Event Title

Intraspecific variation matters for wetland plant response to hydrologic extremes: implications for restoration in a changing climate

Presenter Information

Kristen Yeager

Location

Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu/

Start Date

3-29-2011 11:05 AM

End Date

3-29-2011 11:10 AM

Description

Revegetation of wetlands in arid climates, such as those found in the Great Basin of the Western United States, is challenging-especially in a potentially changing climate. The use of locally collected seed is generally recommended for restoration projects to take advantage of potential local adaptation. However, this can lead to the use of one or two readily available cultivars that can have low levels of intraspecific diversity. Intraspecific diversity represents the evolutionary potential of a species to react to new selective pressures such as climate change. High levels of adaptive potential are particularly important to restoration success because these systems are highly stressed and can be subject to environmental extremes. This study is aimed at broadening our understanding of the variation within an important wetland sedge species Schoenoplecus maritimus with respect to hydrologic extremes-one of the predicted outcomes of climate change within the Great Basin and a common problem for restoration of wetlands in arid climates. In a greenhouse study, we evaluated the response of seeds collected from five locations within the Great Salt Lake Watershed to flooding and drought. Response variables included: sensitivity to flooding and drought, establishment success, allocation of biomass, and stem heights, and the number of flowering plants. Results show that even within a small geographic range this species is highly variable. There was no one seed source that did well or poorly in all categories. These findings suggest that including seeds from all sites sampled for this study could improve restoration success.

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Mar 29th, 11:05 AM Mar 29th, 11:10 AM

Intraspecific variation matters for wetland plant response to hydrologic extremes: implications for restoration in a changing climate

Eccles Conference Center

Revegetation of wetlands in arid climates, such as those found in the Great Basin of the Western United States, is challenging-especially in a potentially changing climate. The use of locally collected seed is generally recommended for restoration projects to take advantage of potential local adaptation. However, this can lead to the use of one or two readily available cultivars that can have low levels of intraspecific diversity. Intraspecific diversity represents the evolutionary potential of a species to react to new selective pressures such as climate change. High levels of adaptive potential are particularly important to restoration success because these systems are highly stressed and can be subject to environmental extremes. This study is aimed at broadening our understanding of the variation within an important wetland sedge species Schoenoplecus maritimus with respect to hydrologic extremes-one of the predicted outcomes of climate change within the Great Basin and a common problem for restoration of wetlands in arid climates. In a greenhouse study, we evaluated the response of seeds collected from five locations within the Great Salt Lake Watershed to flooding and drought. Response variables included: sensitivity to flooding and drought, establishment success, allocation of biomass, and stem heights, and the number of flowering plants. Results show that even within a small geographic range this species is highly variable. There was no one seed source that did well or poorly in all categories. These findings suggest that including seeds from all sites sampled for this study could improve restoration success.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2011/Posters/3