Rangeland Ecology & Management

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Novel Ecosystem Management: Evidence for Alternative Strategies in the Northern Great Plains
Dornbusch, Megan Jane
North Dakota State University, College of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources, School of Natural Resource Sciences, Range Science
Publication Year

Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis, hereafter bluegrass) invasion in the northern Great Plains is reducing biodiversity and altering ecosystem properties. We cannot remove bluegrass from this system due to the extent of its invasion, so managers must control bluegrass invasion locally. However, effective management of bluegrass-invaded systems is unclear as they are novel ecosystems with no historic reference to guide current practices. First, we compared the influence of traditional and alternative grazing management strategies on invaded plant communities. Second, we quantified bluegrass fuel bed characteristics to inform prescribed fire management. Our findings indicate that alternative grazing management may be necessary to control bluegrass invasion and that restoring the fire and grazing interaction is a viable option. However, bluegrass fuel characteristics may challenge the implementation and success of prescribed fire management. As a whole, our findings reinforce the need for research on alternative management strategies for the conservation of imperiled ecosystems.

Resource Type
Document Type
Fire Ecology and Management
Grazing Ecology and Management
invasive species
novel ecosystems
Poa pratensis
northern Great Plains
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