Invasive Species Program

Effects and Restoration

The USGS develops strategies and techniques to understand and facilitate restoration of native species and habitats affected by invasive species. This is critical because control without restoration can leave the ecosystem vulnerable to subsequent reinvasion by the same or additional invasive species.The USGS develops strategies and techniques to understand and facilitate restoration of native species and habitats affected by invasive species. This is critical because control without restoration can leave the ecosystem vulnerable to subsequent reinvasion by the same or additional invasive species.

Filter Total Items: 16
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: May 23, 2019
Status: Active

Cheatgrass and Medusahead

Invasive annual grasses, such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae), are one of the most significant stressors to rangeland ecosystems in the western U.S. Their expansion and dominance across this area are the most damaging ecosystem agents on this iconic landscape.

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 21, 2018
Status: Active

Native Populations

USGS researchers monitor native populations for threats of invading species to improving understanding of the ecology of invaders and factors in resistance of habitats to invasion.

Contacts: Earl Campbell
Date published: June 21, 2018
Status: Active

Best Management Practices

Best management practices (BMPs) can be used to help prevent the spread of invasive species and help mitigate the consequences of invasive species once they have become established. BMPs provide a framework for natural resource managers to follow to effectively deal with, and prevent the spread of, invasive species.

Contacts: Earl Campbell
Date published: June 20, 2018
Status: Active

Species Reintroduction

The USGS develops strategies and techniques to understand and facilitate restoration of native species and habitats affected by invasive species.  This is critical because control without restoration can leave the ecosystem vulnerable to subsequent reinvasion by the same or additional invasive species.  

Contacts: Earl Campbell
Date published: June 20, 2018
Status: Active

Habitat Restoration

The USGS develops strategies and techniques to understand and facilitate restoration of native species and habitats affected by invasive species. This is critical because control without restoration can leave the ecosystem vulnerable to subsequent reinvasion by the same or additional invasive species.The USGS develops strategies and techniques to understand and facilitate restoration of native...

Contacts: Earl Campbell
Date published: January 4, 2018
Status: Active

Experimental suppression of invasive lake trout: Implications for conservation of imperiled bull trout in Glacier National Park

After 14,000 years of dominance, Glacier National Park’s (GNP) greatest native aquatic predator is at high risk of extirpation (local extinction) in several lakes on the western slopes of the Continental Divide. The decline of threatened bull trout in GNP is directly attributed to the invasion and establishment of nonnative lake trout, which consistently displace bull trout in systems where...

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Process-based Approaches for Ecological Restoration of Degraded Drylands

Surface disturbances ranging from military training, recreation, energy exploration and development, and wildfires impact a large majority of federal lands in the western US, but the ecological and economic impacts are poorly understood. Explore this webpage to learn how Dr. Lesley DeFalco and her research team are currently evaluating and refining conventional approaches for post-fire...

Contacts: Lesley DeFalco
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Aridlands Disturbances and Restoration Ecology

Desert landscapes are rapidly changing due to increases in invasive plant species, frequency of wildfires, urban and energy development, recreational use, military training, and climate variation. Dr. Todd Esque, USGS researchers, and collaborators are working together to investigate these changes and provide managers with key information that can be used to manage natural resources more...

Contacts: Todd Esque