Date of this Version
Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2021.
This study focuses on better understanding the relationship between the age of prairie restorations and their plant diversity. The study looks specifically at the prairie restorations within the Prairie Corridor on Haines Branch, located west of Lincoln, Nebraska. The data gathered from these restorations show a positive correlation between age and native plant diversity. This diversity indicates that the restorations are fulfilling their purpose by bringing native prairie plants back to the area. From the data I came to these four conclusions, 1) Because the study only included two restorations greater than 10 years old, it is unclear if the number of native plant species has stabilized or will continue to increase. 2) For the first two years, the restorations are dominated by agricultural weeds, but these weeds decrease in abundance dramatically in years two through four. 3) The plant species composition of the restorations differs considerably from the remnants and the two grassland types are not converging over time. 4) Some native plant species are common in remnant prairies of the Prairie Corridor but are rare or absent in the restorations, these species are good candidates for transplanting. More data from future years are needed to strengthen the data sets, but this study’s results are promising.