Prairie Revegetation of a Strip Mine in Illinois: Fifteen Years after Establishment

Author: Corbett, E.A.; Anderson, R.C.; Rodgers, C.S. Description: We examined the long-term success of prairie planting on a former strip mine in northeastern Illinois. The site was reclaimed and planted with prairie species in the 1970s. Total biomass increased over time, largely as a result of an increase in biomass of non-prairie species. Biomass of prairie species remained unchanged because of an increase in Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) offsetting decreases in Sorghastrum nutans (Indian grass). Total biomass was less than values published for other restored prairies (78 ± 4 g/m2to 298…

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Prairie Dogs, Whitefaces, and Blue Grama

Author: Carl B. Koford Description: Man changes his environment to suit his needs. If he wants protection from cold orenemies, he builds houses and dwells in towns. If he needs food, he destroys weeds and fosters crops. But this ability to alter surroundings to his own advantage is not unique with man; it is shared by many humble animals. Among these are the large rodents of the western grasslands, the ground squirrels and the prairie dogs. Subject headings: Prairie dog, Rodents, Grasses, Vegetation, Prairie soils, Plants, Forbs, Burrows, Forage Publication…

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Soil Resources Regulate Productivity and Diversity in Newly Established Tallgrass Prairie

Author: Baer, S. G.; Blair, J. M.; Collins, S. L.; Knapp, A. K. Description: In native tallgrass prairie, soil depth and nitrogen (N) availability strongly influence aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and plant species composition. We manipulated these factors in a newly restored grassland to determine if these resources similarly constrain productivity and diversity during the initial three years of grassland establishment. Four types of experimental plots with six treatment combinations of deep and shallow soil at reduced-, ambient-, and enriched-N availability formed the basis of this study. The soil…

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Soil Resources Regulate Productivity And Diversity In Newly Established Tallgrass Prairie

Author: Baer, S.G.; Blair, J.M.; Collins, S.L.; Knapp, A.K. Description: In native tallgrass prairie, soil depth and nitrogen (N) availability strongly influence aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and plant species composition. We manipulated these factors in a newly restored grassland to determine if these resources similarly constrain productivity and diversity during the initial three years of grassland establishment. Four types of experimental plots with six treatment combinations of deep and shallow soil at reduced-, ambient-, and enriched-N availability formed the basis of this study. The soil responses to the experimental…

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Effect of Fire on the Competition Between Blue Grass and Certain Prairie Plants

Author: Curtis, J. T., & Partch, M. L. Description: Annual and biennial burns in March, May and October were made in a field of blue grass in which prairie plants had been artificially introduced. The experiments were conducted in the University of Wisconsin Arboretum at Madison, in the period from 1941 through 1946. Densities were determined annually for dominant members of the original sod, for the main weedy forbs, and for the planted prairie species. The total density of the blue grass sod was reduced to one-fifth of the original…

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Effect of Fire on the Competition Between Blue Grass and Certain Prairie Plants

Author: Curtis, J.T.; Partch, M.L. Description: The University of Wisconsin Arboretum in Madison lies in the ecotone region between prairie and hardwood forest formations and only a short distance from the southern border of the boreal forest formation. While the climate does not allow for optimum development of any of these main formations, it does permit the existence of elements of all three plant groups. The prevailing conditions appear to be most favorable for the hardwood forest, since the succession on undisturbed areas generally proceeds towards that climax. In areas…

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Macroinvertebrates in North American tallgrass prairie soils: effects of fire, mowing, and fertilization on density and biomass

Author: Callaham, M. Description: The responses of tallgrass prairie plant communities and ecosystem processes to fire and grazing are well characterized. However, responses of invertebrate consumer groups, and particularly soil-dwelling organisms, to these disturbances are not well known. At Konza Prairie Biological Station, we sampled soil macroinvertebrates in 1994 and 1999 as part of a long-term experiment designed to examine the effects and interactions of annual fire, mowing, and fertilization (N and P) on prairie soil communities and processes. For nearly all taxa, in both years, responses were characterized by…

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Biodiversity of fungal endophyte communities inhabiting switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) growing in the native tallgrass prairie of northern Oklahoma

Author: Ghimire, Sita R.; Charlton, Nikki D.; Bell, Jeremey D.; Krishnamurthy, Yelugere L.; Craven, Kelly D. Description: This study was conducted to explore fungal endophyte communities inhabiting native switchgrass plants from the tallgrass prairie of northern Oklahoma. The primary focus was to isolate these endophytes in pure culture from surface-sterilized plant tissues and provide taxonomic identifications based on comparative analysis of ITS rDNA gene sequences. From these data, we evaluated the biodiversity of these potentially beneficial endosymbionts from this rapidly disappearing habitat of the Great Plains. While important from a…

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Groundwater nutrient concentrations during prairie reconstruction on an Iowa landscape

Author: Tomer, M.D.; Schilling, K.E.; Cambardella, C.A.; Jacobson, P.; Drobney, P. Description: One anticipated benefit of ecosystem restoration is water quality improvement. This study evaluated NO3-N and phosphorus in subsurface waters during prairie establishment following decades of row-crop agriculture. A prairie seeding in late 2003 became established in 2006. Wells and suction cup samplers were monitored for NO3-N and phosphorus. Nitrate-N varied with time and landscape position. Non-detectable NO3-N concentrations became modal along ephemeral drainageways in 2006, when average concentrations in uplands first became <10 mg NO3-N L-1. This decline…

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Some Effects on Annual Burning on Central Missouri Prairie

Author: Kucera, C.L.; Ehrenreich, J.H. Description: Fire has long been mentioned as an ecological factor in the natural grassland of the Middle West. Numerous reports may be cited from the early frontier chronicles. Some of these merely speculated about the role of fire in the grassland environment. Studies attempting more exact relationships have been conducted in recent years. A significant question in the fire-grass relationship deals with the effects of burning on litter accumulation and nutrient circulation in the ecosystem. Results of studies conducted in different regions of the grassland…

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