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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: 16

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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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 by the...
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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 by the...
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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, bee or...
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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, bee or...
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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...
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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...
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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 an...
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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 an...
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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 where...
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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 where...
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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 new...
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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 new...
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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 areas...
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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 areas...
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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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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, wetlands...
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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, wetlands...
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Can wetland water-management influence mercury bioaccumulation in songbirds and ducks at National Wildlife Refuges with mercury problems?

During summer 2017, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) initiated a collaborative research study focused on understanding if water-level management of wetlands at refuges can influence mercury bioaccumulation in wetland-dependent migratory birds. Birds are susceptible to the effects of mercury and can serve as indicators of contamination in ecosystems. We examined mercury...
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Can wetland water-management influence mercury bioaccumulation in songbirds and ducks at National Wildlife Refuges with mercury problems?

During summer 2017, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) initiated a collaborative research study focused on understanding if water-level management of wetlands at refuges can influence mercury bioaccumulation in wetland-dependent migratory birds. Birds are susceptible to the effects of mercury and can serve as indicators of contamination in ecosystems. We examined mercury...
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Long-term changes in pollinator resources (alfalfa, sweetclover, milkweed) and monarch butterfly populations in CRP grasslands

Federal cropland retirement programs are increasingly being used to provide resources for pollinators (e.g., nectar, pollen, host plants). Pollinator-friendly plant species (e.g., alfalfa, sweetclover) were readily included in seed mixes in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) grasslands since its inception in the 1985 Farm Bill. Through time, some native plant species (e.g., milkweeds) also...
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Long-term changes in pollinator resources (alfalfa, sweetclover, milkweed) and monarch butterfly populations in CRP grasslands

Federal cropland retirement programs are increasingly being used to provide resources for pollinators (e.g., nectar, pollen, host plants). Pollinator-friendly plant species (e.g., alfalfa, sweetclover) were readily included in seed mixes in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) grasslands since its inception in the 1985 Farm Bill. Through time, some native plant species (e.g., milkweeds) also...
Learn More