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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Eighty Years of Vegetation and Landscape Changes in the Northern Great Plains

Authors
item Klement, Keith
item Heitschmidt, Rodney
item Kay, Charles - UTAH STATE UNIV

Submitted to: Research Update for Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2002
Publication Date: January 15, 2003
Repository URL: http://www.larrl.ars.usda.gov/publications.htm
Citation: KLEMENT, K.D., HEITSCHMIDT, R.K., KAY, C.E. EIGHTY YEARS OF VEGETATION AND LANDSCAPE CHANGES IN THE NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS. RESEARCH UPDATE FOR FORT KEOGH LIVESTOCK AND RANGE RESEARCH LABORATORY. p. 10. 2003.

Interpretive Summary: photographic record of vegetation landscapes serves as an important tool for understanding ecological changes. A series of repeat photographs from across the Northern Great Plains were compiled in 1999 to provide visual and written documentation of such changes. Initial photographs were taken in the early 1900's with repeat photos taken in 1958-1960 and 1998. Based on the photographic record and on-site written descriptions, we found few changes had occurred other than: 1) a general increase in the density and cover of woody plant species, particularly Ponderosa pine; 2) those resulting from direct human intervention such as tillage, haying, and road construction; and 3) a general increase in non-indigenous species, particularly yellow sweet clover and crested wheatgrass, as they escape from roadside restoration projects and agronomic plantings. Otherwise, changes are subtle.

Technical Abstract: photographic record of vegetation landscapes serves as an important tool for understanding ecological changes. A series of repeat photographs from across the Northern Great Plains were compiled in 1999 to provide visual and written documentation of such changes. Initial photographs were taken in the early 1900's with repeat photos taken in 1958-1960 and 1998. Based on the photographic record and on-site written descriptions, we found few changes had occurred other than: 1) a general increase in the density and cover of woody plant species, particularly Ponderosa pine; 2) those resulting from direct human intervention such as tillage, haying, and road construction; and 3) a general increase in non-indigenous species, particularly yellow sweet clover and crested wheatgrass, as they escape from roadside restoration projects and agronomic plantings. Otherwise, changes are subtle.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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