Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

Invasive Species

Research, monitoring, and technology development for containing or eradicating non-indigenous species with potential to cause significant ecologic or economic damage or impact human health

Filter Total Items: 14
Date published: September 24, 2019
Status: Active

Fish and Wildlife seasonal and temporary wetland assessment

The Prairie Pothole Region supports some of the most productive wetlands in the world for waterfowl. Up to 90% of seasonal and temporary wetlands have been lost in areas of the PPR due to the conversion of grasslands to croplands and the drainage of wetlands. Department of the Interior Waterfowl Production Areas (WPA) and National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) in North Dakota, South Dakota, and...

Contacts: Sheel Bansal
Date published: August 29, 2019
Status: Active

Sourcing plants for conservation and restoration: developing a risk assessment framework

Tallgrass prairie species are planted in a variety of settings for a variety of reasons. Much of the seed used for these plantings is produced commercially in agricultural-like conditions and can be contaminated by “weed seeds.” In this study, we are creating an analytical tool to assess the risk of inadvertently introducing weed seeds into a prairie planting. We purpose that increasing the...

Contacts: Diane Larson
Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

An adaptive management framework to control invasive annual brome grasses in Northern Great Plains parks (ABAM)

Invasion by annual brome grasses (cheatgrass and Japanese or field brome) into National Park Service units (parks) in the Northern Great Plains (NGP) impacts park historical and ecological integrity by reducing native plant diversity and altering ecosystem functioning. Parks currently implement few management actions targeting annual bromes, and consequently these species persist and have even...

Contacts: Amy Symstad
Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

What role does prescribed fire play in managing annual bromes in Northern Great Plains grasslands?

Prescribed fire is used in grasslands throughout the Northern Great Plains National Park Service units (parks) to manage fuel loads, control nonnative species, and maintain a vital ecosystem process. Questions about its effects in areas with invasive annual brome grasses require answers to ensure its application produces desired results. Using an experimental approach at two parks in South...

Contacts: Amy Symstad
Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

Improving wildlife habitat through management and restoration of native prairies on lands under Fish and Wildlife Service ownership

The extent of native prairie throughout the north-central United States has sharply declined since European settlement, and much that remains has been invaded by introduced cool-season grasses, reducing floristic diversity and quality. On lands under its ownership, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working to restore native prairie integrity by reducing occurrence of introduced species...

Contacts: Terry Shaffer
Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

Decision support for restoration and management of Service-owned native prairies: Implications for grassland bird communities

More than 100,000 ha of native tallgrass and mixed-grass prairies are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in the northern Great Plains.  Although prairies in this region evolved with grazing, fire, and climatic variability, management of FWS grasslands often has been passive and involved extended periods of rest.  In 2008, the USGS and the FWS initiated a collaborative effort,...

Contacts: Lawrence Igl
Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

Evaluation of tallgrass prairie restoration methods to improve resistance to invasive species and maintenance of plant species diversity over time

When reconstructing native tallgrass prairie from abandoned farmland, patience can pay off. In this research effort, we observed that as reconstructions matured, Canada thistle cover declined even though herbicides were not applied.  There is no single best planting method for all situations.  Ten years after planting, cover of planted, native non-planted, and exotic species varied little...

Contacts: Diane Larson
Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

Developing evaluation and monitoring frameworks for tallgrass prairie reconstruction

Thousands of hectares of retired farmland are planted with tallgrass prairie species each year.  If the methods used and resulting characteristics of these prairies are recorded, compiled, and analyzed, they can provide a valuable resource for evaluating seed mixes, planting methods, and post-planting management.  Toward this end, collaborators in the Prairie Reconstruction Initiative, funded...

Contacts: Diane Larson
Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

Effects of invasive plant species on reproduction of the rare endemic plant Dakota buckwheat (Eriogonum visheri) at Badlands National Park

 Endemism in plants is extremely uncommon in the Great Plains.  Dakota buckwheat is a rare, endemic plant found in only a few locations at Badlands National Park and sites with similar soils outside the park.  In an earlier study, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center inferred that of two common, co-flowering invasive plants, Russian thistle was more likely than yellow sweetclover to...

Contacts: Diane Larson
Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

Evaluation of conservation grazing versus prescribed fire to manage tallgrass prairie remnants for plant and pollinator species diversity

With scarcely 2% of native tallgrass prairie remaining today, it is imperative that we wisely manage what little remains to conserve prairie-dependent plants, pollinators, other animals and ecosystem processes.  Two commonly used methods of prairie management are prescribed fire and conservation grazing.  Either method may present trade-offs with respect to conservation of vulnerable plant,...

Contacts: Diane Larson
Date published: June 27, 2018
Status: Completed

Interactions of consolidation drainage and climate on water-level dynamics, wetland productivity, and waterbirds

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) recently completed a project aimed at understanding the impacts of wetland drainage on wetlands that receive drainage water. The biological communities of prairie pothole wetlands evolved in a hydrologically dynamic system due to periodic wet and dry conditions.  NPWRC research indicates that relative to wetlands in undrained landscapes,...

Contacts: Michael Anteau
Date published: June 27, 2018
Status: Active

Interaction of land use and wet/dry cycles on invertebrate populations of northern prairie wetlands: implications for waterbird habitat conservation

This effort is aimed at understanding how productivity of larger and more permanent wetlands is influenced by a combination of inter-annual hydrological dynamics and land-use impacts. Historically, aquatic-invertebrates productivity and abundance was driven by inter-annual hydrological dynamics because drying periods allow for nutrient cycling and a subsequent pulse of productivity when wet...

Contacts: Michael Anteau