Tag Archives: prairie management

Konza Prairie Trip Part 3 – Questions About Frequent Prairie Burning

A few weeks ago, I wrote about our trip to the Konza Prairie Biological Station in eastern Kansas.  On that trip, we learned about research results showing that frequent spring fires (one or two year frequency) can prevent encroachment of … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Just When I Think I’ve Got Something Figured Out…

I pay close attention as I walk through prairies.  I watch for tracks to see what animals are around and I notice which flowers are blooming and which insects are feeding on them.  Often, I notice changes in prairie plant communities and try to attribute them to our management treatments, weather … Continue reading

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Embracing Unpredictability in Prairie Management

Much of what determines the outcome of prairie management treatments is out of our control.  Sure, we can decide when to burn a prairie or set the timing and stocking rate for grazing treatments, but cascades of interactions between countless factors such as weather, … Continue reading

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Some Things I’ve Learned Since I Wrote My Book

It took me a long time to decide to write a book on prairie management.  One of my worries was that I was learning a tremendous amount each year, and a book captures a moment in time.  One of the reasons … Continue reading

Posted in General, Prairie Animals, Prairie Insects, Prairie Management, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Hubbard Fellowship Blog – Weed Whacking with Konstantin

Guest Post by Anne Stine, one of our 2013-14 Hubbard Fellows: When one considers that the weed-whacker is the modern incarnation of the scythe, Konstantin Levin’s ecstatic enlightenment while cutting wheat with his peasant tenants in Anna Karenina comes across … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Tuning Into Fire Frequency

HOW OFTEN SHOULD PRAIRIES BE BURNED? It’s a question prairie ecologists and managers have been wrestling with for many years.  Unfortunately, research on the impacts of fire management is somewhat limited and often contradictory.  Much of the best research has … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Animals, Prairie Insects, Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Lessons From a Project to Improve Prairie Quality – Part 1: Patch-Burn Grazing, Plant Diversity, and Butterflies

We recently completed a large multi-year restoration and management project at our Platte River Prairies.  Our specific objectives were to improve habitat quality for various at-risk prairie species and evaluate the impacts of our management on at-risk butterflies – particularly … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Animals, Prairie Insects, Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Killing Small Trees in Prairies – A Helpful Tool

One of the greatest challenges of prairie management, especially in small eastern prairies, is managing the invasion of small deciduous trees.  Most prairie species (plant and animal alike) thrive best in open treeless habitats.  Encroaching trees can fragment large prairies into smaller pieces, … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Management, Prairie Plants, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Dealing With a Pervasive Invasive – Kentucky Bluegrass in Prairies

Many of the prairies we manage have pretty degraded plant communities, characterized by low plant diversity and dominance by a few grass species – including the invasive Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis).  Our primary objective for these prairies is to increase plant diversity, … Continue reading

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Regal Fritillary Butterflies in Burned and Grazed Prairie

We’ve been conducting field surveys of regal fritillary butterflies for the last three years.  During that time, we’ve learned a lot about how those butterflies are responding our prairie management and restoration work.  So far, there are two overwhelming lessons … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Insects, Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments