Using soil nematodes as indicators of soil health in wet meadow rangelands

Grasslands store carbon, regulate water, recycle nutrients, and conserve biodiversity. In western Canada, seasonally flooded, wet meadow grasslands, also provide habitats for species at risk. Despite their importance to conservation, little is known about the effect of grazing on these ecosystems. This research will help understand how grazing effects plants, soils, and the ecosystem services provided by wet meadow grasslands. Specifically, this project will explore links between grazing, plants, and soil nematodes, small worm-like animals, that recycle carbon and nutrients in soils.

Impact of Livestock Grazing on Grassland Herpetofauna

Grasslands cover approximately one third of the Earth’s surface but are among the most threatened and least protected habitats. Livestock grazing is one management strategy to restore degraded grassland ecosystems, but little is known about the effect of grazing on grassland reptiles and amphibians (herpetofauna). World-wide, herpetofauna are in decline and may be particularly susceptible to impacts from grazing.