Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
NEVADA FWO: Service Assists With Blackbrush Seed Collection
California-Nevada Offices , June 1, 2008
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Jeannie Stafford
Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima), typically produces a large quantities of seed every seven to 10 years, and 2008 happens to be one of those years.  By producing a lot of seed at one time, some of it survives predation by ant and rodents.  In an effort to conserve this keystone species and vegetation community, Interagency partners and volunteers have been collecting seed from this rare event for use in future restoration efforts. 

Blackbrush, a dense shrub growing up to two feet tall, is a major component of a transitional vegetation community between lower elevation creosote scrub and the higher elevation sagebrush pinion/juniper steppe in the Mojave Desert.  These shrubs also form the transition between the Mojave and the Great Basin Deserts, and in Nevada this vegetation community provides important winter forage for desert bighorn sheep. 

Over the last years, frequent wildfire and invasion by non-native plants has taken a toll on the blackbrush.  Resource managers are hoping that by collecting some of this year's banner crop of seed, they will be able to mimic the natural dispersal process, use these seeds to revegetate burned areas, and also use them in restoration of areas within the Desert National Wildlife Refuge in southern Nevada.


Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov
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