Young mountain big sagebrush shown in the foreground. Photo by Dave Pyke, USGS photo gallery.
In this project we are evaluating the degree to which different Sage-grouse populations might be uniquely adapted to the local sagebrush plants, which make up the bulk of Sage-grouse diets during the fall and winter. Using target resequencing of several candidate genes, we are examining the evidence for functional genetic variation in genes that might allow Sage-grouse to specialize on locally available sagebrush varieties. This research is in collaboration with Boise State University.