Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

Management and Restoration

Understanding how ecosystems work and how chemical, geological, hydrological, and biological processes interact and change with human and natural alterations

Filter Total Items: 50
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: August 29, 2019
Status: Active

Support the Development of a National Park Service Midwest Region bison stewardship strategy

Bison have played a key role in shaping the grasslands of the Great Plains for millennia.  National Parks are a major last bastion for wild herds of the national mammal and symbol of the Department of the Interior. However, even as the National Park Service aims to maintain as natural as possible ecosystem conditions within its parks’ boundaries, managers regularly make decisions affecting...

Contacts: Amy Symstad
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

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

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 28, 2018
Status: Completed

Managing upland vegetation as a mitigation strategy for climate change impacts on prairie-pothole wetlands

The goal of this research is to increase knowledge of climate change effects on prairie-pothole wetlands and their ability to provide habitat to breeding waterfowl, and to identify potential upland management strategies with the potential to mitigate negative effects. Wetland simulation models suggest that climate change may result in increased drying of prairie-pothole wetlands as increased...

Contacts: David Mushet
Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

Data integration and information synthesis

Integrating data from multiple sources across various spatial and temporal scales is a challenge that Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center is taking on to facilitate more effective synthesis of information that is useful for understanding ecosystems and analysis of management decisions.  A revitalized focus on data management and documentation during this past year is a foundation to...

Contacts: Mark Wiltermuth
Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

Decision analysis and support

Natural resource decision makers face numerous challenges in terms of making choices to solve complex management problems. Many of these challenges stem from being overwhelmed by too many choices, uncertain or delayed outcomes, and multiple stakeholders with conflicting desires. Decision analysis (a.k.a. structured decision making) is set of qualitative and quantitative tools for structuring...

Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

Science support for Landscape Conservation Cooperatives

Conservation practitioners have begun to realize that the many of the land management challenges of the 21st century require a broad scale problem solving approach. Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC) work to implement such an approach by serving as a venue for multiple conservation partners to work together (e.g. federal and state agencies), identify common problems and...