Interesting Facts

- Squirreltail is an important plant for the recovery of oil shale and coal mines (USDA 2010).

- The seeds of E. elymoides germinate best in soil depths of a quarter of an inch to a half of an inch (USDA 2006).

- The nutrients in bottlebrush squirreltail change throughout the year. Sulfur, Phosphorus and Potassium levels tend to drop between March and October (EOL 2013).

- Bottlebrush squirreltail does not contain a substantial amount of nutrients such as Phosphorus or digestible proteins. However, it does provide ample amounts of energy for an organism that consumes it (EOL 2013).

- Bottlebrush squirreltail is commonly referred to as Sitanion hystrix (EOL 2013).

Subspecies of E. elymoides include (USDA 2014):
- E. elymoides ssp. brevifolius
- E. elymoides ssp. californicus
- E. elymoides ssp. elymoides
- E. elymoides ssp. hordeoides

Why or how did we choose our organism?
Our instructor, Dr. Meredith Thomsen, currently conducts climate change research in Northern California every summer. As part of her research, Elymus elymoides is a plant that is located at her field site. She allowed us to choose any organism that was present at this reserve. We ultimately chose E. elymoides because it sounded unique. After thoroughly researching this organism we found out how important it is for ecosystems that have been either taken over by invasive species, or environments that are commonly affected by fire, wind, or water erosion. The image below is a picture of the field site where she performs her research, Angelo Coast Range Reserve.


Return to the Interactions page, or continue on to check out additional pictures of Elymus elymoides in the Gallery.  

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