The plant and animal species that thrive in the arid environments of the western States are surprisingly understudied. Therefore, there is a great need to learn more about these ecosystems, as over one-third of the native habitat in the region has been degraded by invasive species and changes in fire regimes and is in need of restoration. Some of the questions our researches include: 1) what is "appropriate" restoration material; i.e. how far can seed be moved without negatively affecting the success of a restoration or the surrounding vegetation (see genetic research here), 2) What are the best management practices to meet restoration needs (see restoration practices here) and 3) How to restore ecosystem function in these degraded areas; habitat restoration begins with choosing the right planting material, however interactions with biotic and abiotic factors need to be considered (see pollinator studies here).
Funded by:
Chicago Botanic Garden
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Center for Invasive Plant Management
Bureau of Land Management