|Title||Use of vegetation sampling and analysis to detect a problem within a portion of a prairie restoration project|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2017|
|Authors||Franson, R, Scholes, C, Krabbe, S|
|Journal||International Journal of Phytoremediation|
|Pagination||65 - 72|
|Keywords||land restoration, Plant cover, prairie, success monitoring, Vegetation analysis, vegetation sampling|
In June 2005, the Department of Energy (DOE) began establishing the 60-ha Howell Prairie around the disposal cell at the DOE Weldon Spring Site (WSS). Prairies were historically present in the area of the site. Quantitative Cover sampling was used to quantify Total Cover, Native Grass Cover, Non-Native Grass Cover, Native Forb Cover, Non-Native Forb Cover, Warm Season (C-4 Grass), Cool Season (C-3 Grass), Perennial Cover and Annual Cover, Litter, and Bare Ground. Four permanent vegetation sampling plots were established. The first 4 years of vegetation measurements at Howell Prairie were made during above-average rainfall years on burned and unburned plots. The fifth-year (2012) vegetation measurements were made after below-average rainfall. Five years of results not only document the consistency of the restoration effort in three areas, but also demonstrate deficiencies in Grass Cover in a fourth area. The results are not only useful for Howell Prairie, but will be useful for restoration work throughout the region. Restoration work suffers from a lack of success monitoring and in this case from a lack of available reference areas. Floristic Quality Indices are used to make qualitative comparisons of the site to Konza Prairie sites.