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Gravel Hill Biodiversity

Much like wetlands, gravel hill prairies represent a microcosm within the tallgrass prairie. The drier conditions support a unique plant community, including a number of important endemic and rare species. With landscape fragmentation, these habitats are becoming increasingly isolated, and many populations are declining and exhibiting reproductive failure. We propose to identify demographic, genetic, and management-related drivers of population decline, and to address identified issues through ex situ and later in situ experiments. Recommendations will be developed based on findings and past data to ensure that land managers have clear guidance for how to support healthy populations of rare species.  Another aspect of this work will investigate the role of community biodiversity in driving population trends for these species  (Fant, Kramer, Goad, Jacobi, Zeldin, Bonefont).

Gravel hill prairie