Floristic Quality of Native Tallgrass Pastures in Eastern South Dakota

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2008: $10,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Grant Recipient: South Dakota State University
Region: North Central
State: South Dakota
Graduate Student:
Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Alexander Smart
South Dakota State University

Annual Reports


  • Additional Plants: native plants


  • Animal Production: grazing management
  • Education and Training: extension
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity
  • Pest Management: chemical control
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems

    Proposal abstract:

    Historic overuse of herbicides and heavy grazing has influenced natural diversity and quality of pasturelands in eastern South Dakota. Floristic quality inventories are needed to assist state and federal agencies in prioritizing conservation practices to enhance native grasslands and control invasive species. Rancher interviews will be used to determine past land use practices (herbicides and grazing) and botanical surveys will be used to calculate floristic quality index. Quality control of collected data and data analysis will be conducted by the graduate student and supervising faculty to ensure that results meet standards of appropriate peer reviewed journals. Presentations produced as well as feedback from ranchers/land managers will provide partial evaluation of the success of educational efforts. Roundtable discussions with natural resource agencies, landowners, and university personnel will lead towards developing ecological site descriptions, plant community models, and conservation policies for native pasturelands in eastern South Dakota.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1) Determine floristic quality inventory and effects of past management history on at least 16 privately owned native pastures.
    2) Educate producers, extension and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) personnel about past management influences on floristic quality of native pastures.
    3) Assist NRCS personnel in the development of ecological site descriptions and plant community models for major land resource area (MLRA) 102A in eastern SD.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.