Shrub Science Laboratory, Rocky Mountain Research Station (SSLP)
Shrubs are the dominant form of plant life on vast areas of North America, as well as on other continents. Shrub dominance is a consequence of major climatic and geologic patterns. Approximately 548,000 square miles (142 million hectares) of the western United States are characterized by shrubland dominance. Sizable additional areas classified as forests, woodlands, grasslands, or riparian corridors include an important shrub component. Despite the large size of these shrub-dominated ecosystems, they are often poorly understood and frequently abused as a natural resource. Research is needed to better understand and manage these plant communities and their associated biota. The Provo Shrub Sciences Lab is located in Provo, Utah near the Brigham Young University campus. As part of the Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Program in the Rocky Mountain Research Station, scientists conduct original research and collaborate with researchers and managers from private and public universities and state, federal, and foreign agencies on aspects of shrub and shrubland biology, ecology, and management. Research focus areas are inter-related and address challenges to shrubland conservation and management under the over-arching realities of a changing world.