4 grasses. The practical issue is that in ecological communities some species are always common, while most are always infrequent or rare. To maximize prairie biodiversity, a variety of species abundance distributions should be promoted. A short-term strategy would increase richness by depressing dominance; a mixture of fire intervals, seasonal burns, grazing frequencies, and grazing intensities by different animals should produce the maximum species diversities within and between habitats. A long-term strategy including historically plausible growing-season burns and grazing should favor some species now eclipsed by large C4 dominants. The point is to avoid uniformity of treatments that artificially simplifies what probably was once a far more varied set of communities that now exists. Howe recommends some useful principals might include: (1) managers may use varied fire and feasible grazing regimes to decrease total dominance and promote short-term increases in species richness, and (2) some treatments should encourage increases in abundance of native early-season and other species in a long-term strategy to favor plants currently suppressed by large C4 dominants. Howe stresses that the goal should be to develop scientific rationales for restoration and conservation, rather than rely on unexamined convention." />
Range Science Information System (RSIS) - Montana State University Library

skip navigation

Managing species diversity in tallgrass prairie: Assumptions and implications