Scientists from Ecological Strategies collaborate with other researchers, land managers, and agency professionals to design and implement applied research projects. Solid scientific information is necessary for restoration and management planning. However, this information often is unavailable for many reasons. Many government agency and non-profit staff do not have the time, resources and/or expertise to locate and summarize existing information. Also, staff is often confronted with new conservation issues for which no research has been conducted.

The Applied Research Collaborative was developed in response to these needs. We assemble unique teams of professionals for each research project. Gathering these custom-made teams helps ensure that we create a high-quality product based on the most accurate and comprehensive scientific information available.



The Restoration Prioritization and Prediction Model (RePP)

We developed this GIS-based model as a planning tool to help prioritize restoration opportunities for five Twin Cities metropolitan counties and to help predict those plant communities most suitable for restoration at particular sites. This project was conducted in partnership with Hennepin, Carver, Dakota, Scott and Washington Counties and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and was supported with funding from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.

Leafy Spurge Biocontrol

We examined the effectiveness of flea beetles (Aphthona spp.) in controlling leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) and restoring biodiversity in The Nature Conservancy’s tall grass prairie reserves.

Maple-Basswood GIS-Based Restoration Model

Working with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Great River Greening, we developed a GIS-based model to identify and prioritize suitable restoration sites for maple-basswood forest.

Forest Spatial Pattern Background Paper (PDF}

Working with Jim Manolis (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources), Ethan Perry and the Forest Resources Council, we coordinated the review and synthesis of the scientific literature on the relationships between forest spatial patterns and native species in northern Minnesota.

Species Lists for Restoration

To address the need for quantitative descriptions of plant communities to guide restoration, we collaborated with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Great River Greening and others to develop species lists based on the extensive Minnesota County Biological Survey database (Great River Greening Restoration Methods).

Forest Management Guidelines

We conducted a literature review and prepared a document that presents methods for managing forests in ways that are compatible with Karner blue butterfly and oak savanna ecosystem persistence. Document available from: Cathy Carnes, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Phone: 920-866-1732, Email: