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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: The Cape May Plant Materials Center: Native grass technologies for the future
Year: 2010
Author(s): Miller, C.
Source Title:
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 85
Original Publication:  
Abstract: The USDA-NRCS recognizes that climate change and climate variability may impact the environment by potentially changing, among other things, soil and vegetation relationships. Due to the network of Plant Centers nationwide, the NRCS Plant Materials Program is particularly well-positioned to design and conduct regionally and nationally coordinated studies needed to support the Agency’s goals. In light of this, the Cape May Plant Materials Center (PMC) is taking a multipronged approach in relation to developing new plant technologies. The Center is screening existing PMC releases to determine tolerance to projected climate changes (e.g., increased drought, prolonged flooding, increased salt, etc.) and is developing new plant materials as needed to ensure sustained ecosystem diversity. Some of these priorities include selecting and testing more southern germplasm for adaptability to the northern Mid-Atlantic/Southern New England area. An example of this is the selection of cold-tolerant sea oats (Uniola paniculata) for added plant diversity on coastal dunes, north of where it presently occurs naturally. Also in the coastal environment, we are developing seeding technologies for smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) in cooperation with the Army Corps of Engineers when restoring tidal marshes. Lastly, native grasses are known for being deep rooted, but at what rate do native grasses assimilate organic carbon to various depths? A cooperating project with the USDA- ARS attempts to answer that question.
Publisher: Proceedings of the Seventh Eastern Native Grass Symposium. Knoxville, TN, October 5-8, 2010
Editor(s): C. Harper