Date of this Version
Nebraska is in the central part of the prairie plains. Yet grassland is only one kind of its varied vegetation. A westward extension of the great deciduous forest occurs along the Missouri River. It is bordered by shrubs, patches of which occur in favorable places to the western border. The foothills of the northwest have a forest of pine not unlike that of the Black Hills. On the level lands and among the wind-blown hills of sand there are hundreds of lakes, swamps, and marshes. The Missouri, Platte, and Niobrara Rivers extend across the state. They and their numerous tributaries have built extensive flood plains with varied vegetation and often a border of woodland. All of this vegetation has been extensively studied throughout half a century by the writer, his colleagues, and his students at the University of Nebraska. It was also explored by earlier botanists. The nature and beauty of this wonderful vegetation will be recorded simply and clearly so that both present and future generations may know about the native vegetation of their state. A final chapter includes the development of cultivated crops in prairie soils, the depth of the soil at which they absorb water and nutrients, and their demands for water compared with those of prairie vegetation.
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