Managing Red Cedar Invasion of Nebraska Grasslands - Part III

The current spread of eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) into Nebraska rangelands and grasslands throughout the Great Plains is causing widespread shifts in habitat structure and function.

Goals

The overall goals of this project are to:
• Assess the impacts of eastern red cedar spread on wildlife species.
• Assess the vulnerability of grassland-dependent species to eastern red cedar invasion.
• Compare the effects of alternative management strategies.

Current Status

Avian community data (point counts across eight years) from the Loess Canyons region of Nebraska have been compiled and preliminary analyses conducted. Preliminary results indicate that the avian community in areas with a high concentration of prescribed burning (converting eastern redcedar woodland to grassland) may be shifting towards a community more typical of grasslands. Additionally, for the same area, analysis of multiple years of aerial imagery is underway to quantify the amount of eastern red cedar cover and how it may be changing over time. Finally, a literature review has been started to compare the sensitivity of grassland-dependent bird species of the Great Plains to varying amounts of woody cover.

Principal Investigator(s)
-Dirac Twidwell, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
-Craig R. Allen, NECFWRU
Graduate Student(s)
-Helen Tripp, Ph.D.
Project Duration
January 2016- December 2017
Funding
-Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Project Location
Statewide Nebraska