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Wednesday, June 5 • 1:00pm - 1:25pm
Determining Prairie Quality at Landscape Scale LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

Prairies make up large parts of Texas’s ecoregions and are one of the most endangered ecosystems in North America.  Prairies provide habitat for a diverse array of plant and animal species, and are important for nutrient cycling, carbon storage, water quality, livestock, hunting, and other forms of outdoor recreation. The persistence of these ecosystems is threatened by urbanization, conversion to agriculture, fire suppression, exotic plant species, and loss of landscape-level processes. Further, the current condition of these landscapes remains widely unknown. The goal of this project is to systematically sample portions of the Blackland Prairies, Grand Prairie, Crosstimbers and Coastal Prairies to determine, through quantitative sampling, the distribution and quality of grasslands within these areas. Field observations were collected from roadsides, to maximize the amount of data collected over a large area. Samples were no closer than two road miles from the nearest adjacent point and were collected on each side of the road. Vegetation data and geographic locations were documented in ArcGIS. A visual estimate of the percent cover by vegetative strata were recorded, along with the top five visually dominant species of grasses and sedges, top four visually dominant species of forbs, and top three dominant tree and shrub species. These data can be used to document remnant prairie locations and to create species distribution maps. They show the current distributions of invasive shrubs and pasture grasses and can be used to monitor the future expansion of these threats, which can inform management approaches for prairie conservation initiatives.


Amie Treuer-Kuehn

Texas Parks & Wildlife

Wednesday June 5, 2019 1:00pm - 1:25pm CDT
Room 1418, The Forest Room