Strip Seeding California Grasslands to Restore Native Perennials and Improve Ecosystem Services (Video)

“California grasslands are very different from their original state,” said Professor Emilio Laca, an agricultural ecologist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis. “They have been completely invaded by exotic species, several of which have become naturalized in the ecosystem, and the grasslands have lost most of the native perennial plant component.” The…

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Russell Ranch Field Day – Kernza, Corn, and Small Grains (amongst many other topics)

“More than Yield: Exploring the Full Potential of Our Agroecosystems” was the theme at Russell Ranch Field Day on June 12. Field tours included three topic areas: Soil Structure, Carbon, and Microbes Management and Cropping for Resilience Irrigation, Nutrient Retention, and Disease In addition to field tours, there were a number of flash talks (in…

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Coast Redwood and Giant Sequoia Mega-Genomes Sequenced: Sequencing Brings Modern Tools to Redwood Conservation Efforts

Scientists have successfully sequenced the coast redwood and giant sequoia genomes, completing the first major milestone of a five-year project to develop the tools necessary to study these forests’ genomic diversity. The research partners, composed of the University of California, Davis, Johns Hopkins University and the Save the Redwoods League, are making the data publicly…

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The Power of Data: Improving the Management of Rangeland Ecosystems (Video)

Plant Sciences professors Ken Tate and Valerie Eviner, UC Davis, are highlighted in this video about rangeland management and working landscapes. Ken Tate is a statewide Cooperative Extension Specialist in California, who studies working rangelands to aid ranchers and managers in implementing sustainable livestock grazing management. Valerie Eviner studies variations in ecological controls over plant…

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Resilient Cropping Systems for a Sustainable Future – Agroecologist Amelie Gaudin

Overview: This article, from Scientia, addresses Professor Amelie Gaudin’s research on developing better and diverse agricultural cropping systems. “The ultimate goal of our research is to use agroecological principles to help develop more efficient and resilient cropping systems,” said Gaudin. –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  – Dr Amélie Gaudin at the…

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Six Faculty Join the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis – Gail Taylor, Brian Bailey, Barbara Blanco-Ulate, Pat Brown, Tom Buckley, Mohsen Mesgaran

As the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis finishes the academic year (2017–18) and embarks on a new year, it’s time to meet six new faculty who joined the department during the last two years. These faculty, covering broad discipline areas, have bolstered the breadth and strength of the renowned department. In the next…

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Native Wildflowers Bank on Seeds Underground to Endure Drought

Exotic Grasses Depleted Seed Bank Accounts During Drought While Natives Were Saved Quick Summary Native wildflowers saved a lot of seeds during California’s drought — 201 percent more than usual Exotic grasses decreased their seed bank by 52 percent during the drought Drought-tolerant wildflowers enjoyed the greatest increases Effects of a prolonged drought remain unknown,…

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Cooperative Extension is Key to Unlocking Public Engagement with Science

Summary: The need for scientists — and ecologists, in particular — to engage with the public is well known. This article addresses how the U.S. land-grant mission and the Cooperative Extension system have initiated, developed, and implemented models of public engagement for the past 100 years. Cooperative Extension engages through trusted and established relationships, and…

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Combining Vegetables and Livestock in Cambodian Farming

New research supported by the Horticulture Innovation Lab at UC Davis aims to help farmers in Cambodia better integrate growing vegetables, raising livestock and maintaining healthy soil — all in the same place. “By understanding the interactions between horticulture and livestock systems, we can help farmers make better use of agricultural inputs such as fertilizer…

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