2019 Research in the Capitol

Title

Seed mix design and first-year management influence ecological outcomes in prairie reconstruction

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Keywords

Prairie restoration; Prairie plants;

Abstract

In this study, we test whether prairie reconstructions can effectively provide both erosion control and high-quality pollinator habitat. Research plots were established with three seed mixes of varying diversity, grass-to-forb seeding ratio, and cost. To assess ecosystem services, we measured native stem density, canopy cover, and inflorescence production over a four-year period (2015 – 2018). The mix with the highest grass-to-forb ratio (3:1) had high native plant cover and stem density, but produced few inflorescences. The mix with the lowest grass-to-forb ratio (1:3) had high inflorescence production, but also had low cover and high weed abundance. The mix with a 1:1 grass-to-forb ratio, had high native cover and grass stem density (comparable to the 3:1 mix) and high inflorescence production (comparable to the 1:3 mix). Our results suggest that a well-designed seed mix, with a 1:1 grass-to-forb ratio can effectively address multiple conservation concerns in prairie reconstruction.

Start Date

1-4-2019 11:00 AM

End Date

1-4-2019 2:30 AM

Event Host

University Honors Programs, Iowa Regent Universities

Faculty Advisor

Mark Sherrard

Department

Department of Biology

Department

Tallgrass Prairie Center

File Format

application/pdf

Electronic copy is not available through UNI ScholarWorks.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 1st, 11:00 AM Apr 1st, 2:30 AM

Seed mix design and first-year management influence ecological outcomes in prairie reconstruction

In this study, we test whether prairie reconstructions can effectively provide both erosion control and high-quality pollinator habitat. Research plots were established with three seed mixes of varying diversity, grass-to-forb seeding ratio, and cost. To assess ecosystem services, we measured native stem density, canopy cover, and inflorescence production over a four-year period (2015 – 2018). The mix with the highest grass-to-forb ratio (3:1) had high native plant cover and stem density, but produced few inflorescences. The mix with the lowest grass-to-forb ratio (1:3) had high inflorescence production, but also had low cover and high weed abundance. The mix with a 1:1 grass-to-forb ratio, had high native cover and grass stem density (comparable to the 3:1 mix) and high inflorescence production (comparable to the 1:3 mix). Our results suggest that a well-designed seed mix, with a 1:1 grass-to-forb ratio can effectively address multiple conservation concerns in prairie reconstruction.