Prairie remnants are fragments of the original prairie landscape with their native plant communities still intact. Typically, this means soils were never plowed, graded, or buried by fill. Original prairie is meant to imply that populations of species have persisted or regenerated themselves on site through time (i.e., not planted by people as in prairie reconstruction). Some sites may have had brief soil disturbance in the past, for example, grading to create railroad beds in the 1800s, or fields that were cultivated for brief periods then abandoned. The key point regarding remnants is that some component of the original native vegetation remains, either having persisted on site or naturally re-colonized from surrounding original prairie still present after the disturbance.
Tallgrass Prairie Center
Original Publication Date
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
©2018 Greg Houseal
Houseal, Greg, "Prairie Restoration Series: Recognizing and Appreciating Tallgrass Prairie Remnants" (2018). Tallgrass Prairie Publications and Reports. 37.