PLATTE RIVER WATERSHED ECOSYSTEMS SERVICES ON NATIVE AND RESTORED GRASSLANDS
August 2009 - September 2014
This new research project will focus on ecosystem services provided by native and restored grasslands in the Platte River watershed, including land enrolled in the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Although empirical data has indicated that grasslands provide a variety of services important for humankind, including habitat for crop pollinators, carbon sequestration, and erosion control, little research has been undertaken that compares the functioning of high quality virgin prairie with either high or low-diversity restorations. This research will include comparisons of specific ecosystem attributes in each grassland type while also exploring how pockets of prairie (surrounded by intensive agriculture) add to the resilience of the system.