An Integral Projection Model for Bluebunch Wheatgrass

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Bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata), a local native bunchgrass species, has experienced significant decline over the past century. Historic overgrazing, competition with invasive species such as cheatgrass, and increasingly dry soil conditions may be responsible for this major decline. I created integral projection models of a bluebunch population in the Wallula Gap to analyze the long term behavior of this population and identify demographic patterns in bluebunch wheatgrass that can lead to the population’s survival or decline. Through the analysis of these models, conservation can efficiently target precise size stages of the bluebunch wheatgrass life cycle to maximize survival and reduce the cost of bluebunch wheatgrass restoration efforts.