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Top 10 Tallgrass Prairie Facts

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Posted in Native Plants.

Jeff Nielsen of BWSR sends in the following facts on tallgrass prairie, compiled by Minnesota DNR:

  1. Native tallgrass is the MOST ENDANGERED ecosystem in North America and the foundation of PERENNIAL POLYCULTURE. – Kansas University
  2. Native prairie root systems are the BEST natural soil anchors on earth.
  3. In one acre of established prairie there is 24,000 pounds of roots. – Iowa State University
  4. One acre of established prairie can ABSORB 9 inches of rainfall per hour before runoff occurs. – University of Northern Iowa
  5. One acre of established prairie will INTERCEPT as much as 53 tons of water during a one inch per hour rain event. – University of Nebraska, Lincoln
  6. Prairie foliage represents a surface area of 5 to 20 times larger than the soil area beneath it. – University of Nebraska, Lincoln
  7. Prairie planted in roadside ditches makes highways safer by INCREASING the holding capacity for snow in the ditch provided the shoulder is mowed. – MDOT.
  8. Natural competition of prairie plants REDUCES the occurrence of weeds in an area. – Iowa State University
  9. Greater prairie diversity, creates biotic barriers to PREVENT weed invasion. – University of Minnesota
  10. One acre of reconstructed prairie can produce more bioenergy than land used to grow corn for ethanol. – University of Minnesota

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