Nebraska Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit


Date of this Version



Kessler, A. C., J. W. Merchant, C. R. Allen, and S. D. Shultz. 2011. Impacts of Invasive plants on Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) roosting habitat. Invasive Plant Science and Management 4:369-377.


US government work.


Invasive plants continue to spread in riparian ecosystems, causing both ecological and economic damage. This research investigated the impacts of common reed, purple loosestrife, riparian shrubland, and riparian woodlands on the quality and quantity of sandhill crane roosting habitat in the central Platte River, Nebraska, using a discrete choice model. A more detailed investigation of the impacts of common reed on sandhill crane roosting habitat was performed by forecasting a spread or contraction of this invasive plant. The discrete choice model indicates that riparian woodlands had the largest negative impact on sandhill crane roosting habitat. The forecasting results predict that a contraction of common reed could increase sandhill crane habitat availability by 50%, whereas an expansion could reduce the availability by as much as 250%. This suggests that if the distribution of common reed continues to expand in the central Platte River the availability of sandhill crane roosting habitat would likely be greatly reduced.