At the time of settlement Iowa was definitely a prairie state with less than 20 per cent of its area covered by timber. Such a distribution of vegetation, coupled with short time observations, has led to the general assumption that prairie is the climax vegetation of the state. The writers have recently (7) assembled evidence that the present climate of Iowa is capable of supporting a forest climax. Prairie is therefore a subclimax associes maintained by its early establishment and by the marginal nature of the climate, but particularly by a combination of soil factors favoring prairie over woodland. The establishment of our classification depends upon evidence that forest is not only able to survive in Iowa, but that it has been able to invade the prairie at an appreciable rate under undisturbed conditions. Additional evidence of the spread of forest in Iowa, both after and before settlement, is presented here.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
©1944 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Loomis, W. E. and McComb, A. L.
"Recent Advances of the Forest in Iowa,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 51(1), 217-224.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol51/iss1/18