The grasslands in western U,S.
are a prime habitat for birds and other wildlife and are among the most biologically diverse areas of the country, experts say.
But with so many different species of wildlife and insects, a grassland ecosystem can be in jeopardy if one species is threatened.
The Western U. S. contains more than 5 million acres of the nation’s wildland, grassland, and tidelands, and the vast majority of these ecosystems are managed by state and federal agencies.
“There are some grasslands that are absolutely pristine,” said Scott Dyer, a biology professor at Montana State University and the lead author of the new study, published in the journal Ecological Applications.
“But there are others that have a significant population of insect-resistant plants that are really under threat, and that’s really going to be the challenge.”
The researchers say it’s important to understand how grasslands are maintained to protect both native wildlife and the ecosystem as a whole.
“This study shows that you need to understand the whole ecosystem and how it is maintained,” Dyer said.
Dyer and his colleagues used GPS technology to track the movements of the endangered tideland grassland insect, the grassland omnivia, as it travelled across the western United States from eastern Montana and eastern Wyoming.
The grassland was not only a hotspot for the grasshoppers but also for a variety of species of insects, including the endangered western meadowlark, the endangered northern sagebrush and the endangered sagebrush grasshopper.
The researchers measured the extent of the grasses’ habitat and the types of insects they interacted with.
They found that the grass was much less fragmented and less fragmented than previously thought.
In fact, it had less vegetation than previously believed.
They also found that many of the insect species that were previously thought to be threatened are still present in the grass.
They also found a significant increase in the abundance of the invasive grasshooper, a species that is a threat to the grass, and a decrease in the number of grasshopping insects that were also present.
They found that there were more of them in the western grasslands, and in particular, they found that they had greater diversity of species in the same areas.
These changes were accompanied by a decrease of the amount of water being used for agriculture and for livestock, which would likely lead to increased pest populations.
In the western US, the number and diversity of grassland insects were increasing, and so, the impacts of habitat loss were being felt more acutely than previously, said Dyer.
“So, the way we see these impacts is they are being felt right across the grass.”
The findings also showed that a combination of factors was causing the decrease in grassland biodiversity.
Dyer pointed to the fact that the amount and diversity that were being destroyed was decreasing, which is also one of the things that may be causing the disappearance of grasslands.
“When you’re looking at grasslands and you’re trying to understand their function and the function of those ecosystems, it is important to look at those factors in order to understand what’s happening in the system,” he said.
“And we found that those factors were the changing of landscapes, the changing in the composition of the ecosystems.
So, if you think about what we’re trying for is to conserve biodiversity in the wilds, the changes are occurring because of those changes in landscape.”
Dyer said that the results of this study should be of great interest to the federal government.
“We should be trying to take the same kinds of approaches to managing grasslands as we do to managing other land uses, including water management and grazing,” he told CBC News.
“I think it’s really important to have that kind of information because it helps us make decisions on how to manage the ecosystems in the future.”
Dyeer said he is now working with a number of federal agencies, such as the U. of S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U: State Department, to identify what the next steps should be in order for grasslands to be managed effectively.
“The next step is that we’re going to have to figure out how to improve the management of grasses in the West, which means how do we manage the grass on a landscape-scale,” he added.
Dyeers study is just one of a number that has come out this year in an effort to better understand the impact of habitat destruction on grassland ecosystems.
A new study found that more than 20 percent of the world’s grasslands could be lost if the global climate warms.
The study was conducted by scientists from the University of California, Berkeley and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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