|GASCH, CALEY - North Dakota State University|
|BALDWIN, CAROL - Kansas State University|
|BENDEL, CAYLA - Pheasants Forever|
|FICK, WALTER - Kansas State University|
|GERHARD, LESLIE - North Dakota State University|
|HARMON, JASON - North Dakota State University|
|HOVICK, TORRE - North Dakota State University|
|KRAL-O'BRIEN, KATHERINE - North Dakota State University|
|LAKEY, MICAYLA - North Dakota State University|
|SEDIVEC, KEVIN - North Dakota State University|
Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/8/2020
Publication Date: 6/16/2020
Citation: Gasch, C.K., Toledo, D.N., Baldwin, C., Bendel, C., Fick, W., Gerhard, L., Harmon, J., Hendrickson, J.R., Hovick, T., Kral-O'Brien, K., Lakey, M., Nouwakpo, S.K., Sedivec, K. 2020. Kentucky bluegrass invaded rangeland: ecosystem implications and adaptive management approaches. Rangelands. 42:106-116. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rala.2020.05.001.
Interpretive Summary: In the Northern Great Plains (NGP) of the USA, as well as in many other regions of the globe, native as well as non-native invasive plant species are taking over native grassland ecosystems. Grassland degradation due to invasive plants not only affects the organisms living in them but also affects those who rely on healthy grasslands as part of their livelihoods (e.g. ranchers). Therefore, grassland degradation due to invasive plant species has far-ranging consequences for both human and ecological systems. We present information from a symposium at the 2019 Society for Range Management Annual Meeting. The aim of this symposium was to facilitate the integration of current knowledge on Kentucky bluegrass in the northern Great Plains. We present brief summaries of research and provide insight on future directions for managing Kentucky bluegrass and conserving native grasslands and the services that they provide.
Technical Abstract: USDA-NRCS National Resources Inventory data indicates that between 2011 and 2015 Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) was present in 14.5% on non-Federal rangelands nationally and 86% in North Dakota, 63% in South Dakota, 40% in Kansas, 38% in Nebraska, and 32% in Montana. Native grasslands provide important services such as nutrient cycling, forage and habitat for wildlife and livestock, pollinator habitat, carbon capture, and regulation of hydrologic cycles, among others. Therefore, grassland degradation due to invasive plant species has far-ranging consequences for both human and ecological systems. We present information from a symposium at the 2019 Society for Range Management Annual Meeting. The symposium covered three topic areas that have been the foci of NGP Kentucky bluegrass research in the last five years: (1) impacts of Kentucky bluegrass on ecosystem services (especially soil water regulation, pollinator services, and forage production); (2) opportunities for using adaptive management approaches that include natural disturbances (such as fire and livestock grazing) for restoring and maintaining diverse grasslands; and (3) how to effectively overcome social barriers to treatment options aimed at restoring these grasslands. We present brief summaries of research progress on these topics. We conclude that despite great advances in knowledge related to Kentucky bluegrass invaded ecosystems there are still knowledge gaps regarding management of this novel ecosystem under changing climatic conditions as well as challenges regarding large scale adoption of management practices needed to manage these systems appropriately.