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Ecosystem Sustainability & Management

Desert grassland habitat
M. Friggens, USDA FS
Desert grassland habitat on the Sevilleta National Refuge in NM. It lies at the intersection of Chihuahuan Desert, Great Plains Grassland, Colorado Plateau Shrub Steppe & Conifer Woodlands.

Identification of threats to ecosystems is essential to protecting ecosystem services such as clean air and water, maintaining biodiversity, and protecting habitat for threatened and endangered species. Specific threats can include community changes by invasive plants and animals, altered fire regimes, and anthropogenic disturbances such as poor agricultural practices and water diversions. Research includes expanding knowledge and understanding of complex systems, and developing tools and techniques needed to effectively manage and sustain ecosystems in changing environments.