Degree Type

Thesis

Date of Award

1995

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Botany

Major

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Abstract

Perhaps no state in the Union has suffered such widespread degradation of its natural vegetation as Iowa. Tallgrass prairie (including wet prairie communities, often considered to be wetlands) once covered at least 85% of this state's land area, but more than 99.9% of Iowa's original grasslands have fallen victim to the plow (Smith 1990). Wetlands once covered 11.1% of Iowa's landscape (Dahl 1990), but virtually all of these have been drained to make way for rowcrops (wetlands now cover only 1.2% of Iowa's landscape). Roughly 12 to 20% of the state was covered by forest at the time of settlement by Europeans, but only 6% of the state is forest today (van der Linden and Farrar 1993, Leatherberry et al. 1992, Thomson and Hertel 1981). Furthermore, the majority of the forest fragments that do remain in Iowa are isolated and significantly altered by past grazing and/or logging practices.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/rtd-180813-12870

Publisher

Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu

Copyright Owner

William Russell Norris

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

375 pages

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