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Empirical and provisional seed transfer zones for the Mojave Desert and surrounding regions

Metadata Updated: October 28, 2023

Empirical evidence that local adaptation and home-site advantages are frequent across plant taxa has increased recognition that local adaptation plays a fundamental role in shaping plant responses to seed transfer (i.e., when plant materials are introduced to a site during restoration). Use of maladapted plant materials can lead to poor project outcomes if propagules exhibit poor germination or seedling survival, low population fitness, inbreeding or outbreeding depression. Accounting for local adaptation in restoration designs is a promising approach for increasing revegetation effectiveness, particularly in drylands where extreme environmental variation potentially drives high levels of selection. Consequently, demand has increased for genetically appropriate plant materials for use in arid land restoration. Over the past several decades, both the scope of restoration treatments and the use of native species have increased on public lands in the western United States. Coordinated efforts among public agencies, universities, and other partners are focused on developing a sustainable supply of native seeds to meet future demands. Empirical Seed Transfer Zones Seed provenance strategies that incorporate spatially explicit genetic information promote effective revegetation by reducing genetic risk factors, such as maladaptation, outbreeding, and inbreeding depression. This project uses genetic analyses to develop empirical seed transfer zones for species that have been genotyped in the Mojave Desert. Empirical seed transfer zones delineate areas within which seeds may be transferred with limited risk of maladaptation. Seed transfer zones for each species are based on a multivariate spatial model linking variation in potentially adaptive genetic loci with gradients in climate, including variation in precipitation and temperature. The full details of these analyses are described in the accompanying publication (Shryock et al. 2017; Provisional Seed Transfer Zones Despite considerable effort, genetic guidelines are still lacking for numerous plant species that are desirable targets for restoration. In place of species-specific genetic studies, provisional seed transfer zones have been the preferred alternative for seed-sourcing on public lands. Provisional seed transfer zones use climate variation as a proxy for local adaptation and are intended to aid seed transfer decisions when genetic information is not available for a species. A secondary goal of this project was to develop improved provisional seed transfer zones for arid regions of the desert southwest (including the Southern Great Basin, Colorado Plateau, Mojave Desert, and Sonoran Desert) through a robust multivariate analysis. Although species and populations differ with respect to the mechanisms shaping local adaptation, multivariate climate models capture a holistic representation of the variation in climate and are most likely to represent relevant environmental variation across different species and functional types. The provisional seed transfer zones provided here are based on climate variables of known importance to desert plants, including averages, extremes, and ranges of variability in both precipitation and temperature. The full details of this analysis are described in an accompanying publication (Shryock et al. 2018;

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date October 28, 2023

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI EDI

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date October 28, 2023
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Identifier USGS:5ea88c8482cefae35a1faf16
Data Last Modified 20210115
Category geospatial
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 010:12
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id cf88214f-8296-4449-90e8-dea2adf5fe85
Harvest Source Id 52bfcc16-6e15-478f-809a-b1bc76f1aeda
Harvest Source Title DOI EDI
Metadata Type geospatial
Old Spatial -120.344,31.3322,-105.344,42.3572
Publisher Hierarchy White House > U.S. Department of the Interior > U.S. Geological Survey
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 889cc87579ac3bd39f5fcdddea086f61d4755efde7148de10736afb3f90a0331
Source Schema Version 1.1
Spatial {"type": "Polygon", "coordinates": -120.344, 31.3322, -120.344, 42.3572, -105.344, 42.3572, -105.344, 31.3322, -120.344, 31.3322}

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