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Document Type

Research

Keywords

mid-grass prairie, tallgrass prairie, hill prairie, gravel prairie, loess hill prairie, community composition, relative cover, community constancy, Iowa prairie, Nebraska prairie

Abstract

Results from quantitative research on the community composition of dry prairies across Iowa were consolidated from three different studies completed since 1983. Information is provided on the distribution and abundance of 204 dry prairie species. The most abundant species included little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash), big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii Vitman), side-oats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula (Michx.) Torrey), prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis (Gray) Gray) and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.). Multivariate analyses were completed using two independent measures of species abundance-relative cover and community constancy. When relative cover was used to determine community composition, the abundance of graminoids (tallgrasses vs. mid-grasses) had a strong effect on community composition and variation was mostly influenced by soil moisture. When community constancy was used to determine community composition, forbs had a higher representation and plant biogeography had a strong effect on variation in community composition.

Publication Date

December 1999

Journal Title

Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science

Volume

106

Issue

4

First Page

69

Last Page

81

Copyright

© Copyright 1999 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.

Language

EN

File Format

application/pdf