Rachel Hager

Ph.D. Candidate, Utah State University

Field Travel Grant Type 1

Impact of seed diversity on restoration outcomes with environmental extremes

“Revegetation as part of wetland restoration is a critical step towards reversing trends of wetland loss and reestablishing lost functions and services. Given that there are choices in where practitioners may source their plant materials for revegetation in wetlands, it is necessary to understand how variation in traits of a particular species may be distributed within and among potential plant material collection sites across the landscape. Of particular importance, given predictions for the Western United States of decreased water availability, increased temperature, and eutrophication, is how might seedlings sourced from different sites vary in their abilities to cope with future environmental extremes. By examining differences in performance under extreme environmental conditions across three different species and across multiple seed sources per species, we will better understand how to improve vegetation establishment under future conditions. My research will address: To what extent does seed source affect seed and seedling performance with increased drought, temperatures, and eutrophication?”