• Vegetation of the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie

      Nicholson, R. A.; Marcotte, M. G. (Society for Range Management, 1979-03-01)
      The purpose of this study was to analyze the interrelationships of the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie in terms of the characterizing species and types of vegetation. At each of 100 sample stand locations data were obtained on the 244-ha prairie in Webster County, Nebraska, to estimate percent basal cover and percent species composition. Estimates were analyzed quantitatively with the aid of vegetation ordination techniques, from which 15 vegetation types were discerned. Of the 15 types, two accounted for over 40% of the stands: a Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis)-buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides)-blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis)-type and a Kentucky bluegrass-sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula)-big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi) type. Two secondary types accounted for another 16% of the stands, while the remaining 44% of the stands were fairly evenly dispersed within nine other types. Uplands were predominately Kentucky bluegrass, buffalograss, blue grama, and Japanese brome. Sideoats grama, little bluestem (Andropogon scoparius), and Kentucky bluegrass dominated hillside stands. Most abundant in lowlands were Kentucky bluegrass, sideoats grama, Japanese brome, and big bluestem. Due to the abundance of Kentucky bluegrass, late spring burning was prescribed to improve the condition and productivity of the prairie.