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Robert C. Roos ACF Abstract FY11

"A Michigan Sand Prairie Restoration Experiment: Nature or Nurture?"

Society of Ecological Restoration - Midwest Great Lakes Chapter

Robert C. Roos

Sand prairie in Michigan was a primary component of the states historical oak-pine barrens ecosystem. However, sand prairie has been all but eliminated in the state and few attempts at restoring this ecosystem have been conducted. Our sand prairie restoration experiment, established in 2009 at the Chittenden Nursery in the Manistee National Forest, seeks to develop a successful approach to restoring this ecosystem. Specifically, we examine the influence of variable seeding rates of native plant functional groups (graminoids, early season forbs, late season forbs, legumes) on plant community restoration success. Here we present data from 2010 that examines how seeding has affected community variables since the initiation of the experiment and seeded plots exhibit significant changes in these variables over and above changes exhibited in non-seeded plots? Here we differentiate between changes due to succession (i.e. nature) from changes due to our restoration efforts (i.e. nurture).