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Dustbowl, Dallas SD, 1936
Dustbowl, Dallas SD, 1936

Natural and anthropogenic disturbances play an important role in wildland ecosystem health and stability. Depending on their nature, scale, intensity and distribution, some disturbances threaten ecosystem function, whereas others are required to sustain ecosystem health. Research on disturbances such as fire, clearing, wildlife and livestock grazing, pest outbreaks, and urban sprawl has consequences for maintaining ecosystem function, invasive species spread, wildlife management and restoration. GSD scientists study the impact from these disturbances and develop approaches to mitigate the negative and foster the positive outcomes that disturbances provide to ecosystem health.