Nebraska Academy of Sciences


Date of this Version



1987. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences, XV: 37-48. Copyright © 1987 Nagel and Kolstad

(File updated 4/2/2018)


Mormon Island Crane Meadows (MICM) and Lillian Annette Rowe Sanctuary (LARS) are both western extensions of true prairie vegetation and are sandhill crane sanctuaries. Both are located on the Platte River, 35 km (22 mi) apart, in Central Nebraska. MICM is about 827 ha (2100 ac) and is owned by the Platte River Whooping Crane Habitat Maintenance Trust. LARS is about 324 ha (800 ac) and is owned by the National Audubon Society.

Plants were collected and vegetation was sampled with square meter cover quadrats (N=314 on MICM and 204 on LARS) in 1980 and 1981. Both areas are on alluvial soils and primarily on subirrigated range site. MICM has about 29% on wetland range site, whereas LARS has very little wetland and more wooded habitat.

On MICM, 317 vascular plant species were collected; on LARS 273 species. Sorensen's Coefficient (percentage of similarity of species collected) was 75%.

Both areas are dominated by true prairie species. Percent species composition is as follows for MICM (LARS): Big bluestem 11.4 (8.4), sedges 7.8 (2.7), switchgrass 6.4 (7.0), prairie cordgrass 3.3 (4.7), and Indiangrass 3.6 (5.1). Horn's Index of Community Overlap (based upon species composition) was only 56%.

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