A 12-year study of vegetation and mammal succession on a reconstructed tallgrass prairie in Iowa.
American Midland Naturalist
Changes within the plant and small-mammal communities of a hayfield planted to 5 grasses native to the tallgrass prairie was observed for 12 years. Three developmental stages were discerned: 1) a 3-yr Herbaceous Weed Stage characterized by common weed species, a standing crop average of 511 g m-2, and an abundance of house mice Mus musculus; 2) a 5-yr Perennial Grassland Stage characterized by Bromus inermis and other cool-season grasses, a standing crop average of 403 g m-2, an irruption of white-footed mice Peromyscus leucopus, and an increase in abundance of voles and short-tailed shrews Blarina brevicauda; and 3) an Early Prairie Stage in which the standing crop of native prairie grasses (average 493 g m-2) was 60% of the total living phytomass (822 g m-2), and continued increase of vole and shrew densities. The reconstructed prairie was probably suboptimal habitat for common prairie mammals because of low forb abundance, low diversity and high phytomass. The frequent capture of low weight, nonbreeding small mammals leads one to believe that the area received dispersers from other surrounding habitat. -from Authors
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
Schwartz, O. A. and Whitson, P. D., "A 12-year study of vegetation and mammal succession on a reconstructed tallgrass prairie in Iowa." (1987). Faculty Publications. 4730.