Integrating genetic concepts into planning rangeland seedings.

Jones, T.A.
Johnson, D.A.
Rangeland Ecology & Management / Journal of Range Management Archives
Publication Year: 
Choice of plant materials is a fundamental component of any rangeland rehabilitation, reclamation, or restoration project. We describe here an integrated approach for such decision-making. This approach considers site potential, desired landscape, seeding objectives, conflicting land use philosophies, appropriate plant materials, weed invasion, community seral status, and economic limitations. Technical limitations are considered in generating a plan that has the greatest potential for success. Determining whether native-site plant material is best depends on objectives, heterogeneity of the site's environment, uniqueness of the site, plant population size, and biotic or abiotic site disturbance. Fixation of alien genes into a population is referred to both as introgression, which may ensure maintenance of genetic variation critical for adaptation to a changing environment, and as genetic pollution, with the potential for swamping native cross-pollinating annual or short-lived perennial gene pools. Precautionary procedures during seed increase minimize genetic shift, which may be reversible, but genetic drift could result in permanent loss of desirable genes. A variety of germplasm classes, ranging from site-specific to widely adapted and varying in degrees of heterozygosity and heterogeneity should be considered.. Material originating from multiple sites may increase the opportunity for natural selection. An understanding of the magnitude and nature of a species' genetic variation, its relationship to ecological adaptation, and its interaction with other ecosystem components contribute to informed decision-making. Though often unavailable, experience is the best guide for predicting performance of materials on non-native sites.
Document Type: 
Journal Issue/Article
Society for Range Management

Rangeland Ecology & Management (formerly the Journal of Range Management) serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of facts, ideas, and philosophies pertaining to the study, management, ecology, and use of rangelands and their resources. The journal is peer-reviewed and provides international exchange of scholarly research and information among persons interested in rangelands. The Global Rangelands collection includes REM content up to 5 years from the current year. More recent content is available by subscription from BioOne and the Society for Range Management, and may be available at your local university library.
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