Clay Prairie State Preserve, cemetery, floristics, Iowa flora, prairie, Butler County, Iowa
Clay Prairie State Preserve (1.2 ha) is an upland prairie located in Butler County, IA, and represents one of the last remnants of black-soil tallgrass prairie in northeast Iowa. An annotated checklist of the vascular flora of Clay Prairie is presented here, based on a previously published flora of the preserve and recent field work conducted by the authors between 1997 to 2001, and 2008 to 2011. The preserve contains a diverse vascular flora representing 50 families, 145 genera and 214 taxa (174 native to Iowa). In comparison with 26 larger prairies (4 to 121 ha) protected in the Iowa state preserves system, the Clay Prairie flora ranks 10th in total number of native Iowa prairie plant taxa (135 taxa) and 10th in total number of native Iowa prairie plant taxa assigned high (7 to 10) values of the Iowa Conservation Coefficient (55 taxa). As a remnant of formerly much more extensive tallgrass prairie in Iowa, Clay Prairie protects individual plant taxa, plant assemblages, and ecological and evolutionary processes, while providing opportunities for people to experience native prairie. The floristic comparisons presented in this paper suggest that the floras of many other prairies protected in the Iowa State Preserves system are not thoroughly documented. Hence, we recommend that floristic studies of these other prairie preserves be undertaken to include documentation of the entire flora by voucher specimens. We also encourage site managers of prairies in the Iowa State Preserves system to prepare annual reports summarizing management and educational activities that occur in these preserves.
Journal of the Iowa Academy of Sciences
© Copyright 2013 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Freese, Edwin L. and Norris, William R.
"The Vascular Flora of Clay Prairie State Preserve (Butler County, Iowa): Recommendations to the Iowa State Preserve System,"
Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science: JIAS, 120(1-4), 21-34.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/jias/vol120/iss1/5