Great Plains Natural Science Society


Date of this Version


Document Type



The Prairie Naturalist 41(112): March/June 2009, pp 55-62


The objectives of my study were to detennine the effects of drought (e.g., Palmer Modified Drought Severity Index; PMDI, Bridges et at. 2001) and/or agricultural practices (e.g., conversion) on RNP abundance in the Nebraska Panhandle (NP).

My RNP survey data were found to be correlated negatively to drought condition (PMDI) in January, February, and April. This was supported by Snyder (1984) and Riley (1995), both of whom reported that decreased precipitation in spring affected RNP production in the western Great Plains and Iowa, respectively. Late winter and early spring drought affect subsoil moisture and decrease primary production (Kiesselbach et al. 1930, Passioura 1991), reduce nesting cover (Riley 1995), and reduce invertebrate availability (Riley et al. 1994).