Science from the KNZ LTER provides fundamental knowledge of how disturbances including fire, grazing and climate variability influence plant growth, species richness, nutrient and water cycling, and plant-animal interactions. Based on this science, conservation and management goals can be developed fro the long-term maintenance and protection of tallgrass prairie.
KNZ scientists advise EPA Region 7 staff and scientists on the ecological benefits of fire in maintaining native tallgrass prairie habitat and diversity and contributed important long-term data to guide the development of the Flint Hills regional smoke management plan. This relationship is outlined in a recent EPA Science Matters article.
Grassland Restoration Network
In July 2017, KNZ investigators organized and hosted the Grassland Restoration Network Workshop. The workshop disseminated results from experiments at KNZ with relevance to managing and restoring grassland. Close to 60 participants from throughout the region attended.
Konza Prairie research is supported by the K-State Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service (alternatively known as KSU Research and Extension). KSU Research and Extension supports unbiased research and education focused on a sustainable agricultural livelihoods in Kansas. Research generated at the Konza Prairie focused on tallgrass prairie conservation and management is made available to KSU Research and Extension and ultimately to local county extension agents throughout Kansas.
Kansas Beef Council
KNZ scientists frequently share long-term KNZ research and results with numerous groups involving private landown-ers, which is important, as 98% of the land in Kansas is privately owned. These frequent interactions between scientists and land managers/owners open direct line of communication, create trust in the scientific process, and have long-term positive conservation impacts. The Kansas Beef Council recently produced a video highlighting the importance of burning for Flint Hills rangelands, which has informed ~300,000 people about the role of KNZ research.
The 3,487 hectare native tallgrass prairie preserve known as the Konza Prairie Biological Station (KPBS) is jointly owned by The Nature Conservancy and Kansas State University.