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|Title:||Improved native grasses and establishment methods for use on military training lands|
|Authors:||Palazzo, A. J. (Antonio J.)|
Hardy, Susan E.
Jensen, Kevin B.
Germplasm resources, Plant
Military bases--Environmental aspects
|Publisher:||Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)|
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
|Series/Report no.:||ERDC/CRREL ; TR-03-20.|
|Abstract:||The objective of this project was to develop more wear-resistant plants and evaluate the relationships between military training and plant injury, regrowth, and wear resistance. Through plant breeding, we were able to improve traits related to resiliency and establishment in introduced and native species of rangeland grasses. We selected for early spring growth, increased seedling vigor, improved tiller and rhizome development after disturbance, and resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses. Our improved plant materials will be ecologically compatible at the military sites because they were developed from collections of species native to or previously seeded at these sites. We made advances in relating molecular markers to plant characteristics and in using DNA fingerprinting techniques to characterize genetic diversity. We used markers to identify species and plants that can grow better at low temperatures. We now have the tools to assess the genetic differences and similarities in commercial and natural seed sources, enabling land managers to select seed sources that will ensure genetic compatibility with existing populations. Our tank traffic studies showed that naturalized, introduced species are more tolerant and recover more rapidly under repeated tracking than native plants. However, two improved native species, western wheatgrass and Snake River wheatgrass, showed promise as stabilization species because of their ability to colonize damaged areas. Our studies on what we call “ecological bridges” confirm that we can select seed mixtures that will establish more rapidly than all-native mixes and will ultimately lead to healthy and persistent stands of native plants. The species in the seed mixtures and the equipment needed are readily available, and the seeding can be done in one application, thus saving money. Our improved germplasm will make these seeding mixes even more desirable.|
|Appears in Collections:||Technical Report|