Undergraduate Student Work


Open Access Undergraduate Student Work

Type of Work

Poster Presentation


Prairie restoration for the purpose of biofuel production has the potential to be much more beneficial than using corn-based ethanol. These benefits include less damage to soil from fertilizers or pesticides, less management and greater suitability for native fauna. The current study of this restoration consists of surveying vegetation characteristics on four different soil types seeded with four different mixes, as well as observing bird and butterfly use of the restoration. In the fourth year of management of this particular prairie restoration a great deal of flooding occurred. The frequency and intensity of the flooding had a great affect on the vegetation in terms of what was able to survive long periods of saturation. Species abundance and richness for both butterflies and birds dropped significantly this year compared to the past three years of management. These factors lead to the conclusion that periodic flooding will alter flora and fauna composition of restored prairies and sets a basis for further observations of the effect on the ecosystem. As prairie restorations take several years to fully express, the full impact of the flood may take some time to determine.

Date of Work



Department of Biology


Tallgrass Prairie Center


UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa


©2013 Andrew Ridgway, Dr. Mark Myers, Benjamin Hoksch