ALF West and ALF East Site Observations

Today we explored two prairie sites, one which had been burned recently and one which had not. It was startling to see the dramatic difference in the plants inhabiting each site, and the mosaicism that shows in the landscape of the burned site.

ALF West, the site that hadn’t been burned, was overwhelmingly dominated by non-native brome grass, while at the site that had burned, ALF East, we observed more diversity in grass species, as well as a very noticeable absence of the brome grass where it looked like the site had burned. We also noticed the impact of the fire on shrubs and trees in ALF East, and compared that to the new saplings coming up in ALF West. There were two Echinacea angustifolia plants that we observed in ALF West, growing in the gravel on the side of the road.

The shiny heads of the brome grass in the ditch bordering the road, with the burned area behind it

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