Thomas A. Monaco, PhD Forage & Range Research Lab Utah State University Logan, UT 84322-6300 (435) 797-7231 Tom.Monaco@ars.usda.gov
Invasive plants alter ecosystem properties and seriously compromise agricultural potential of the Great Basin. The FRRL is conducting research to identify why invasive plants are spreading. We are also developing new strategies to preserve agricultural productivity and ecosystem integrity.
Strategies seek to utilize improved plant materials to change wildfire frequency and rebuild critical soil functions.
Project Description (Objectives)
Identify ecological and physiological mechanisms used by invasive weeds in extensive field and greenhouse experimentation using and by applying a broad array of physiological instrumentation and methodologies including infrared gas analysis, leaf fluorescence, herbicide injury, and soil nutrient analysis.
Identify and characterize desirable plant materials that are best adapted to combat invasive weeds using comparative physiology and morphology of leaf and root structures in search of key plant traits to perform desired ecological functions on disturbed rangelands.
Through cooperative research with plant breeders, facilitate efficient release of improved plant germplasm for use on semiarid rangelands by designing intensive and extensive experiments to characterize promising plant traits.