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USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center staff publish results of their research in USGS series reports and in peer-reviewed journals. Publication links are below.  Information on all USGS publications can be found at the USGS Publications Warehouse.

Filter Total Items: 1843

Large increases in methane emissions expected from North America’s largest wetland complex

Natural methane (CH4) emissions from aquatic ecosystems may rise because of human-induced climate warming, although the magnitude of increase is highly uncertain. Using an exceptionally large CH4 flux dataset (~19,000 chamber measurements) and remotely sensed information, we modeled plot- and landscape-scale wetland CH4 emissions from the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR), North America’s largest wetla

The effects of management practices on grassland birds—Clay-colored Sparrow (Spizella pallida)

Keys to Clay-colored Sparrow (Spizella pallida) management include providing grasslands with a shrub or forb component or shrub-dominated edge habitat, which includes dense grass and moderately high litter cover, and avoiding disturbances that completely eliminate woody vegetation. Clay-colored Sparrows have been reported to use habitats with 20–186 centimeters (cm) average vegetation height, 3–50

Persistence and quality of vegetation cover in expired Conservation Reserve Program fields

For nearly 40 years, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has implemented practices to reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, and provide habitat for wildlife and pollinators on highly erodible cropland in the United States. However, an approximately 40,470 ha (10 million acres) decline in enrolled CRP land over the last decade has greatly reduced the program's environmental benefits. We so

Modeled production, oxidation, and transport processes of wetland methane emissions in temperate, boreal, and Arctic regions

Wetlands are the largest natural source of methane (CH4) to the atmosphere. The eddy covariance method provides robust measurements of net ecosystem exchange of CH4, but interpreting its spatiotemporal variations is challenging due to the co-occurrence of CH4 production, oxidation, and transport dynamics. Here, we estimate these three processes using a data-model fusion approach across 25 wetlands

Identifying physical characteristics and functional traits of forbs preferred or highly visited by bees in the Prairie Pothole Region

Establishing and enhancing pollinator habitat to support declining bee populations is a national goal within the United States. Pollinator habitat is often created through incentive-based conservation programs, and the inclusion of cost-effective forbs within the habitat design is a critical component of such programs. U.S. Geological Survey research from 2015 to 2019 identified forb species that

Maximizing the water quality benefits of wetlands in croplands

Key Takeaways Nutrient loads from croplands continue to negatively affect surface water quality, despite considerable investments in and adoption of agricultural conservation practices aimed at reducing nutrient losses. Numerous studies indicate that effective restoration and management of wetlands in and adjacent to cultivated croplands could reduce surface and subsurface nutrient loads to downst

The potential of Prairie Pothole wetlands as an agricultural conservation practice: A synthesis of empirical data

Nutrient pollution causing harmful algal blooms and eutrophication is a major threat to aquatic systems. Throughout North America, agricultural activities are the largest source of excess nutrients entering these systems. Agricultural intensification has also been a driver in the historical removal of depressional wetlands, contributing to increased hydrological connectivity across watersheds, and

Wetland occupancy by duck broods in cropland-dominated landscapes of the United States Prairie Pothole Region

The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) is globally important for breeding waterfowl but has been altered via wetland drainage and grassland conversion to accommodate agricultural land use. Thus, understanding the ecology of waterfowl in these highly modified landscapes is essential for their conservation. Brood occurrence is the cumulative outcome of key life-history events including pair formation and

Development of an online reporting format to facilitate the inclusion of ecosystem services into Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program reports

The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program is a program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency. The Secretary of Agriculture is required to submit an annual report to Congress on Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program agreements that, among other things, reports on the progress made towards fulfilling commitments outlined in the agreements. The U.S. Geological

Addressing detection uncertainty in Bombus affinis (Hymenoptera: Apidae) surveys can improve inferences made from monitoring

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service developed national guidelines to track species recovery of the endangered rusty patched bumble bee [Bombus affinis Cresson (Hymenoptera: Apidae)] and to investigate changes in species occupancy across space and time. As with other native bee monitoring efforts, managers have specifically acknowledged the need to address species detection uncertainty and determine