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Agricultural Landuse Change Impacts on Bioenergy Production, Avifauna and Water Use in Nebraska's Rainwater BasinTo determine how the conversion of marginal agricultural lands to bioenergy switchgrass strands impact Rainwater Basin grassland bird abundance.
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Amphibian Monitoring Techniques (in Relation to Wetland Qualities and the Surrounding Landscape - Rainwater Basin Region)To establish a program to monitor populations of amphibians in south central Nebraska's wetland complex in order to detect changes in presence in this region over time (if monitoring is continued). The acquired data will provide inferential insight into the presence or absence of amphibian species and changes in individual species presence and community composition.
Read more about Amphibian Monitoring Techniques (in Relation to Wetland Qualities and the Surrounding Landscape - Rainwater Basin Region).
Angler Behavior in Response to Management Actions on Nebraska ReservoirsTo understand 1) the participation patterns of anglers on local and regional scales, and 2) how participation patterns of anglers influence fish populations.
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Angler Behavior in Response to Management Actions on Nebraska Reservoirs - Part IIProject goals are to understand 1) the participation patterns of anglers on multiple spatial and temporal scales; 2) how participation patterns of anglers influence fish populations and associated communities; 3) how management actions influence angler participation patterns and, in turn, fish communities; and 4) interactions and feedback mechanisms between and among angler groups and fish communi
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Assessing the Relationship Between Stable Isotopes and Grassland Bird Productivity on Great Plains National Park Service PropertiesAvian nest survival will be intensively monitored in three NPS units (Pipestone National Monument, MN; Homestead National Monument, NE; and Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, KS). Stable isotope values will be determined for feather and blood samples taken from nestlings and breeding adults. The two target grassland bird species are meadowlarks (eastern and western), and dickcissels.
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Assessment of Angler Use and Catch During 2016 at Sutherland Reservoir, NebraskaThe purpose of this study is to estimate angler use and catch at Sutherland Reservoir, Nebraska, during April through October 2016. Specifically, we will obtain monthly and yearly estimates of angler pressure, catch, and harvest. This information will allow the Nebraska Public Power District to evaluate angler use and influence of the fishery at Sutherland Reservoir.
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Assessment of Angler Use and Catch During 2018 at Sutherland Reservoir, NebraskaThe purpose of this study is to estimate angler use and catch at Sutherland Reservoir, Nebraska, from April through October 2018. Specifically, we obtained monthly estimates of angler pressure, catch, and harvest. This information will allow the Nebraska Public Power District to evaluate angler use and influence of the fishery at Sutherland Reservoir.
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Avian Habitat Relationships Across Ecological ScalesUsing geographic information system spatial analysis tools, we are analyzing data from avian point count surveys and local vegetation assessments within a larger land cover layer of Nebraska.
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Better Soils for BirdsThis project investigates how disturbance is used as a tool by managers to improve the quality of grasslands enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). To achieve this aim, we are tracking 1) soil, 2) plant, 3) pollinator, and 4) ground–dwelling macroinvertebrates response to the disturbances used by managers that serve as analogies for historical disturbance.
Biodiversity, Disturbance, and Resilience: Evaluating the Role of Biodiversity in Moderating Ecosystem Response to Interacting DisturbancesBy systematically introducing multiple disturbances to research units established within large restoration plots, aims to bridge the gap between tightly controlled mesocosm experiments and uncontrolled observational studies linking biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.
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Bioenergetics and Habitat Suitability Models for the Chinese Mystery Snail (Bellamya Chinensis)This research attempted to help clarify some of the mystery for the Chinese mystery snail, a species we knew very little about at the onset of the study. We investigated the specie's ecology in laboratory experiments and assessed variables in the field that may be used to predict the species' distribution.
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Canid Distribution and the Potential Impacts of Energy Development in NebraskaThe project goal is to understand how habitat structure, landscape attributes, and behavioral intraguild interactions, across multiple spatial and temporal scales, affect habitat use and geographic distribution of Nebraska’s canids species and how development may alter these relationships.
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Chinese Mystery Snail (Bellamya Chinensis) Ecology and ImpactsTo address research questions related to the invasive Chinese mystery snail. Aspects of the project include studies of life-history traits, habitat preferences, population size, movement capabilities, desiccation tolerance, feeding methods, possible predators, shell strength, mark retention, and distribution.
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Climatic Constraints on Bobwhite Quail Populations Along Their Northern ExtentTo identify how climate and weather (e.g., snow storms, spring rains) alter quail physiology and behavioral decisions to impact population stability in Nebraska so we can further inform management strategies.
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Convergence NNA: Adaptive Capacity and Resilience in the New Arctic: Identifying Pathways to Equitable, Desirable Outcomes for People and Nature Through ConvergenceThe goal of the workshops is to convene expert participants with relevant, disparate expertise to converge around six thematic goals to understand how transformations in the New Arctic can be managed to reduce inequitable and undesirable outcomes for people and nature. The workshops will commence with listening sessions led by Indigenous and other Arctic stakeholders.
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Cross-Scale Structure in EcosystemsTo determine the distribution of functional groups within and across scales, the association of measures of biotic variability in vertebrates (e.g., invasions, extinctions, nomadism, migration) with discontinuities in body mass distributions, and cross-scale analyses of patterns in body mass distributions from local to hemispheric scales.
Developing a Network for Invasive Species Outreach and Monitoring in Nebraska• Decrease the risk of invasive species introduction and spread through volunteer training workshops, and by targeted messaging across multiple user groups;
• Develop and implement a “next generation” invasive species education strategy;
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Dynamics and Trade-offs Among Social, Economic, and Ecological Components of Resilience in Working Agricultural LandscapesThis project applies resilience thinking and panarchy theory to questions of sustainable development at FEWS nexuses in landscapes worldwide. Expected products include frameworks for adaptively governing and managing for resilience and ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes, as well as frameworks for avoiding social–ecological traps, such as poverty and rigidity traps.
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Dynamics of Resilience in Complex Adaptive SystemsThis project had two objectives.
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Ecological Applications of Time-Lapse PhotographyTo connect environmental changes, documented by time-lapse imagery, with bioacoustic data and water quality measurements to further our understanding of ecological variability and communicate complex system changes to a public audience.
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Estimating River Otter Density Using Non-invasive Genetic TechniquesThis project used DNA from river otter scat to estimate otter density in the Big Bend Reach of the Platte River and evaluated the feasibility of using the technique to estimate otter population densities throughout Nebraska.
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Evaluating the Benefits of Higher Diversity CRP Plantings for At-Risk Species• Determine if higher diversity CRP plantings provide habitat and forage for at–risk grassland butterfly species: Higher diversity CRP planting mixes more often contained forage species for at–risk butterflies. CP38 was typically best suited for all species.
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Evaluating the Value and Efficacy of Agricultural Conservation Programs for Landowners and Conservation PractitionersThis project will work with conservation practitioners and landowners throughout the state of Nebraska to evaluate the perceptions and values of landowners, specifically:
1. What are the perceptions and perceived values of the CRP program?
2. What are the perceptions and perceived values of the alternative CRP practices and the associated management requirements and approaches?
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Evaluating Wetland Condition Across NebraskaThe primary goals of this project are:
1. Evaluate the vegetation of the vegetation, soil and water of Nebraska wetlands, within five Biologically Unique Landscapes.
2. Identify benchmarks for similar wetlands to be compared to in the future.
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Evaluation of Landowner Incentives Program (LIP)This research project focuses on the response of species at risk. Assessment has focused on elements that are likely to respond rapidly, such as vegetation structure (which are directly manipulated in the LIP), insect communities (which have short generation times), and bird communities (which respond to vegetative structure).
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Fremont State Lakes Renovation Study: The Effects of Alum Application and Fishery Renovation on Water QualityThe goal of this study is to understand how physical drivers (e.g., lake-basin structure and groundwater flow) and biological drivers (e.g., fish community composition) interact to affect the longevity and effectiveness of alum additions for improving water quality. This will be addressed through three major tasks:
1. Monitoring physical and chemical water quality
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Generation of Novelty in Complex SystemsTo explore the causes and consequences of the generation of novelty and innovation for humans, for social systems and for ecological systems, we convened a small diverse group of researchers from diverse disciplines, with a variety of approaches and backgrounds, where we believe a deliberate focus on the concept of novelty could be fruitful.
Generation of Novelty in Complex SystemsTo explore the causes and consequences of the generation of novelty and innovation for humans, for social systems and for ecological systems, we will convene a small diverse group of researchers from diverse disciplines, with a variety of approaches and backgrounds, where we believe a deliberate focus on the concept of novelty could be fruitful.
Global Change, Vulnerability and Resilience: Management Options for an Uncertain FutureOur objectives for this project are to develop models to detect and assess ecological regime shifts in space and time, to identify components of adaptive capacity, and to identify species and techniques that may serve as leading indicators of thresholds of changing ecological regimes.
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Impact of White Perch on WalleyeTo document potential competition bottlenecks that exist between white perch and other fish species of importance in the hopes of developing a management program to eliminate the "stunted" status for the white perch population in Branched Oak Lake and to prevent stunting of the white perch population in Pawnee Lake.
Implementing the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat)1. Maintain bat sampling in (35) 10 km x 10 km NABat grid cells throughout the state.
2. Contribute bat data to the U.S. Geological Survey for use in the continent-wide North American Bat Monitoring Program.
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Incorporating Soil Ecological Knowledge into Management of CRP LandsTo evaluate how different mid-contract management strategies address the goal of improving upland game bird habitat, and also seeks to quantify the effects of mid-contract management on soil, plants, and insects.
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Influence of Trout Stocking on Tier I/II FishesThe goal of this project was to gain a better understanding of the interactions between non-native trout and species of concern in Nebraska headwater streams to better predict the outcomes of future trout stockings.
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Local and Landscape Constraints on Habitat Management for Upland BirdsThroughout the Great Plains, changing land-use practices are resulting in large scale biodiversity loss and an ever increasing dependence on effective conservation and restoration efforts provided by private, state, and federal agencies. Yet, far too often local management efforts fail to demonstrate the desired outcome for wildlife populations.
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Management Induced Shifts in Pheasant Reproductive StrategiesBecause pheasants are relatively short-lived, successful reproduction is paramount to population growth. The goal of this project is to better understand how management actions (e.g., habitat enhancement programs, harvest management) influence pheasant reproduction and subsequently pheasant population growth.
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Merging Social and Ecological Network Models1. Identify how the social component of ecosystems can be integrated into ecological network analysis (or vice versa); and
2. Apply and adapt the current ecological network analysis approach to predict movement, likelihood of introduction, and establishment of aquatic invasive species.
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Missouri River Mitigation: Implementation of Amphibian Monitoring and Adaptive Management for Wetland Restoration EvaluationIn 2008 a multi-institutional project funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was initiated in four states (Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska). The main goal of the project is to assess the success of previously restored wetlands and to create wetland restoration guidelines for future use.
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Monitoring Mapping and Risk Assessment for Non-Indigenous Invasive Species in NebraskaTo help build a cohesive non-indigenous species biosecurity and management system in Nebraska that is integrated and relatively seamless across institutional boundaries. Also,to map the potential spread of many invasive species in Nebraska.
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Population Assessment of Channel Catfish in NebraskaCurrent standards for sampling channel catfish in lentic systems often yield inadequate catch to assess populations. The objective of this study was to utilize a recently developed sampling method, tandem-set hoop nets, to collect channel catfish in sufficient quantities to describe the effects of stocking and habitat variability on populations in lentic ecosystems.
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Population Assessments of Temperate Basses in Nebraska ReservoirsManagers needed baseline information on the abundances and spatial distributions of white perch and gizzard shad to assist in implementing effective actions for removing large proportions of these populations. Also, the effects of management actions need to be described to improve future management actions.
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Predators of White Perch at Branched Oak and Pawnee ReservoirsThe purpose of this project was to quantify food habits of adult white crappie, walleye, channel catfish, flathead catfish, hybrid striped bass and white bass to determine which, if any, of these fishes prey on white perch.
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Range and Habitat Usage of Northern Long-Eared Bats in NebraskaThis project aims to evaluate distribution and habitat usage of the Northern Long-Eared bat throughout the state. This critical information will allow managers and biologists to focus future conservation efforts on areas that will have the greatest positive impact.
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Recruitment of Walleye and White Bass in Irrigation ReservoirsThe purpose of this project was to gain an understanding of the factors affecting recruitment of walleye and white bass in irrigation reservoirs. The primary foci were to document the relative importance of spawning habitats, and the timing of recruitment bottlenecks for walleye and white bass in southwest Nebraska irrigation reservoirs.
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Resilience in EcosystemsWe are conducting experimental and empirical tests of the model of cross-scale resilience.
River Otter Distribution and Abundance in NebraskaThe goal of this research is to provide state furbearer managers with a more complete picture of North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) distribution in the state of Nebraska so that they may be better equipped to make management decisions regarding the conservation status and harvest potential of this species in the state.
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River Otter Home Range and Habitat UseThis project is collecting home range and habitat use information on river otters along the big bend area of the Platte River using radio telemetry.
Shifting Avian Spatial Regimes in a Changing ClimateThe uncertainties associated with global change support the need for a framework that allows the explicit incorporation of non-linear responses of complex systems.
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Southeast Prairies and Sandstone Prairies Biological Landscape ResearchTo most effectively and efficiently manage prairies, while maintaining critical plant-insect relationships indicative of system fluctuation.
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Spatial Risk Assessment of Invasive Species Impacts on Native Species in NebraskaThis project conducts spatially-based risk analyses for species and communities identified as at-risk by the Nebraska Legacy Project. Stressors are invasive species on the Nebraska noxious weed watch list. Results may provide guidance for invasive species surveillance and monitoring, and prioritize research and management needs regarding specifics of impacts.
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Spatio-Temporal Foraging Activity of Bats in the Agricultural LandscapeThe purpose of this study is to investigate the use of monocultural fields by insectivorous bats in different land use configurations in Nebraska’s intensively managed agricultural landscape.
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Stopover Decisions of Migratory Shorebirds: An Assessment of Habitat, Food, Behavior and PhenologyTo identify the influence of anthropogenic change on avian habitat preferences
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The Effect of Common Reed on River Otter Habitat UseTo increase the understanding of the effects of Phragmites australis (common reed) on river otters - flagship species for non-game conservation
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Understanding and Managing for Resilience in the Face of Global ChangeWe propose to address gaps in the science of ecological resilience in order to develop a usable framework for the implementation of resilience science by natural resource managers. We will do this by accomplishing a series of related but discrete tasks.
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Understanding Invasions and ExtinctionsProject objectives were to
1) compare the vertebrate body mass structures of Mediterranean-climate ecosystems, and
2) examine the effects of invasions and extinctions in Mediterranean-climate ecosystems on body mass structure and alpha, beta and gamma diversity.
Wind and Wildlife ProjectHelp to avoid, minimize, and mitigate negative impacts of wind energy development and operation on local flora and fauna by facilitating communication among stakeholders regarding wind power development and operation, identifying and implementing priority research and monitoring efforts, and developing management tools and technical guidance materials.
Wind and Wings: Sustainable Wind Energy Development and Bat ConservationThe goal of this project is provide the public with information about bat conservation and wind energy through workshops and informational signs. A series of workshops targeting teachers and after-school educators will be held in Nebraska communities.
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Working with Rural Students to Document Swift Fox on Nebraska RanchesBy surveying for swift fox on private lands we are adding significantly to our understanding of what is limiting this rare species in Nebraska; moreover, because camera traps attract a multitude of species we are documenting and thereby aiding in the management of other species of conservation concern here in Nebraska.
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