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K-State Today

October 5, 2023

Jeff Martin to present Division of Biology Seminar

Submitted by Division of Biology

Jeff Martin, assistant professor and Extension bison specialist in the department of natural resource management at South Dakota State University, will present "Sustainable Bison Management in a Changing World" as part of the Division of Biology Seminar Series at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9, in 221 Ackert Hall.

Climate projections indicate that conventional agricultural and production practices will become less sustainable, both ecologically and economically, within the Northern Great Plains due to warming and increased evapotranspiration. As a result, the lifestyles and livelihoods of people who rely on conventional practices throughout the Northern Great Plains may be negatively impacted. Given this, it is critical to identify models of sustainable land management that can improve ecological form and function and enhance positive socio-economic outcomes for Northern Great Plains communities, all while increasing ecological and economic resilience to a rapidly changing climate.

The future sustainability of rural communities in the Northern Great Plains depends on the restoration of bison herds and bison's ability to continue to serve as ecological keystone species and ecosystem engineers across the Northern Great Plains when we anticipate their body sizes will be nearly half that of today. Broad historical and prehistorical distribution of bison suggests they have a large capacity to adapt to wide-ranging climates and environments. Martin will present an overview of bison's ecosystem services within the Bison Management System across the Northern Great Plains. Emphasis will be placed on the ecological, cultural and economic value that bison serve for prairie restoration.

If you would like to visit with Martin, please contact Bess Bookout at bbookout@k-state.edu