Assessment of small scale tallgrass prairie restoration in an urban environment

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Mutch, Paul D.
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Tallgrass prairie restoration is an important conservation activity in rural areas. However, little is known about prairie restoration in urban environments. The overall objective of this study was to characterize and better understand urban prairie restoration. This was carried out through an examination of 29 restoration sites within Winnipeg, Manitoba. The results indicated that actively restored urban prairies were successful and high in diversity. Multiple attributes of the restorations were examined as indicators of success including vegetation, the propagule bank and insects. However, not all attributes delivered equivocal results. This suggests that multiple measures should be used to assess a restoration site. Anthropogenic and biophysical variables were found to influence vegetation of the restorations equally, highlighting the importance of incorporating a human component in urban ecological research. These urban restorations were seen to surpass larger rural restorations in quality; thus, efforts should be made to increase their prevalence.
Urban ecosystems, Restoration, Tallgrass prairie, Success, Species diversity, Grasslands, Floristic quality, Variation partitioning, Propagule bank, Orthoptera, Grasshoppers, Management