CONFERENCE THEME: The theme of this year’s conference is “Red Rock & Rangelands,” and it highlights the juxtaposition of spectacular geology and diverse rangelands in the region around St. George. We especially welcome proposals that highlight the variety of rangeland environments and habitats, multitude of rangeland land-uses, and diversity of people who manage and depend upon rangelands in the southwestern US.
HIGHLIGHTED SYMPOSIUM SESSION:
The role of genetic approaches and breeding native plant cultivars for rangeland revegetation and reintroduction of extirpated species or populations
Native plants display remarkable adaptations to rangeland environments of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave regions. These native plants fill critical ecological functions and have many potential uses in agriculture, conservation, and landscaping. However, exotic plants, animals, and pathogens can decimate native species and populations throughout their range. Likewise, climate change and other environmental alterations may eliminate native species and populations from areas where they may no longer be well adapted. Moreover, these problems can be exacerbated by the extreme difficulty of producing seed or propagules required to reintroduce native forbs over large areas of rangeland where they can be exceptionally difficult to establish. Breeding and genetic approaches can be used to identify and utilize natural gene variants that enable native species and populations to overcome exotic pests, environmental changes, and inherent limitations that prevent successful reintroductions or limit their use in large-scale revegetation. The goal of this symposium is to illustrate and discuss benefits, pitfalls, mitigation strategies, appropriate, and inappropriate applications for plant breeding and native plant cultivars in large scale rangeland revegetation, native species reintroductions, and other important conservation uses.
To learn more and register, go to: http://rangelands.org/srm17/