annual precipitation.

Building on this success, FRRL scientists have now developed Hycrest II, which was bred for reseeding rangelands that have been overrun by annual weeds after wildfires, soil erosion and other disturbances. It offers improved establishment and exceeds Hycrest in seedlings established per acre.

Vavilov II, a Siberian wheatgrass cultivar that can help hold invasive cheatgrass at bay on especially dry and harsh sandy rangelands, was also created at the FRRL. And as competition for water supplies increases, FRRL scientists are developing pasture and turfgrasses better adapted to reduced irrigation. For instance, the meadow bromegrass cultivar Cache begins growth in the early spring and stays green and succulent longer than tall fescue and orchardgrass.

Results from this work have been published in the Journal of Plant Registrations, Native Plants Journal, Applied Turfgrass Science and elsewhere.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by United States Department of Agriculture-Research, Education, and Economics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

United States Department of Agriculture-Research, Education, and Economics. "Plant breeding helps revive western rangelands." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100212125712.htm>.
United States Department of Agriculture-Research, Education, and Economics. (2010, February 12). Plant breeding helps revive western rangelands. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100212125712.htm
United States Department of Agriculture-Research, Education, and Economics. "Plant breeding helps revive western rangelands." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100212125712.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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