“Science-Based Management in Practice: an example with native prairies”
Tuesday, January 24th, 2012
Native prairies managed by the USFWS in the Prairie Pothole Region are extensively invaded by introduced cool-season grasses, smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis). Management to suppress these invasive plants has had poor success, mainly for insufficient understanding of prairie restoration ecology and absence of systematic evaluation of management effects. In partnership with the USFWS, we developed an adaptive decision support framework to assist managers in selecting management actions under uncertainty and maximizing learning from management outcomes. Decision making under this framework is adaptive, as monitoring feedback increases understanding of the system and in turn determines the path of future decision making. Refuge-specific data provided by cooperators reduces uncertainty across the whole region, allowing individual land managers to receive updated decision guidance that incorporates understanding gained from the collective experience of all cooperators. This model-based decision making approach merges science and management in a tangible way that is well-suited for many fish and wildlife applications.
Jill Gannon, Ph.D.
Northern Prarie Wildlife Research Center
United States Geological Survey
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