Seed and seedling traits have strong impacts on establishment of a perennial bunchgrass in invaded semi-arid systems.

Leger, Atwater & James

Rangeland restoration is commonly done with commercially available seeds, which may have low genetic diversity and inappropriate traits for the local environment being restored. In this study we investigated variation in populations of squirreltail (Elymus elymoides), a native bunchgrass, from 34 sites throughout Nevada, California, and Oregon. Seedlings were more likely to establish in sites with climates similar to their home climate. However, root traits were a much better predictor of establishment success than home site, suggesting that root-trait screening may be a powerful tool in the selection of appropriate restoration material in the Great Basin.