Night burn at MPF’s Coyne Prairie. Photo: Jerod Huebner
Prairie is an ecosystem that evolved with disturbance including fire and in some cases grazing by bison, elk, and other animals. In order to sustain native biodiversity of original, unplowed prairies, they must be managed.
Critically important to managing prairie are carefully planned prescribed fires and vigilant treatment of invasive plants, both non-native herbaceous plants like sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata) and Johnson grass (Sorghum halepense), and native trees including eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana).
The Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF) strives to use the best and most innovative management techniques on its properties and to help private landowners do the same. These techniques include annual, prescribed burning on one-third to one-half of each of its original prairies; targeted treatment of invasive plants; and mechanical removal of encroaching trees.
In this MPF webinar, MPF’s Director of Prairie Management Jerod Huebner provides information on establishing prairie plantings.
This graphic illustrates the importance of mowing plantings early in their establishment:
Other resources for management of original prairies or establishment of prairie plantings:
Prairie Management articles from the Missouri Prairie Journal: Click Here
Presettlement Prairie Documents and Maps
- The Presettlement Prairie in the Kansas City Region (Jackson County, Missouri), Vol. 6, 1985
- Presettlement Prairie of Missouri, Missouri Department of Conservation, 1982
- Early Prairies of St. Louis City, Vol. 2, 1981
Prairie Planting Guide
- Shaw Nature Reserve’s Reconstructing a Tallgrass Prairie — A Seeding Guide for Missouri
- Missouri Seed Calculator from the Natural Resources Conservation Service – at the top under Wildlife Job Sheets
- Table of Invasive plants on prairies/grasslands and treatment methods.
- Invasive Species Control for Prairie and Native Grassland Conservation, Vol. 39, No. 2, 2018
Peer-reviewed, published articles on prairie ecology, reconstruction, and related topics:
- Newly Published Article in Restoration Ecology on Prairie Reconstructions in MO by MDC Natural History Biologist Chris Newbold