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Prairie Restoration

  • By: Deborah E. Popper
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Across the world, prairies are among the most manipulated landscapes as prime sites for grain crops such as wheat and corn. Found in semiarid regions such as the North American Midwest and the Russian steppe, their mix of grasses and forbs (broadleaved herbs) sends roots deep. The native plants support a rich mix of animals, insects, and birds; the substitution of monocultural grain crops harms them. Prairie restorations are attempts to recover diversity by reintroducing a wide array of native plants. Full prairie restoration includes disturbances from periodic fires, which clear surface plant matter while reinvigorating the soils, and migration by native animals, whose hooves break up the topsoil layer to make way for new fresh growth once they have passed.

Early pioneers in prairie restoration ...

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