Manitoba, Flint Hills, amphibians, least terns in Great Plains Research

Released on 04/24/2012, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lincoln, Neb., April 24th, 2012 —

            Great Plains Research, an academic journal published by the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is beginning its 22nd year this month. The new issue, under editor Robert F. Diffendal Jr., covers a wide range of topics in both the social and natural sciences.

            In "Identity, Integration, and Assimilation Recorded in Manitoba's Polish and Ukrainian Cemeteries," Lukasz Albanski of the Pedagogical University of Cracow in Poland and John C. Lehr of the University of Winnipeg, looked at rural cemeteries in southeastern Manitoba. The authors wrote that the cemeteries reflect the process of cultural and economic assimilation by immigrants whose names changed as their language changed. Albanski and Lehr used 16 photographs of gravestones to illustrate the evolution of names, phrases, and styles of markers from 1924 to 2008.

            Rhett L. Mohler and Douglas G. Goodin of Kansas State University compiled 10 years of information about prescribed burning in their article, "Mapping Burned Areas in the Flint Hills of Kansas and Oklahoma, 2000-2010." Mohler and Goodin said they believe their maps of burned areas in the Flint Hills can serve as the basis to investigate the effects of burning on human and natural systems.

            In "Parochlus kiefferi (Garrett, 1925) in Nebraska (Diptera: Chironomidea)," Barbara Hayford of Wayne State College described a rare species of nonbiting aquatic midge, which was discovered in Squaw Creek in the Pine Ridge of northwest Nebraska. Her stream survey study, combined with a review of historical data dating back to the 1980s, confirmed that this midge is a rare species in the state.

            From 2006 to 2008, UNL researcher John A. Guretzky and his colleagues Twain J. Butler of the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and Jim P. Muir of Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Service evaluated the adaptation of annual forage legumes in the southern Great Plains. Introduced forage legumes are an important component of pasture-based livestock production systems. The authors wrote, "In the southern Great Plains, where winters are mild but summers are hot and dry, perennial legumes do not persist, but cool-season annual legumes are well adapted and in many cases have become naturalized."

            David M. Mushet and Ned H. Euliss Jr. of the U.S. Geological Survey in Jamestown, N.D., and their colleague Craig A. Stockwell of North Dakota State University created "A Conceptual Model to Facilitate Amphibian Conservation in the Northern Great Plains." As pressures on agricultural landscapes to meet worldwide resource needs increase, amphibian populations face numerous threats including habitat destruction, chemical contaminants, disease outbreaks and wetland sedimentation. The authors developed a conceptual model depicting elements critical for amphibian conservation.

            Joel G. Jorgensen of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and his two UNL School of Natural Resources colleagues, Mary Bomberger Brown and Andrew J. Tyre, investigated the relationship between river channel width and least tern and piping plover nesting incidence on the lower Platte River in Nebraska. The authors wrote, "For threatened and endangered species management efforts to be successful, it is critical to develop and refine information about species-habitat relationships and make it available to conservation practitioners and habitat managers."

            South Dakota State University researchers Sharon N. Kahara and Steven R. Chipps studied the lesser scaup in "Wetland Hydrodynamics and Long-Term Use of Spring Migration Areas by Lesser Scaup in Eastern South Dakota." Lesser scaup populations remain below their long-term average despite improved habitat conditions along spring migration routes and at breeding grounds. The authors identified criteria that may be used to discover important lesser scaup habitats in other areas of the Prairie Pothole Region.

            Charles Dieter, South Dakota State University, and Dustin Schaible, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, studied "Reproduction and Population Characteristics of White-Tailed Jackrabbits in South Dakota." Said the authors, "Recently we discovered a general downward trend in jackrabbit populations in the northern Great Plains. We wanted to examine their reproductive potential to determine if reproductive output may influence fluctuations in jackrabbit populations."

            The journal is available for purchase or subscription from the center at 402-472-3082, online at or in the Great Plains Art Museum gift shop, 1155 Q St.

Writer: Linda Ratcliffe, Center for Great Plains Studies

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