This project will assess genetic variation in fitness and ecophysiological traits in Bouteloua gracilis, an important rangeland restoration species. We will plant out multiple maternal families (half- or full-sib) from 36 populations collected from across the Colorado Plateau along with commercially available lines. We are specifically interested in learning whether populations of B. gracilis drawn from diverse ecological settings are significantly differentiated for the phenotypes we will measure and how these differences correlate with prevailing climatic conditions at the sites from which the population samples were collected. Initially, we will not impose experimental treatments on the common garden plants, but in the future plan to manipulate monsoonal precipitation amount and simulate grazing.
Dr. Troy Wood