Status and Trends Program

Management and Restoration

Successful restoration or rehabilitation of degraded species, habitats and ecosystems requires assessments of the status and trends of the impacted system before, during and after restoration. In addition, an ecological understanding is required to inform changes in resource management activities to support restoration, as well as to assess the relative success of the restoration and to adjust activities using adaptive approaches.

Filter Total Items: 27
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

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

Quantifying ecosystem services provided by depressional wetlands in the Upper Mississippi

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center has conducted multiple research efforts related to developing methodology for quantifying the environmental and societal services provided by prairie-pothole wetland ecosystems. In this effort, we are exploring the feasibility of applying methodologies similar to those developed wetland ecosystems within the Prairie Pothole Region to other landscapes...

Contacts: David Mushet
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...

Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

Quantify the multiple services performed by wetland ecosystems in the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States

This research effort is focused on incorporating land-use and land-cover change into forecasting models that accounted for variations in agricultural and conservation practices and programs. The primary tool being used is the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) modeling suite. We have parameterized this modeling tool for the prairie-pothole region, and developed...

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

Assessment of pattern tile drainage on wetland hydrology and ecosystem services in the Prairie Pothole Region

Prairie Pothole Region wetlands provide numerous ecological services to society such as wildlife habitat, water storage, and carbon sequestration. Agricultural production in the region has been enhanced through the expanded installation and use of subsurface drainage systems, but these systems may have a negative impact on the region’s wetlands, including those protected by conservation...

Contacts: Brian Tangen
Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

Development and validation of wetland-connectivity indicators in the U.S. Prairie Pothole Region

We are working in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to (1) quantify cumulative effects of prairie-pothole wetlands on stream communities; (2) explore relationships between aquatic-system connectivity and genetic-, species-, and ecosystem-scale biological diversity at watershed and landscape scales; (3) develop mapping unit descriptors based on biotic community traits...

Contacts: David Mushet
Date published: June 27, 2018
Status: Active

Understanding consequences of management strategies for farmed wetlands to ecosystem services in the Prairie Pothole Region

NPWRC is leading a partnership with North Dakota State University to examine ecological, social, and financial considerations of farming practices within temporarily-ponded wetlands. There has been a long history of cropping prairie pothole wetlands which are embedded within farm fields. Often wet conditions during spring or summer prevent farmers from getting a harvestable yield from these...

Contacts: Michael Anteau