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322 East Front Street
Boise, ID, 83702
United States


Providing the knowledge and technology required to improve the availability of native plant materials for restoring diverse native plant communities across the Great Basin.

2015 Science Delivery

Developing a Database for Grass Seed Production
Kent Apostol and Mark Kimsey

Production of native seed is a recent priority and is often more challenging, necessitating research to develop appropriate cultural practices for individual species. Our long-term goal is to develop new technologies for producing high quality native plant materials and improve restoration practices for increasing Great Basin ecosystem’s resilience in the face of a changing climate. The project objective, which is the next step toward attaining our long-range goal, is to conduct a survey on the native grass species’ yields used in the screening trials, in partnership with Scott Jensen at the RMRS and the NRCS in Aberdeen, over a 5-10 year timeframe (2004-2014). Analysis of the data will enable us to evaluate the reliability and predictability (risks) of wildland collected sources and compare yields by species, genotypes, cultural practices, and environmental factors of source locations.


In partnership with Scott Jensen and NRCS Aberdeen, we will collect data on grass seed yields using to compare production characteristics of 9 native genotypes and cultivars (listed below) and cultural practices being used in restoration projects.

  1. Our research team will contact and coordinate with respective individuals to obtain the field data required for the study. Detailed instructions on filling out the data sheet (excel template) will be sent via email or mail.

  2. A competent group of supervised grad students and technician will compile and organize the data sets in 5 – 7 months. Data sets will be assembled so that a statistical analysis of additional field and environmental factors would be assessed by species including native genotypes, cultivars of the same species, cultivation practices and seed quality and weather events that influence yield. Changes in yield by species will be compared by Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). For example, to determine the effect of cultural practices on seed yield, average values for each species will be determined and data will be pooled across all species in a given yield-practice prior to statistical analysis. Subsequently, differences in the yield by genotypes will be evaluated separately using one-way ANOVA and conventional LSD post hoc analysis.

  3. We will also obtain historical meteorological data from weather stations, coordinates of source locations, topographic information, and soil types through several databases such as the PRISM climate data sets developed by NRCS National Water and Climate Center (NWCC), and Oregon State University, Western Regional Climate Center and Inside (Interactive Numeric & Spatial Information Data Engine) Idaho and conduct analysis and reference maps in ArcGIS 10.2.


  • Analysis of yield of native grass species genotype and by cultivars of the same species within the past 5 to 10 years and under different cultural practices
    • Analyze differences in high and low yielding genotypes
    • Analyze differences of yield by genotypes by year
    • Assess performance by precipitation zones of source location
  • Develop a geodatabase of:

    • Location of native species genotypes original collection sites (Latitude/Longitude)

    • Site elevation, current climatic conditions and soil parent material

  • Assessment of yearly climate conditions or other factors that may have influenced yields 

  • Construct maps illustrating environmental and cultural effects on yield

  • PowerPoint presentations, including photographs, at a BLM conference or Great Basin Native Plant Meeting and to a public audience.

  • A final manuscript submitted to a peer-reviewed scientific journal. (e.g. Restoration Ecology, Ecological Restoration, Rangeland Ecology and Management)