Tom's Blog

Friday, August 26, 2016

Hybrid cattail control at Pleasant Valley Conservancy

Hybrid cattail (Typha X glauca) is a highly invasive species that has become a major threat to wetlands in North America. Last year I discovered in the PVC wetland some modest-sized patches of dense green cattails that I had never seen before. Craig Annen of Integrated Restorations quickly identified them as the hybrid and advised that we get rid of them forthwith. Unfortunately, it was too late in the season so we had to wait until this year. Now the patches have been dealt with, although this may not be the end of this species, since it could crop up elsewhere. Who knows how long it had been present before I noticed it?

Hybrid cattail grows clonally from rhizomes and produces very dense patches, as the photos show. A new clone probably begins from a single plant, which spreads outwards in radial fashion. As it spreads, the growing circumference continues to enlarge. According to certain reports, it can spread linearly as much as 6 meters (18 feet) a year! Since the shape of the clone is approximately circular, one can use simple geometry to calculate the potential size of a clone. Starting with a single plant, in a year it would be 12 meters (~36 feet) in diameter with an area of 113 sq meters (~1200 sq feet). In general, growth is probably not that rapid, but even so, the mathematics show that in a very few years, given no impediments, hybrid cattail could eventually take over a whole wetland.

We called in our contractor, Integrated Restorations, to deal with this problem. (Fortunately, we were able to get some financial support from the Rapid Response Program at the Wisconsin DNR.)

The control procedure was to mow the cattails with a powerful brush cutter and treat each cut stem with Imazapyr, an herbicide certified for wetlands. It took three workers with backpack sprayers following along behind the cutter to find and treat all the cut stems. The cutting was done in such a way that the new cut stems fell upon areas that had already been treated.

As the photos show, very heavy thatch is created, and research has shown that if the thatch is not removed, native species are unable to recolonize the area. Thus, we plan to do a burn before the end of the year.

Late stage in removal of hybrid cattail.



Close up of the brush cutter in action. Note the very heavy thatch, and the closeness of the stems.
This is a demon plant! (Photo courtesy of Integrated Restorations LLC)

Typha X glauca arises as a genetic cross (the X means hybrid) between the native North American cattail T. latifolia and the European species T. angustifolia. The European species, recognized by its narrower leaves, is quite common in North America, although it has not been identified at PVC.

When first found in Europe in the 19th century, T. glauca was considered a distinct species, but was later recognized as a hybrid. Although T. X glauca produces flowers, seeds may not be formed or are generally nonviable.

According to the literature, Typha X glauca is widespread in North America and is often as important as the two parents in nutrient-rich disturbed wetlands in North America, especially in sites with rapid changes in water level or chemistry. Thus, beaver-induced flooding, which has been an occasional problem at PVC, may be partly responsible for its advent at PVC.


If the seeds of hybrid cattail are nonviable, how does it spread? New plants can be established from rhizome fragments, and movement from one place to another may be by muskrats, beavers, sandhill cranes, or other animals. Work on the ecology of hybrid cattail in our area would be very useful.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Echinacea pallida and the prairie remnants at the Far Overlook, Pleasant Valley Conservancy.

We have three Overlooks at Pleasant Valley Conservancy (East, Rocky, and Far), and all three have prairie remnants. The “Far Overlook” is the most interesting because it opens out into a wider area of prairie remnants. (The bench here is heavily used.) Although these areas have been planted, they also had prairie species present before any planting was done. Unfortunately, it is hard to know at this late date which species are native to the site and which have been planted.

We cleared this area in 1999-2000 at the same time we were clearing the nearby savanna called Unit 8. Actually, the far west end of Unit 8 was also prairie remnant, and would be included as part of the whole remnant except that the lane to the bench passes between Unit 8 and the rest of the remnant.

In the original clearing we dealt with lots of brush (honeysuckle, buckthorn, etc.) and walnut and other non-oak tree species. The bur oaks, of course, were untouched, and those along the ridge and a bit down the north side are spectacular, some of the oldest at PVC. 
 
Looking into the bur oaks at the edge of the Circle remnant.
Most of these oaks are just over the ridge into the North Woods
We call the flat area above the Far Overlook “The Circle”. For some reason, the large walnut in the center of the Circle was not removed in the initial clearing, perhaps with the idea of providing a bit of shade for visitors. 
Far Overlook and the Circle before removal of the walnut and black oaks in the winter 2015-2016.
Late October 2015. The color is mostly due to little bluestem.
Kathie doing late-fall seed collecting 


Amanda felt, rightly, that this walnut did not belong there and in the late winter of 2015-2016 she and her crew finally cut it down. At the same time, a substantial black oak and some smaller black oaks were cut, leaving this area now completely open.

This summer this whole area looks spectacular, providing great justification for the hard work of Amanda’s crew last winter. 

The Circle and Far Overlook in late summer 2016. Lots of Echinacea pallida.
Note also the big bur oaks at the edge of the ridge.

In 2015 we counted over 45 species in the Circle, including most of the warm season grasses and prairie brome. The average C-value was 5.1 and the FQI was 34. These are good values for an area of less than 0.1 acre. (Area measured by GIS.)


Typical bunch growth of warm season grasses. Visible is little bluestem and Indian grass.   

One species that has done especially well here is Echinacea pallida, which started out as a few plants (originally from seed) at the top of the south-facing slope (Unit 5A), and has spread extensively on its own. This species is known to self-seed very well and we obviously have here an ideal habitat for this species. 


Typical Echinacea pallida in the Overlook and Circle.
This photo is from mid-summer 2013, but 2016 was similar


Yesterday I did a survey of the E. pallida area and found lots of new plants coming up, probably from adjacent root stock. (See photo below.) This is a species that thrives especially well in dry areas. According to the seed company brochures, it doesn’t “like” too much water.


Numerous new leaves of E. pallida in the Circle. Many of these leaves are coming right out
of the ground. Almost certainly not from seed, but from underground rootstock.


Although E. pallida is considered Threatened in Wisconsin, it is very easy to grow. In fact, it is used so widely in prairie seed mixes, that it is almost impossible to know where “native” populations are present. The Wisconsin State Herbarium shows only four collections in Dane County and only two in Iowa County. Two of the Dane County collections were in the 19th century (1885 and 1894). I suspect that E. pallida is so common now that no one bothers to make Herbarium submissions. Because it is a Threatened species, the Herbarium website withholds the exact locations of these collections.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Windthrow in oak savannas: an important factor in maintaining the savanna habitat?

Although the term “savanna” has been defined in various ways (Scholes and Archer, 1997), for the present discussion a savanna is considered a wooded area with herbaceous groundlayer (or understory) in which the trees are sufficiently far apart so that they are open grown (Leach and Givnish, 1998). Note that this definition specifically does not mention grass as the groundlayer, although most savannas have an extensive grass component.

The origin and dynamics of savannas have been subject to extensive discussions throughout the world. Disturbance factors are generally considered to be essential for the creation of savannas, of which the most important factors mentioned have been climate (weather), herbivory, and fire. Windthrow is generally not mentioned for savannas, although it is extensively discussed in the forestry and silviculture literature.

In this blog post, I would like to report on a number of windthrow events in the bur oak savanna at Pleasant Valley Conservancy and suggest that windthrow may be an important factor in maintaining the open character of the oak savanna.

Background information on windthrow in the Upper Midwest was obtained from an extensive review paper by Steil, Blinn, and Koka (2009). They expressed wind disturbance in the following: “Wind moving over a closed, relatively smooth canopy is fairly stable and causes minimal disturbance….When an area of forest is clearcut [e.g.; open], the remaining forest edge of the clearcut [open area] presents an abrupt obstruction to the wind….Wind approaching the forest edge has a higher velocity than in an intact forest because of the frictional boundary….Although damage…is often high…it does not occur randomly.”

Factors affecting windthrow (from Steil et al. 2009)
Tree species
Oaks are among the most resistant
Diameter at breast height
Increased susceptibility with increasing dbh (except possibly for the very largest trees)
Tree density
Neighboring trees protect and reduce the probability of wind damage; the more open the canopy, the more susceptible to wind disturbance
Aspect
Most damage occurs on sides facing prevailing wind; southwest or northwest
Topography
Wind speed highest at hilltop; wind damage most severe at hilltop
Soil depth and rooting depth
Rooting depth an important factor; shallow rooted trees more likely to be uprooted

  
Windthrow at Pleasant Valley Conservancy.
Over the approximately 20 years that we have been monitoring this area, we have lost a number of trees due to windthrow (probably no more than a few percentage). The windstorm of May 28 2016 was especially severe, and prompted a consideration of its significance. The most serious damage was at the topographic top of the west end of the ridge, as would be predicted from the data in the table. This area contains primarily bur oaks, although there were also some hickories and large black oaks that were affected (see photos below).

Two fairly large bur oaks were completely uprooted, exposing their roots. These were growing in quite rocky soil at the edge of the south firebreak, and because of the geology and soil, were undoubtedly shallowly rooted. Some of the bur oaks on the top of the ridge lost fairly good-sized branches, but did not loose enough leafage to kill them. A number of hickories lost their whole tops, and will probably die. Some cherries were also lost. One very large black oak at the top of the ridge lost almost all of its top and will probably die (see photos).

About 10 years ago we had a straight-line wind that took down at least five large black oaks that had died or were in the process of dying from oak wilt. Some of these still remain standing as snags, although they are gradually succumbing to fire damage.

Our observation is that trees in the open, such as those in the savanna, are more likely to suffer from windthrow than trees in the closed forest in the North Woods. This agrees with the information from Steil et al.

Hypothesis
Open-grown oaks, especially those on ridge tops, are more sensitive to windthrow. Over the long life time of these savanna oaks, it is likely that some of these oaks will be uprooted or severely damaged. The bigger the tree, more likely it will be damaged by windthrow, up until the largest size.

There should be a positive feedback effect. Windthrow will create openings and openings are more sensitive to windthrow. Once a portion of forest is opened up by windthrow, trees in the open will start growing as "savanna" trees. Given a long enough period of time, there may be a steady state condition, creating an open savanna habitat.

Although this discussion is on oak savannas, windthrow may be significant in savannas in other parts of the world where the trees are not oaks.

Most of the top of a black oak ended up on the woods road.
Fortunately, the ancient bur oak nearby was not hit.

This large hickory lost all of its top and will probably not survive.
100 years is about the oldest that hickories survive.


Two medium-sized bur oaks along the crest of the hill were shallow-rooted
and were uprooted.

This bur oak lost about half of its wood but will probably survive.




************************************************************************ 
Leach, Mark K. and Givnish, Thomas J. 1998. Identifying highly restorable savanna remnants. Transactions Wisconsin Academy Sciences, Arts and Letters 86: 119-128.

Scholes, R.J. and Archer, S.R. 1997. Tree-grass interactions in savannas. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 28: 517-544.


Steil, Jeremy C., Blinn, Charles R., and Kolka, Randy. 2009. Foresters’ perceptions of windthrow dynamics in Northern Minnesota riparian management zones. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry 26: 76-82.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Hedge parsley at Pleasant Valley Conservancy

We first found hedge parsley (Torilis japonica) at Pleasant Valley Conservancy over 20 years ago. At that time it was essentially unknown in Wisconsin and Kathie collected seeds from a small patch along Pleasant Valley Road, thinking it might be a good thing to plant. Fortunately, she first sent a sample to Kelly Kearns, the invasive plant specialist at the DNR, who informed her that it was an exotic, recently arrived from Illinois.

It's a rather unassuming looking plant, not nearly as destructive looking as wild parsnip or garlic mustard. Unfortunately, in many ways it is worse than those two. Like garlic mustard, it grows best in shaded sites, such as forest edges, although we have also found it in some of our savannas.

It is a biennial or winter annual, growing the first year as low, parsley-like rosettes. Like garlic mustard, the first-year plants stay green until late fall, even until snow fall. It could be sprayed at that time, but unfortunately its rather delicate leaves get covered up by tree leaves so that it is hard to find.

The seeds stick like velcro and are undoubtedly transferred by rodents and deer. These seeds stick a lot worse than those of garlic mustard.

Once I marked some first-year patches in late summer and then returned to them in early December, blowing the fallen leaves off with a leaf blower and then spraying with glyphosate. (This is an ideal time to spray, since all the native vegetation has senesced and hence not affected by the herbicide.) This technique worked, but unfortunately the first year plants are really hard to find among all the lush vegetation. So mostly we have relied on hand-pulling second-year flowering plants. If you get them early enough you can just lay them on the ground, but once they start setting seeds they have to be bagged (again, like garlic mustard).

We have been trying carefully to pull all flowering hedge parsley plants every year, ever since we first discovered this plant, but have been unsuccessful in eradicating it. Because of its delicate structure, it is hard to see in the woods, and only shows up well when present in large flowering patches.

This year hedge parsley is the worst we have ever found it. The shady North Woods has been especially bad, and our crew has been working there 2-3 days a week for the past 2-3 weeks.
The results of a 15 minute "pull" by two people in a shady roadside near PVC.


Since we started controlling hedge parsely 20 years ago, it has become lots more frequent on roadsides in our area. Again, it is lots more difficult to spot than garlic mustard or wild parsnip, so it can easily be missed when driving along at 50 mph. I suspect the distribution map shown below needs a serious update, as it is easy to miss this species. Lots of land managers may be unaware that they even have it. Because of its transmittal by very mobile animals like deer, it can get inoculated quite far from roads. I have seen it deep along old abandoned woods roads that are undoubtedly still used by deer.

I have little hope of eradicating hedge parsley from PVC, but we are committed to doing the best we can. We usually budget two weeks in mid- to late-July, just after the sweet clover season is over.

Fortunately, because of its preference for shady areas, it is less likely to show up in prairies, except along edges near woods.






Sunday, July 10, 2016

Summer brush control at colorful Black Earth Rettenmund Prairie

Sweet clover control at Black Earth Rettenmund Prairie is almost finished for the summer, and we are returning to brush control activities. Yesterday was our monthly volunteer work party, ably managed by Kathie.

This year brush control work focuses on the South Unit, which was not burned. We burn each of the three units at Rettenmund two out of three years, so that each year one unit is unburned. This means that any woody vegetation in that unit is not killed and is larger and has the opportunity to leaf out, making it easier to find. This is important because we are having such good control of woody vegetation that the woodies are quite small and we need help finding them.

The volunteer group walked across the whole prairie on their way to the South Unit, pulling any scattered sweet clover plants that might have been missed (very few indeed!).

Cutting and treating
small woody vegetation in the South Unit
Our procedure for woodies is to hand clip each stem near the base, then spray the cut stem with 20% Garlon 4 in bark oil. Since each person is working alone (with clippers and spray bottle), all cut stems are sure to be treated. The cut stems are pulled out and thrown on a pile. Woody vegetation consists of gray dogwood, brambles (dewberry and black raspberry), grape, bittersweet, and the occasional small honeysuckle. Once in a while a sumac or small buckthorn is found, but not very often.

As the photo shows, this is "stoop" labor, but it is a delight to work in a prairie that is in such good shape.











Ten years ago this whole unit was shoulder-high with woody vegetation

Five years ago we started to eradicate a large sumac clone in this area (which we call the Narrows).
Today sumac is hard to find!


Verbena stricta now flowering on the Saddle
Typical prairie bunch grass, Andropogon gerardii, with butterfly milkweed and lead plant flowering
in the background. This grass is most frequent on the Saddle.



Monday, July 4, 2016

Prairie plant species missing at Black Earth Rettenmund Prairie

This post discusses a number of prairie plant species that "should" be at Black Earth Rettenmund Prairie but are not. This discussion is based on a review of the various floras that have been done at Black Earth Rettenmund Prairie over the past 65 years, and on observations that Kathie and I have made during the past 15 years.

See the table at the end of this post for a complete list of the prairie species known to be present.

This outstanding Wisconsin prairie remnant is one of the jewels of southern Wisconsin, whose study goes back to the work in the early 1950s by John Curtis and students. Kathie and I have been managing this prairie since 2001, and I have done historical research on the site (Brock, 2014). This prairie is characterized by its diverse prairie flora and absence from disturbance. For the past 30 years it has been extensively managed, involving major and continuous brush and invasive tree control, weed control, and prescribed burns.

Typical prairie grasses at Rettenmund are big bluestem, side oats grama, little bluestem, Indian grass, prairie dropseed, and needle grass. However, the present discussion is restricted to forbs, which are much more diverse.

Rettenmund Prairie is part of the original southern Wisconsin prairie along and near Black Earth Creek which was first delineated by the Federal land surveyors in presettlement 1832 (Section 27 of Town 8N Range 6E). All except the present 16 acres have now been converted to agriculture or urban settlement. (This 16 acres is considerably larger than the 4 acre size that Curtis and Greene (1949) decided was the minimum size a prairie could be and still be reasonably studied floristically.)

In their study of southern Wisconsin prairies, Curtis and Greene (1949) and Curtis (1959) classified prairie species, based on their natural distribution, into five categories: dry, dry-mesic, mesic, wet-mesic, and wet. Henderson (1998), using the Curtis data, followed these same categories. It should be noted that although most prairie species have an optimum habitat in one or two of the prairie types, most species are often found in the other prairie types, generally in reduced amounts. This is reflected in the Henderson data which give the percentage of prairie stands across the state in which a given species is found. Henderson’s data are derived from a computerized analysis of the Curtis data that was carried out by Umbanhowar (1992). (Computers were not available when Curtis did his analysis.) Fortunately, all of the Curtis original field data were still available to Umbanhowar.

Rettenmund Prairie is a typical dry to dry-mesic prairie with a small amount of mesic habitat. It is mostly a high knoll that sits between crop fields, but lower areas along the northern edge, and the north-facing unit itself, are more mesic in character. Only a small area in one corner has ever been cropped, and cropping ceased about 30 years ago. The former crop field was planted to prairie about 10 years ago and now has a diverse species flora, with emphasis on species the grow well in dry-mesic to mesic sites.

Although the prairie flora at Rettenmund is extensive and diverse, there are a number of species that are missing. The purpose of this post is to discuss these missing species.

It should be emphasized that no new species have ever been knowingly introduced here. Seeds have been collected here primarily for planting back at formerly brushy sites, or in other parts of Rettenmund where species enhancement was needed. Thus, as far as can be told, we have here the original native flora

The complete Rettenmund Prairie species list is given at the end of this post, with their prairie types. The following table lists species that are missing but, based on their classifications, “should” be  there. Each of these species is discussed separately below.


Species missing from Rettenmund Prairie
Curtis/Henderson classification
Aster novae-angliae
M-WM
Astragalus canadensis
M-WM
Baptisia alba
D-DM-M-WM
Baptisia bracteata
D-DM-M-WM
Ceanothus americanus
D-DM-M-WM
Desmodium canadense
DM-M-WM
Desmodium illinoense
D-DM-M-WM
Echincacea pallida
DM-M-WM
Heliopsis helianthoides
D-DM-M-WM
Lespedeza capitata
D-DM-M-WM
Liatris pycnostachya
DM-M-WM
Oxalis violacea
DM-M-WM
Parthenium integrifolium
DM-M-WM
Zizia aptera
DM-M-WM
Zizia aureus
DM-M-WM


 Although Aster novae-angliae is primarily a mesic to wet-mesic species, it is also found in dry habitats, often on disturbed ground, railroad ballast, roadsides and ditches, etc. It is the showiest of the asters and hence is widely used in prairie plantings. Because it is showy, it is unlikely that it would be missed in any floristic survey.

Astragalus Canadensis is common in southern Wisconsin and is found in borders, clearings, trails, roadsides, dry to mesic prairies, and other similar habitats.

Baptisia alba is a widespread prairie species which, although primarily a mesic species, is often found on drier prairies. Although found only in southern Wisconsin, it is widespread here. Also, it is widely planted in prairie restorations, where it does extremely well. There are habitats at Rettenmund where this species could thrive, but it seems not to be here.

Baptisia bracteata is also a widespread prairie species, found from dry to mesic prairies, dry lime sites, sandy and gravelly sites. A species of the prairies, it “should” be at Rettenmund, but isn’t.

Although Ceanothus americanus is often considered a savanna species, it also thrives in dry to mesic prairies, roadsides, hillsides and banks, and other similar habitats. This relative of buckthorn is actually a shrub, but where prescribed fire is frequent it never gets very large. Extensive populations of Ceanothus are present a few miles from Rettenmund at Pleasant Valley Conservancy, including some thriving native populations along County Highway F. For some reason, seeds have been unable to manage the three mile distance along Highway F.

Echinacea pallida is present as a native in a few southern Wisconsin counties but is widely distributed in other states south of here, including a wide sweep of states along the Mississippi River. Also, it is widely used in prairie plantings where it grows extremely well. Native populations are known within 20 miles of Rettenmund, yet it has not worked its way here.

Desmodium illinoiense and Desmodium canadense are prairie species that do well in dry-mesic to mesic habitats, and are widespread in Wisconsin. They both are found along roadsides and railroads. According to Cochrane and Iltis (2000) D. illinoense “…sometimes persist[s] along grassy, unshaded roadsides and railroads with mixtures of weeds and prairie or upland-thicket species.” D. canadense, being showy, is widely used in prairie restorations, where it thrives. Neither species has ever been reported from Rettenmund.

Heliopsis helianthoides (false or ox-eye sunflower) is common throughout southern and western Wisconsin, on wet to dry-mesic prairies. Because it flowers early, it is also widely used in prairie plantings, where it thrives.

Although Lespedeza capitata has never been reported at Rettenmund, it is widespread in Wisconsin and the Midwest. According to Cochrane and Iltis (2000) it is “Wisconsin’s most abundant native legume, common in dry to mesic prairies…”. According to Cochrane/Iltis, it is an active invader of roadsides, railroads, old field, and shores. It is easy to grow, is considered a bird attractant, and is often used in prairie seed mixes. Why isn’t it at Rettenmund? It has certainly become dispersed all over southern Wisconsin.

Although two other species of Liatris are common at Rettenmund, Liatris pycnostachya is not present. This species is somewhat more mesic than the other two, and may require deeper soil for establishment.

According to Cochrane and Iltis (2000), Parthenium integrifolium was once common in Wisconsin, primarily at mesic sites. Because most mesic sites have been converted to agriculture, this species is now found only on prairie remnants or on planted prairies. Since it thrives on planted prairies (including those at Pleasant Valley Conservancy) why hasn’t it become established at Rettenmund?

Oxalis violacea is widespread in the Midwest and although primarily a mesic species, it is found frequently in southern Wisconsin and is especially present on prairies, including goat prairies, prairie glades, and other open habitats. It flowers early so that it is unlikely to be missed in any floristic study.

Zizia aureus is another widespread prairie/savanna species, which although most frequently found in mesic habitats is also present in dry-mesic prairies. A single small patch of Zizia aureus was actually found at Rettenmund a few years ago, but did not return the following year. There are large amounts of Z. aureus along County F three miles from Rettenmund.

The related species Z. aptera is also primarily a mesic species but does occur in dry-mesic sites. Although not now present at Rettenmund, it was reported by Read in 1972 and by Henderson in 1988.

It should be emphasized that, based on the presence of existing species, suitable habitats exist at Rettenmund for all these missing species. Extensive mesic habitat is present on the north-facing hill of the north unit, where Phlox, Anemone canadense, Helianthus grosseserratus, and Heuchera richardsonii are currently thriving. Also, extensive areas of another mesic species, Thalictrum dasycarpum are present in the south unit.

Why are these species missing? There have certainly been enough years for them to become dispersed. All of them flourish at nearby sites, even in many cases spreading “on their own”. Were they once here in the large presettlement prairie and when this prairie was fragmented, they were cut off and disappeared?

Is the Rettenmund habitat unfavorable despite its suitability for other species, including many typical prairie species.

Is the site too small?

Are these species now dispersing to Rettenmund but are unable to compete with the already established flora?



Complete species list for Black Earth Rettenmund Prairie

Common name
Prairie type
Agalinis aspera
Rough false foxglove
D-DM-M
Agalinis gattingeri
Round-stemmed false foxglove
WM
Amorpha canescens****
Lead-plant
D-DM-M-WM
Andropogon gerardii****
Big bluestem
D-DM-M-WM
Anemone canadensis
Canada anemone
WM
Anemone cylindrica
Thimbleweed
D-DM-M
Anemone patens
Pasque flower
D-DM
Antennaria neglecta
Field pussytoes
D-DM-M
Antennaria plantaginifolia
Plantain pusstoes
D-DM-M
Apocynum androsaemifolium
Spreading dogbane
M
Apocynum cannabinum
Indian hemp
M
Arabis lyrata
Lyrate rock cress
D
Arenaria stricta
Sandwort
D
Asclepias syriaca
Common milkweed
DM-M-WM
Asclepias tuberosa
Butterfly milkweed
DM
Asclepias verticillata
Whorled milkweed
D-DM
Asclepias viridiflora
Short green milkweed
D
Aster ericoides
Heath aster
D-DM-M-WM
Aster laevis
Smooth blue aster
D-DM-M-WM
Aster oolentangiensis
Sky-blue aster
D
Aster pilosus
Frost aster
DM
Aster sericeus****
Silky aster
D-DM
Bouteloua curtipendula****
Side oats grama
D-DM
Bromus kalmii
Kalm's brome
D-DM-M-WM
Cirsium discolor
Pasture thistle
D-DM-M-WM
Cirsium hillii
Hill's thistle
DM-M
Comandra umbellata
False toadflax
D-DM-M
Coreopsis palmata
Prairie tickseed
D-DM-M
Dalea candida
White prairie clover
DM
Dalea purpurea****
Purple prairie clover
D-DM-M
Dodecatheon meadia
Shooting star
D-DM-M-WM
Erigeron strigosus
Daisy fleabane
D-DM-M-WM
Eryngium yuccifolium
Rattlesnake master
DM-M
Euphorbia corollata****
Flowering spurge
D-DM-M-WM
Euthamia graminifolia
Grass-leaved goldenrod
M
Fragaria virginiana
Wild strawberry
DM-M
Galium boreale
Northern bedstraw
DM-M
Gentiana puberulenta
Prairie gentian
D-DM-M
Gentianella quinquefolia
Stiff gentian
DM-M
Geum triflorum
Prairie smoke
D-DM-M
Helianthus grosseseratus
Saw-tooth sunflower
DM-M
Helianthus occidentalis
Western sunflower
D-DM-M-WM
Helianthus pauciflorus
Showy sunflower
D-DM-M
Heuchera richardsonii
Prairie alum-root
D-DM-M
Hypoxis hirsuta
Yellow star-grass
DM-M
Koeleria macrantha
June grass
D-DM-M
Kuhnia eupatorioides
False boneset
D-DM
Lactuca canadensis
Wild lettuce
D-DM-M
Lechea stricta
Prairie pinweed
D-DM
Liatris aspera
Rough blazing star
D-DM-M-WM
Liatris cylindracea
Dwarf blazing star
D-DM
Lilium philadelphicum
Wood lily
D-DM-M
Linum  sulcatum
Yellow flax
D-DM
Lithospermum canescens
Hoary puccoon
D-DM
Lobelia spicata
Pale spiked lobelia
D-DM-M
Lythrum alatum
Winged loosestrife
M-WM
Maianthemum racemosum
False Solomon's seal
DM-M
Monarda fistulosa
Wild bergamot
D-DM-M-WM
Oenothera biennis
Evening-primrose
D-DM-M-WM
Panicum leibergii
Prairie panic grass
D-DM-M-WM
Panicum oligosanthes
Few flowered panic grass
D-DM-M-WM
Panicum perlongum
Long-leaved panic grass
D-DM-M-WM
Pedicularis canadensis
Wood betony
D-DM-M
Pediomelum esculentum
Prairie turnip
D-DM
Phlox pilosa
Prairie phlox
DM-M-WM
Physalis heterophylla
Clammy ground cherry
D-DM
Physalis virginiana
Virginia ground cherry
D-DM-M
Polygala sanguinea
Field milkwort
DM-M-WM
Polygala senega
Seneca snakeroot
DM-M-WM
Polygonatum biflorum
Solomon's seal
D-DM-M-WM
Potentilla argute
Prairie cinquefoil
D-DM-M-WM
Prenanthes racemosa
White lettuce
DM-M
Pycnanthemum virginianum
Common mountain mint
DM-M-WM
Ratibida pinnata
Yellow coneflower
D-DM-M-WM
Rosa spp.****
Rose
D-DM-M-WM
Rudbeckia hirta
Black-eyed Susan
D-DM-M-WM
Schizacharium scoparium****
Little bluestem
D-DM-M-WM
Silphium integrifolium
Rosinweed
D-DM-M-WM
Silphium laciniatum
Compass plant
D-DM-M-WM
Sisyrinchium campestre
Blue-eyed grass
D-DM-M-WM
Solidago canadensis
Canada goldenrod
DM-M
Solidago gigantea
Late goldenrod
DM-M
Solidago juncea
Early goldenrod
D-DM-M
Solidago missouriensis
Missouri goldenrod
D-DM-M-WM
Solidago nemoralis
Old-field goldenrod
D-DM-M-WM
Solidago ptarmicoides
White goldenrod
D-DM-M
Solidago rigida****
Stiff goldenrod
D-DM-M-WM
Solidago speciosa
Showy goldenrod
D-DM-M-WM
Sorghastrum nutans
Indian grass
D-DM-M-WM
Spiraea alba
Meadowsweet
M
Spiranthes cernua
Nodding lady's tresses
M-WM
Sporobolus heterolepis****
Prairie dropseed
D-DM-M-WM
Stipa spartea
Needle grass
D-DM-M-WM
Thalictrum dasycarpum
Purple meadow-rue
M-WM
Tradescantia ohiensis
Common spiderwort
D-DM-M-WM
Verbena stricta
Hoary vervain
D-DM
Veronicastrum virginianum
Culver's root
D-DM-M-WM
Viola pedata
Bird's foot violet
D-DM-M-WM
Viola pedatifida
Prairie violet
D-DM-M-WM
Zigadenus elegans
White camas
D-DM-M-WM
The marked species are the 10 most widespread species for dry lime prairies (Curtis and Greene, 1949)
D: dry; DM: dry-mesic; M: mesic; WM: wet mesic


Brock, Thomas D. 2014. Legacy effects in prairie restoration: a 73-year spatial history. Proceedings of the North American Prairie Conference 23: 15-20.

Umbanhowar, C.E. Jr. (1992). Reanalysis of the Wisconsin prairie continuum. American Midland Naturalist 127: 268-275.

Curtis, J.T. and Greene, H.C. 1949. A study of relic Wisconsin prairies by the species-presence method. Ecology 30: 83-92.

Curtis, J.T. 1959. The Vegetation of Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin.

Henderson, Richard. A. `998. Plant species composition of Wisconsin prairies. Technical Bulletin No. 188, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madiosn, Wisconsin.

Cochrane, T.S. and Iltis, H.H. 2000. Atlas of Wisconsin Prairie and Savanna Flora Technical Bulletin No. 191, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison.