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Sagebrush responses to shifting climate and fire disturbances

This presentation by Matthew Germino, USGS Research Ecologist, will address issues confronting preservation and restoration of big sagebrush, focusing on climate, wildfire, and invasives. Preliminary and published insights on climate responses of sagebrush and implications for vulnerability assessments and post-fire restoration will be described. Responses of big sagebrush and competitors such as cheatgrass to climate manipulations are providing important insight on the ways in which sagebrush may resist or respond to warming or shifts in precipitation. Big sagebrush is a remarkably diverse species, and preliminary findings from common-garden studies are suggesting how the diversity is important for its climate responses and for selection of appropriate seed sources. Restoration success is largely a problem of initial seedling establishment, aside from post-restoration management and disturbance, and new studies are revealing how seedlings of different seed sources respond to climate and management treatments of herbs.

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This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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