Self-sustaining native grasslands?

Here’s a link to a great blog site by Chris Helzer on managing prairies for biodiversity in the US. The blog has many parallels to managing endangered temperate native grasslands in Australia.

The Myth of Self-Sustaining Prairies

Here’s a question I get asked occasionally:  “At what point will my prairie become self-sustaining?”

There are lots of ways “self-sustaining” can be defined, of course, but usually the person is hoping that at some point they can just step back and let the prairie do its thing with very little or no human input.  In other words, they hope the prairie will function like a machine.  Once you have it tuned up correctly, it’ll hum along just fine with only occasional inputs of fuel or maintenance.

Ah, that it would be so easy.  Unfortunately, there is a short answer to the question, and it’s a disappointing one.  The answer is, “It just doesn’t work that way.”   [… read on …]

Chris’s site is called The Prairie Ecologist and contains lots of great photos and articles. It’s well worth a look. Cheers Ian

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