PART I: PRAIRIE ESTABLISHMENT
Despite its extent, the tallgrass prairie disappeared rather quickly after the arrival of the European settlers. Today, the most extensive remnants of this prairie are present in the Flint Hills of Oklahoma and Kansas where the thin topsoil makes the area unsuitable for row crop agriculture. Where the soils were deep and fertile, only small remnants remain scattered throughout the former range of the tallgrass prairie (Figure 1).
The origin of prairies was a subject of controversy among the first European settlers. Some believed that the prairies were associated with ancient lakes while others were convinced that fire had a role in their existence. It wasn’t until the 20th century that good scientific data were obtained that explained how the prairies originated. In 1935, Professor E.N. Transeau of the Ohio State University published the Prairie Peninsula (Transeau 1935). He suggested that particular types of climate favored prairie over forest. More recent data indicate that the prairie is a relatively recent ecosystem in central North America, having developed following the last glacial epoch approximately 12,000 to 15,000 years ago (Axelrod 1985).
Crow, Horse, and Bulls Eye Prairie
Looking Glass Prairie
Conservation Tillage or No Till Planting
Seeding Rates PRESCRIBED BURNING