Document Type



Doolittle Prairie State Preserve, Iowa flora, prairie pothole, plant communities, Story County


Doolittle Prairie State Preserve is a 10 ha prairie pothole wetland complex located in Story County, central Iowa. A vascular flora of Doolittle Prairie is compiled and the prominent vegetation communities and zones described based on field observations by the authors and several additional investigators from 1982 to 1997. The preserve contains 14 shallow wetlands comprised of low prairie, wet meadow, and shallow emergent plant communities, as well as a disturbed prairie community and fence rows. These communities support a diverse vascular flora of 223 native species, plus 42 non-natives, representing 59 families and 178 genera. The Asteraceae (40), Poaceae (24), and Cyperaceae (22) families contained the greatest number of native plant species. The low prairie community has the highest number of species (104) and the greatest species overlap with the disturbed prairie and wet meadow communities. The fence row/parking area community contains the second highest number of species (101) and the greatest number of non-natives (33), with 78% of the species restricted to that community. Species number decreased in communities with increasing soil moisture. The wet meadow (46 species) and shallow emergent (14 species) communities contained the lowest number of species. A quantitative comparison of floristic composition was made between Doolittle Prairie and three other Iowa state preserves of similar size and vegetation community types. Floristic similarity between Doolittle Prairie and the other preserves ranged from 35-39%.

Publication Date

June 1999

Journal Title

Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science





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



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