Conservation Biology of Eastern Tallgrass Prairie: Integrating Issues of Management and Restoration for the 21st Century
Sluis, William .
Comparing plant diversity in native and restored prairies.
High levels of species richness characterizes most native plant communities. Richness at large scales (entire sites) can be deceptive indicators of quality if few individuals of each species exists. Levels of species richness at small scales (1 m2) in restorations remains elusive. To determine the current state of restoration projects compared to remnant prairies, several restoration sites and several remnant prairies were examined. Remnants consistently had higher overall richness and a higher native/exotic ratio within 1 m2 quadrats than restorations. Restorations came to be dominated by warm-season grasses more than remnants, causing declines in some planted species. Two experiments were carried out to examine possible techniques to increase diversity: 1. supplemental seeding into established prairies with and without mowing and 2. increasing initial seeding rates in restorations. Mowing facilitated establishment of seeded species. After mowing stopped, some species decline, some remained constant, and others increased. Increased seeding rates led to increased richness at the 0.25 m2 quadrat scale, but not at the 5 x 5 m plot scale. Still, almost half of planted species failed to establish. Low levels of species in restoration is the result of several factors: availability of species, cost of seed and other resources, time limits, and inadequate knowledge.
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1 - 1304 Leawood ct., Naperville, Il, 60564, US
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Location: Williford B/Hilton
Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2007
Time: 4:45 PM