Midwestern Ecosystems


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Midwestern Ecosystems

  • Midwestern Ecosystems

  • Invasive Species

  • Control Techniques

  • Commonly Found Prairie Species

  • Rare Prairie Species



Restoration

  • Restoration

  • Reconstruction

  • Rehabilitation

  • Tallgrass Prairie-intermixed with Savanna and Woodland.

  • 10,000 years in the making

  • Through fire both natural and lit

  • Modern threats



Tallgrass Prairie (less than1% left in Illinois)

  • Tallgrass Prairie (less than1% left in Illinois)

  • Oak Savanna

  • Oak Woodland

  • Forest

  • Wetlands

  • The prairie forest continuum

  • Wetland and upland part of this continuum



Dominant Grasses

  • Dominant Grasses

    • Big Bluestem
    • Switch Grass
    • Indian Grass
  • Dominant Forbs

    • Compass Plant
    • Prairie Dock
    • Cone Flowers
  • Fire Dependency

    • Essential to keeping the prairies open








Prairie Wood Interface

  • Prairie Wood Interface

  • Bur Oaks the dominant tree

  • Fire Dependent

  • Canopy level approx 10%





Canopy cover between 30% and 50%

  • Canopy cover between 30% and 50%

  • More shade tolerant species

  • Presence of fire in open woodlands prevents ashes and sugar maples taking over



Traditionally located where fires are restricted along river edges and moraines

  • Traditionally located where fires are restricted along river edges and moraines

  • More maple dominant then oak dominant

  • Fires are more rare

  • Forests traditionally somewhat rare in the native landscape of Illinois

  • Encroachment of the Eastern Forests

  • Forest canopy cover typically 80% plus



Marsh



  • What is an invasive species?



    • “non indigenous species or strains that become established in natural plant communities and wild areas and replace native vegetation.”
  • The Invasive Plant Association of Wisconsin

















Fires are the dominant driving force behind the prairie /savanna/woodland complex

  • Fires are the dominant driving force behind the prairie /savanna/woodland complex

  • Fire Suppression is a key factor in de-gradation of local ecosystems

  • Fires help control invasive plant species

  • 10,000 years of burns have created some of the rarest habitats seen in the world today



Removal

  • Removal

  • Cutting

  • Sawing

  • Dragging

  • Raking



Essential where fire is suppressed and beneficial where fire is used.

  • Essential where fire is suppressed and beneficial where fire is used.

  • Selective

  • Non selective

  • Glyphosate Roundup

  • Trclopyr Garlon

  • Many others



Cut stump treatment

  • Cut stump treatment

    • 20% glyphosate soln (water mix)
    • 12.5% triclopyr soln (basal bark oil)
  • Chemical girdling

  • Girdling

    • Cutting with saw or axe a ring around the base of the trunk, approx 2” wide, applying herbicide to this area helps.
  • Brush piles

    • When the ground is frozen or with snow on the ground
  • Chainsaw/Brush Cutter/Bush Hog



Invasive grasses/forbs

  • Invasive grasses/forbs

      • Spot treatment with 2% glyphosate
      • Common Reed requires handwicking at 50% glyphosate soln
      • Cutting plants before they go to seed
      • Physical removal
      • -essential to remove all root especially those with rhizomes


Seeding

  • Seeding

      • Over seeding
      • Interseeding
      • Spraying, tilling, seeding
      • Burn then seed
      • Seeds need to touch dirt
  • Plugging

      • Straight into plant matrix
      • Plug hole


Mow method





Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)

  • Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)

  • Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)

  • Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepsis)

  • Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans)

  • Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum)

  • Prairie Cord Grass (Spartina pectinata)

  • Side Oats Grama (Bouteloua curtipendula)



















Compass Plant (Siphium lacinatum)

  • Compass Plant (Siphium lacinatum)

  • Praire Dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum)

  • Asters (Asteraceae)

  • Boneset (Eupatorium spp)

  • Coneflowers (Echinacea spp)

  • Blazing Stars (Liatris spp)

  • Goldenrods (Solidago spp)

  • Coreopsis (Coreopsis spp)

  • Milkweeds (Asclepsis spp)

  • Vervain (Verbena spp)

  • Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

  • Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium)

  • Prairie Dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum)





























    • The tallgrass restoration handbook
    • Chicago Wilderness Atlas of Biodiversity
    • The prairie of the Illinois country
    • A natural history of the Chicago region



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