Tag Archives: research

Hubbard Fellowship Post – Grasshopper Mice

This post was written by Jasmine Cutter, one of our Hubbard Fellows.  Jasmine has written earlier about her independent research project looking at small mammals (or s’mammals, as she calls them) in our Platte River Prairies.  All photos are by Jasmine … Continue reading

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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 , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Konza Prairie Trip Part 2 – Tree and Shrub Encroachment

A couple years ago, I wrote about some work from Kansas State University related to woody plant expansion in prairies.  Many of us who work with prairies constantly wrestle with questions about trees in prairies. Why are they encroaching so … Continue reading

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A Trip to Konza Prairie Biological Station, Part 1

Last week, several of us from the Platte River Prairies traveled south to visit the Konza Prairie Biological Station near Manhattan Kansas.  Konza Prairie includes about 8,600 acres of prairie, jointly owned by Kansas State University and The Nature Conservancy.  … Continue reading

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Assessing Prairie Restoration Through the Eyes of Small Mammals – Part 1

We’ve taken another step in the right direction… Over the last several years, we’ve begun to evaluate our prairie restoration work beyond just looking at plant communities.  Our primary objective for restoration is to functionally enlarge and reconnect fragmented remnant (unplowed) prairies by restoring the land … Continue reading

Posted in Prairie Animals, Prairie Insects, Prairie Management, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Restoration/Reconstruction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Bison Good, Cattle Bad??

Among some prairie enthusiasts, there seems to be a perception that plains bison are magical creatures that live in complete harmony with the prairie.  They eat grasses but not wildflowers, they float just above the ground to avoid stepping on plants or … 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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Wildfire Recovery at The Niobrara Valley Preserve – Spring Green Up

Spring is finally changing the color of The Nature Conservancy’s Niobrara Valley Preserve in north central Nebraska.  After last summer’s wildfire and drought, much of the Preserve was barren and brown all winter.   Now, the area has had several small rainfalls during the last couple months, followed by a hard 3 … Continue reading

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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

Is Poison Hemlock Repelled By Plant Diversity? Early Results Say Yes

How important is plant diversity?  Most ecologists think it’s a critical component of resilient ecosystems.  Last week I collected some data that lends support to that view.  In some experimental prairie plantings we’ve established in our Platte River Prairies, plant diversity appears to be suppressing the invasion … Continue reading

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