Studying Bison at Cedar Creek

Ecology and Environment

MSI PI Forest Isbell (Ecology, Evolution and Behavior) is the lead researcher on a project that has re-introduced a herd of bison into the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve (CCESR). Dr. Isbell is the Associate Director of CCESR.

The project investigates the impact of the bison’s grazing on oak savanna. The bison were introduced into an area of CCESR that had been planted with oak seedlings. The researchers hypothesize that the bison will graze on prairie grasses, which would otherwise choke out the seedlings, allowing the oak to grow.

An article about this research appears in the Fall 2018 of the University of Minnesota Foundation’s Legacy magazine: Bringing Back the Bison.

Dr. Isbell uses MSI for another project monitoring a wolf pack that has become established at CCESR. The project uses the citizen-science platform Zooniverse; MSI is helping with image processing and data hosting.