Managing Red Cedar Invasions of Nebraska Grasslands -Part II

Juniper expansion is an important issue—especially in the Great Plains—because ecosystem service provisioning is altered when grasslands are invaded by juniper. However, an assessment of the impacts juniper invasion has on ecosystem service provisioning is lacking.

Goals

A central aim of this thesis research is to synthesize the impacts of juniper invasion on grassland ecosystem services.

Current Status

This synthesis will then be contrasted against:
• How Nebraskan’s value ecosystem services
• How other invasive species in grasslands alter ecosystem service provisioning
• How natural resource professionals perceive the impact of juniper invasion relative to other invasive species

We are currently reviewing the literature for the impacts of juniper invasion and are assessing the public’s value of ecosystem services through a statewide survey. This research will help prioritize invasive species management in a way that maximizes benefits to society and gains public support for invasive species management. Other areas of this thesis will also focus on the mechanisms through which juniper invasion alters the delivery and resilience of specific ecosystem service(s). This research is in the developmental stage, but has potential to inform management and restoration efforts aimed at ecosystem service resilience and delivery.

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