Climatic shifts and species invasion effects on two native bunchgrass species

This research effort will examine the combined impacts of climate change and invasive species pressure on native bunchgrases using the elevational gradient of the San Francisco Peaks. By establishing multiple common gardens, one at The Arboretum at Flagstaff and then other at the Chevelon Creek site, this project will investigate the genotypic, population, and species-level responses of Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama) and Festuca arizonica (AZ fescue) to changes in temperature and precipitation, along with competition by an aggressive invasive, cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum). These gardens will help better inform management and restoration efforts for rangelands by incorporating finer genetic resolution of important natives and including both abiotic and biotic consequences of climate change.

Principal Investigator: 
Ms. Hillary Cooper
Email: 
hfc5@nau.edu