Rain plays a surprising role in making some restored prairies healthier than others

Read the full story at The Conversation.

Prairies once covered an enormous area of North America, but today have been reduced to a small fraction of this historical range. Imagine an area the size of Texas, the second largest state, shrinking over the course of decades to an area the size of Massachusetts, the sixth smallest state.

Prairie grasslands produce a lot of benefits, such as storing carbon in soil, providing habitat for wildlife and protecting the land from erosion. Government agenciesconservation organizations and homeowners are working to restore native prairie ecosystems in many parts of the central U.S., but it’s a daunting challenge. Often newly planted restoration sites end up covered with weeds.

I am an ecologist and have worked with other researchers for a decade to find the most effective ways of restoring prairies in the midwestern United States. Our newest finding points to a reason why planted prairies can fail, one that few had considered earlier: the weather during the year they are planted.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.