Providing a Framework for Species Status Assessments of Southeastern Grassland Ecosystems

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Southeast CASC researchers produced a scientific needs assessment for southeastern grassland species and ecosystems that is intended to help guide science-based management of grassland species. 

A field of golden colored grasses surrounded by conifers under a blue sky.

Grasslands in the Piedmont region of the Southeastern US.  

(Public domain.)

Read the original news story posted by the Southeast CASC, here

Grasslands play an important role in the biodiversity of the southeastern United States but face a wide range of threats. Years of fire suppression, land-use change, and other human activities have significantly reduced the prominence of grassland ecosystems. Grassland managers and researchers from across the Southeast, led by the Southeastern Grasslands Initiative and the USGS, gathered to address these issues through a multi-stakeholder workshop held in January 2020. Participants consisted of managers and researchers with diverse expertise on grassland conservation, including a number of Southeast CASC researchers.  The workshop provided a scientific needs assessment for grassland species and communities of conservation concern in the southeastern United States.  

Dozens of research priorities and gaps in scientific knowledge were identified and were organized into five categories: 1) habitat loss and fragmentation, 2) climate change, 3) changes to disturbance regimes, 4) invasive species, and 5) localized impacts. Research priorities were then contextualized to help inform the Species Status Assessment (SSA) process under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The resulting workshop report provides a framework for grassland conservation efforts in the region that may help guide future research on grassland ecosystems. 

Read the full report, Science Needs of Southeastern Grassland Species of Conservation Concern: A Framework for Species Status Assessments, here

The report summarizes work supported by SE CASC project, “Clarifying Science Needs for Southeastern Grasslands”. 

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