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Grasslands: Great Plains and Prairie Potholes

Filter Total Items: 14

Advancing the Environmental DNA Toolkit for Ecosystem Monitoring and Management

The emerging field of Environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis allows characterization of species presence and community biodiversity by identifying trace amounts of genetic material left behind as organisms move through their environments. EESC scientists have been using eDNA technologies to detect native and rare species and as community biomonitoring tools.
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Advancing the Environmental DNA Toolkit for Ecosystem Monitoring and Management

The emerging field of Environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis allows characterization of species presence and community biodiversity by identifying trace amounts of genetic material left behind as organisms move through their environments. EESC scientists have been using eDNA technologies to detect native and rare species and as community biomonitoring tools.
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Mapping Grassland Bird Community Distribution under a Changing Climate

Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, and Oklahoma State University are studying the distribution of grassland bird communities across the western Great Plains to anticipate how species distributions may respond to a changing climate.
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Mapping Grassland Bird Community Distribution under a Changing Climate

Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, and Oklahoma State University are studying the distribution of grassland bird communities across the western Great Plains to anticipate how species distributions may respond to a changing climate.
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Ecosystems We Study: Grasslands

America’s grasslands are in the middle of the country where there is insufficient rain to support forests but too much to be a desert.
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Ecosystems We Study: Grasslands

America’s grasslands are in the middle of the country where there is insufficient rain to support forests but too much to be a desert.
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Grazing resources for integrated conservation of bison and native prairie at Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Badlands National Park (BADL) contains one of the largest protected expanses of mixed-grass prairie in the United States, much of which supports a herd of nearly wild bison. The park nevertheless is too small to accommodate bison’s natural nomadic behavior, which in the past resulted in their ephemeral but intense influence on Great Plains grasslands. This research is assessing the spatial...
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Grazing resources for integrated conservation of bison and native prairie at Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Badlands National Park (BADL) contains one of the largest protected expanses of mixed-grass prairie in the United States, much of which supports a herd of nearly wild bison. The park nevertheless is too small to accommodate bison’s natural nomadic behavior, which in the past resulted in their ephemeral but intense influence on Great Plains grasslands. This research is assessing the spatial...
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An adaptive management framework to control invasive annual brome grasses in Northern Great Plains parks (ABAM)

Invasion by annual brome grasses (cheatgrass and Japanese brome) and other exotic annual grasses into National Park Service units (parks) in the Northern Great Plains (NGP) impacts park ecological and historical landscape integrity. The Annual Brome Adaptive Management (ABAM) decision support tool (DST) was built to support vegetation management decision making, particularly regarding these...
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An adaptive management framework to control invasive annual brome grasses in Northern Great Plains parks (ABAM)

Invasion by annual brome grasses (cheatgrass and Japanese brome) and other exotic annual grasses into National Park Service units (parks) in the Northern Great Plains (NGP) impacts park ecological and historical landscape integrity. The Annual Brome Adaptive Management (ABAM) decision support tool (DST) was built to support vegetation management decision making, particularly regarding these...
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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, the...
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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, the...
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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 under...
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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 under...
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Importance of wetlands in intensively farmed landscapes to duck production

The Prairie Pothole Region of the northern Great Plains annually hosts 50–80% of North America’s ducks during the breeding season. Accordingly, there are significant government and private funds that go to conservation for the purposes of improving duck production in the region. The Prairie Pothole Region ecosystem has a number of stressors, intensive agriculture being chief among them. The...
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Importance of wetlands in intensively farmed landscapes to duck production

The Prairie Pothole Region of the northern Great Plains annually hosts 50–80% of North America’s ducks during the breeding season. Accordingly, there are significant government and private funds that go to conservation for the purposes of improving duck production in the region. The Prairie Pothole Region ecosystem has a number of stressors, intensive agriculture being chief among them. The...
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Restoration of wetland invertebrates to improve wildlife habitat in Minnesota

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) is investigating limitations to restoring abundant aquatic macroinvertebrate populations to Minnesota wetlands and shallow lakes. Recent research on larger more permanent wetlands in Minnesota indicates that there have been decreases in quality of wetlands of use by ducks. That research also describes a decline in abundance of amphipods, a shrimp...
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Restoration of wetland invertebrates to improve wildlife habitat in Minnesota

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) is investigating limitations to restoring abundant aquatic macroinvertebrate populations to Minnesota wetlands and shallow lakes. Recent research on larger more permanent wetlands in Minnesota indicates that there have been decreases in quality of wetlands of use by ducks. That research also describes a decline in abundance of amphipods, a shrimp...
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Quantifying the effects of land-use change and bioenergy crop production on ecosystem services in the Northern Great Plains

Rising commodity crop prices, increased federal subsidies for biofuels, such as corn-based ethanol and soy-based biodiesel, and reduction in U.S. Farm Bill conservation programs have facilitated rapid land-use changes in the Northern Great Plains (NGP). Although renewable biofuels are touted as a mechanism for increasing energy security and potentially reducing greenhouse gas emissions, little is...
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Quantifying the effects of land-use change and bioenergy crop production on ecosystem services in the Northern Great Plains

Rising commodity crop prices, increased federal subsidies for biofuels, such as corn-based ethanol and soy-based biodiesel, and reduction in U.S. Farm Bill conservation programs have facilitated rapid land-use changes in the Northern Great Plains (NGP). Although renewable biofuels are touted as a mechanism for increasing energy security and potentially reducing greenhouse gas emissions, little is...
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Agricultural Practices

Environmentally responsible land management has direct and indirect implications for wildlife, water quality, and air quality in terrestrial, aquatic, and marine ecosystems far beyond their extent. Agricultural land use accounts for over 50 percent of the surface area of the contiguous United States. Public recognition that social, aesthetic, and recreational values enhance the traditional uses of...
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Agricultural Practices

Environmentally responsible land management has direct and indirect implications for wildlife, water quality, and air quality in terrestrial, aquatic, and marine ecosystems far beyond their extent. Agricultural land use accounts for over 50 percent of the surface area of the contiguous United States. Public recognition that social, aesthetic, and recreational values enhance the traditional uses of...
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New Approaches for Restoring Colorado Plateau Grasslands

Historic over-grazing of arid grasslands in the Intermountain West has led to widespread soil erosion, loss of plant diversity, and invasion by exotic species. Degraded grassland conditions can be very persistent, even after livestock use has ceased. For example, in national parks on the Colorado Plateau, livestock have been excluded for decades, but soil and native plants have not recovered on...
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New Approaches for Restoring Colorado Plateau Grasslands

Historic over-grazing of arid grasslands in the Intermountain West has led to widespread soil erosion, loss of plant diversity, and invasion by exotic species. Degraded grassland conditions can be very persistent, even after livestock use has ceased. For example, in national parks on the Colorado Plateau, livestock have been excluded for decades, but soil and native plants have not recovered on...
Learn More