Presence and abundance of non-native plant species associated with recent energy development in the Williston Basin

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Plains and Prairies Landscape Conservation Cooperative
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Abstract

The Williston Basin, located in the Northern Great Plains, is experiencing rapid energy development with North Dakota and Montana being the epicenter of current and projected development in the USA. The average single-bore well pad is 5 acres with an estimated 58,485 wells in North Dakota alone. This landscape-level disturbance may provide a pathway for the establishment of non-native plants. To evaluate potential influences of energy development on the presence and abundance of non-native species, vegetation surveys were conducted at 30 oil well sites (14 ten-year-old and 16 five-year-old wells) and 14 control sites in native prairie environments across the Williston Basin. Non-native species richness and cover were recorded in four quadrats, located at equal distances, along four transects for a total of 16 quadrats per site. Non-natives were recorded at all 44 sites and ranged from 5 to 13 species, 7 to 15 species, and 2 to 8 species at the 10-year, 5-year, and control sites, respectively. Respective non-native cover ranged from 1 to 69, 16 to 76, and 2 to 82 %. Total, forb, and graminoid non-native species richness and non-native forb cover were significantly greater at oil well sites compared to control sites. At oil well sites, non-native species richness and forb cover were significantly greater adjacent to the well pads and decreased with distance to values similar to control sites. Finally, non-native species whose presence and/or abundance were significantly greater at oil well sites relative to control sites were identified to aid management efforts.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Presence and abundance of non-native plant species associated with recent energy development in the Williston Basin
Series title Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
DOI 10.1007/s10661-015-4408-7
Volume 187
Issue 200
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Kluwer Academic Publishers
Publisher location Dordrecht
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description 16 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Country United States
State Montana, North Dakota
Other Geospatial Williston Basin
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N