U.S. forests play a large role in offsetting carbon emissions, about 20 % of the U.S. fossil fuel carbon output. If a forest replaces itself after a disturbance like fire, then there is no long-term loss of carbon.
Pawnee National Grasslands, Thunder Basin National Grassland, Nebraska National Forests & Grasslands, Dakota Prairie, Little Missouri National Grassland, Grand River National Grassland, Cedar River National Grassland, Sheyenne National Grasslands
FS Research Station(s):
Rocky Mountain Research Station
Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center
National Grasslands are large, diverse, and mostly intact native ecosystems that provide a wide variety of outputs and resource values. Approximately 86% of the 3.8 million acres of National Grasslands are located within the Northern Great Plains States of CO, NE, WY, SD, and ND, and may represent the last, large tracts of native short- and mixed-grass prairie in the United States. However, the structural and functional integrity of native grasslands are being threatened by intensive agriculture, urban and energy development, unmanaged recreation, and climate change. This project is strategically focused on National Grasslands issues that may adversely impact the diversity, productivity, and sustainability of what may be the last, large tracts of native grasslands in the United States.
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The expected outcome will be research and management that is strategically focused on National Grasslands issues that may adversely impact the diversity, productivity, and sustainability of what may be the last, large tracts of native grasslands in the United States. The first step of Phase I will involve preparing a comprehensive literature review and synthesis on the biology, ecology, and management of three non-native species: smooth brome, Kentucky bluegrass, and crested wheatgrass, in relation to northern Great Plains prairies. Vegetation inventory and monitoring information with respect to these 3 species and their native constituents will be solicited from each National Grassland. Finally, when appropriate, vulnerability assessments will be developed that describe how the natural/semi-natural/tame grassland matrix on the National Grasslands may be affected by projected changes in climate. The main objective of Phase II of the proposed project is to expand coverage to include lands near and adjacent to the National Grasslands and National Park Service lands.