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Keyword: grasslands

Historical northeastern forested boundary of the Great Plains grasslands in the United States

Datasets Posted on: December 30, 2020
Precise definition of the Great Plains grasslands has defied consensus, but historical vegetation reconstruction can provide a more authoritative boundary of the ecotone between the Great Plains and eastern forests. After comparing Great Plains boundaries, an eastern boundary was developed using evidence from historical tree surveys during the 1800s.

Managing invasive plants on Great Plains grasslands: A discussion of current challenges

Publications Posted on: October 02, 2020
The Great Plains of North America encompass approximately 1,300,000 km2 of land from Texas to Saskatchewan. The integrity of these lands is under continual assault by long-established and newly- arrived invasive plant species, which can threaten native species and diminish land values and ecological goods and services by degrading desired grassland resources.

Energy development in the Great Plains

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 24, 2020
Major U.S. energy sources – fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas), biofuels (ethanol), and wind – are concentrated in grassland ecosystems of the Great Plains. This research synthesized potential ecological effects and mitigation opportunities during renewable and non-renewable energy development in the Great Plains.  

Life in interstitial space: Biocrusts inhibit exotic but not native plant establishment in semi-arid grasslands

Publications Posted on: August 17, 2020
Exotic plant species commonly exploit disturbances more successfully than native plants. This outcome is widely attributed to the fact that disturbance reduces biotic resistance from native plant competitors. However, biocrusts, communities of mosses, lichens, and micro‐organisms, are a prominent component of semi‐arid grasslands occurring in the interstitial spaces between vascular plants.

Energy development and production in the Great Plains: Implications and mitigation opportunities

Publications Posted on: July 22, 2020
Energy is an integral part of society. The major US energy sources of fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas); biofuels (ethanol); and wind are concentrated in grassland ecosystems of the Great Plains. As energy demand continues to increase, mounting pressures will be placed on North American grassland systems. In this review, we present the ecological effects of energy development and production on grassland systems.

Grassland Sustainability

Publications Posted on: June 22, 2020
In this chapter we discuss grassland sustainability in the Southwest, grassland management for sustainability, national and local criteria and indicators of sustainable grassland ecosystems, and monitoring for sustainability at various scales. Ecological sustainability is defined as: [T]he maintenance or restoration of the composition, structure, and processes of ecosystems over time and space.

Historic and Contemporary Land Use in Southwestern Grassland Ecosystems

Publications Posted on: June 22, 2020
This chapter encompasses the lands of the Southwest as defined by Region 3 of the USDA Forest Service (USFS): Arizona, New Mexico, and portions of western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. I examine human use and modification of the grasslands/rangelands of this region, with an emphasis on those areas managed by the Forest Service.


Publications Posted on: June 22, 2020
This volume addresses the wildlife and fish of the grasslands in the Southwestern Region of the USDA Forest Service. Our intent is to provide information that will help resource specialists and decisionmakers manage wildlife populations within grassland ecosystems in the Southwestern United States. The information and analysis presented is at a Regional scale.

Grassland Assessment Categories and Extent

Publications Posted on: June 22, 2020
This chapter establishes a general framework for describing the various kinds of grasslands outlined in subsequent chapters. This framework outlines the major categories or classes of grasslands that occur as part of Southwestern terrestrial ecosystems within National Forest System lands and provides an ecological and environmental context in regards to how they differ in their floristic, geographic, spatial, and climatic settings.

Effects of fire on grassland soils and water: A review

Publications Posted on: June 08, 2020
Grasslands occur on all of the continents. They collectively constitute the largest ecosystem in the world, making up 40.5% of the terrestrial land area, excluding Greenland and Antarctica. Grasslands are not entirely natural because they have formed and developed under natural and anthropogenic pressures.