Research Papers

The Missouri Department of Conservation produces research papers on a variety of topics.

Browse the Research Paper Index

Visit the research paper index to view the various topics and corresponding research papers.

Oak mast is a very important source of fall and winter food for many species of wildlife, particularly in the heavily forested portions of the state. Fluctuations in mast production can exert a strong influence on wildlife species that depend on mast crops for food, and can influence fall and winter wildlife movements.  Additionally, mast production is essential for oak regeneration and persistence in the short-term and migration of oak species in response to environmental changes over longer time scales (e.g., climate change). The Missouri Department of Conservation has conducted an annual survey of mast production since 1960.

Mon, 11/04/2013

White Paper April, 2010

A common concern among forest managers today is how best to manage forests using prescribed fires while simultaneously minimizing carbon emissions. In light of increased public awareness concerning climate change, the need to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere is a top priority around the world. Therefore, research into the most optimal forest management practices that reduce carbon emissions have been conducted in various regions and contiguous forested tracts. Further, models of carbon emissions produced by various forest management practices have been developed to shed light on those that are the most suitable for sustainable management of a forest ecosystem while minimizing the release of carbon.

Fri, 04/30/2010

White Paper April, 2010

Tallgrass prairies, one of North America’s most endangered ecosystems, evolved with fire, drought, and native grazers (bison and elk). In Missouri, over 99% of the original tallgrass prairie has been converted mainly to row-crop fields and tall fescue pastures. Concomitant with these landscape changes have been dramatic declines in the state endangered greater prairie-chicken and other grassland birds. Grassland ecologists in Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Iowa have been experimenting with a management practice known as patch-burn grazing with either cattle or bison since the late 1980s as a grazing system that benefits wildlife by emulating the presettlement disturbance regime.

Thu, 04/08/2010

Technical Series Vol. 9

Missouri landowners dealing with streambank erosion problems are searching for affordable and effective techniques that they can use to address existing erosion issues and protect their property from further erosion. This search is complicated because the eroding streambank is often a symptom of a larger problem occurring

elsewhere within the watershed. Consequently, finding an effective erosion control method can be difficult for a landowner unless they receive appropriate professional assistance. The limitations of currently available methods in terms of high cost, difficult installation, or inapplicability to larger stream systems have caused landowners to try techniques that are ineffective and may lead to increased instability.

As a result, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) decided to evaluate five different streambank stabilization techniques. Farm rock toe was evaluated as a potential low cost alternative to a traditional longitudinal rip rap toe project for controlling excessive streambank erosion. The differences between farm rock toe and a traditional longitudinal rip rap toe protection approach are four fold: 1) farm rock toe is made from shot rock (quarry rock not graded out to a specific size) instead of graded out rip rap, 2) farm rock toe is not keyed into the bed of the stream, 3) farm rock toe is not keyed into the streambank at the upper and lower end of the project, and 4) instead of placing each rock, the rock is dumped from the top of the streambank and then adjusted as necessary to fill in gaps. These changes were made to reduce the cost of a rock toe protection approach while hopefully still stabilizing the bank.

Thu, 06/13/2013

Technical Series Vol. 8

Missouri landowners dealing with streambank erosion problems are searching for affordable and effec-tive techniques that they can use to address existing erosion issues and protect their property from further ero-sion. This search is complicated because the eroding streambank is often a symptom of a larger problem oc-curring elsewhere within the watershed. Consequently, finding an effective erosion control method can be dif-ficult for a landowner unless they receive appropriate professional assistance. The limitations of currently available methods in terms of high cost, difficult installation, or inapplicability to larger stream systems have caused landowners to try techniques that are ineffective and may lead to increased instability.

As a result, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) decided to evaluate farm rock weirs as a potential low cost alternative to a bendway weir project for controlling excessive streambank erosion. The difference between farm rock weirs and traditional bendway weirs are three fold: 1) farm rock weirs are made from shot rock (quarry rock not graded out to a specific size) instead of graded out rip rap, 2) farm rock weirs are not keyed into the bed of the stream, and 3) farm rock weirs are not keyed into the bank. These changes were made to reduce the costs associated with a weir approach while hopefully still stabilizing the bank.

Thu, 06/13/2013

Technical Series Vol. 7

Missouri landowners dealing with streambank erosion problems are searching for affordable and effec-tive techniques that they can use to address existing erosion issues and protect their property from further erosion. This search is complicated because the eroding streambank is often a symptom of a larger problem occurring elsewhere within the watershed. Consequently, finding an effective erosion control method can be difficult for a landowner unless they receive appropriate professional assistance. The limitations of currently available methods in terms of high cost, difficult installation, or inapplicability to larger stream systems have caused landowners to try techniques that are ineffective and may lead to increased instability.

As a result, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) decided to evaluate log weirs as a potential technique for controlling excessive streambank erosion. The goal of the log weir technique is to save money over the traditional bendway weir approach by using logs as opposed to using large amounts of rip rap to build the traditional rock weirs. This reduces the costs associated with a weir approach while attempting to stabilize the streambank.

Thu, 06/13/2013

Technical Series Vol. 6

Missouri landowners dealing with streambank erosion problems are searching for affordable and effective techniques they can use to address existing erosion issues and protect their property from further erosion. The search is complicated because the eroding streambank is often a symptom of a larger problem occurring elsewhere within the watershed. Consequently, finding an effective erosion control method can be difficult for a landowner unless they receive appropriate professional assistance. The limitations of currently available methods in terms of high cost, difficult installation, or inapplicability to larger stream systems have caused landowners to try techniques that are ineffective and may lead to increased instability.

As a result, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) decided to evaluate the use of a gravel-roll with back-sloping and vegetation establishment as a potential technique for controlling excessive stream-bank erosion. The gravel-roll approach is designed to reduce erosive forces acting on the eroding streambank by back-sloping the streambank which gives it a higher width-to-depth ratio, and establishing vegetation that will decrease velocities by adding roughness and stabilize the streambank with root systems over the long-term. In addition, a gravel-roll is built at the toe, which is intended to protect the streambank toe in the short-term, allowing vegetation to stabilize the streambank over the long-term.

Thu, 06/13/2013

Technical Series Vol. 5

Missouri landowners dealing with streambank erosion problems are searching for affordable and effective techniques they can use to address existing erosion issues and protect their property from further erosion. The search is complicated because the eroding streambank is often a symptom of a larger problem occurring elsewhere within the watershed. Consequently, finding an effective erosion control method can be difficult for a landowner unless they receive appropriate professional assistance. The limitations of currently available methods in terms of high cost, difficult installation, or inapplicability to larger stream systems have caused landowners to try techniques that are ineffective and may lead to increased instability.

As a result, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) decided to evaluate five different streambank stabilization techniques. The back-sloping with vegetation establishment approach was evaluated as a potential alternative to a longitudinal rip rap toe project for controlling excessive streambank erosion. The back-sloping approach is designed to reduce erosive forces acting on the eroding streambank by back-sloping the streambank which gives it a higher width to depth ratio and establishing vegetation that will decrease velocities by adding roughness and stabilize the streambank with root systems over the long-term. Five back-sloping with vegetation establishment projects were distributed among five streams located on four MDC conservation areas across Missouri. The projects were built between September 2006 and January 2009 and all experienced multiple high flow events.

Thu, 06/13/2013

Technical Series Vol. 4

Recruitment of black bass Micropterus spp. in large reservoirs is often related to fluctuations in water levels, although the specific mechanism driving recruitment is not known. Eastern red cedar Juniperus virginiana brush was added to coves within Bull Shoals Lake to replicate habitat conditions present during high water events in an effort to increase numbers of nesting adult black bass and abundance of age-0 black bass.

Wed, 02/13/2013

Technical Series Vol. 3

Limited research has been conducted on Black River strain (BRS) walleye Sander vitreus that occur in south-eastern Missouri rivers. In an effort to provide additional insight on stocking contribution to existing stocks and movement of juvenile and adult walleye in these systems, multiple evaluations were conducted examining stocking mortality, juvenile movement using biotelemetry, adult movement and exploitation using reward tags, and stocking contribution using chemically marked otoliths.

Wed, 11/23/2011

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