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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Vegetative composition trends for restored Piedmont prairies on Mecklenburg County Nature Preserve lands
Year: 2002
Author(s): Daves, S.
Source Title: Proceedings of the Third Eastern Native Grass Symposium
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 296
Original Publication:  
Abstract: Piedmont prairies are believed to have been a major historical component of North Carolina piedmont. The Mecklenburg county division of Natural Resources has been restoring several prairies for the past seven years. McDowell Prairie (10 ha) and Dodge City Prairie (2 ha) were previously agricultural fields that have been planted with five native grass species. Latta Prairie (14 ha) has been converted from a young forest by drum-chopping, burning, and planting locally collected seeds of three native grass species. The prairies are maintained with prescribed burning, brush cutting, and occasional use of herbicides for exotics. McDowell and Latta Prairies harbor rare plants including Schweinitz’s sunflower and Georgia aster. Belt transect surveys at Latta prairie show that the number of Schweinitz’s sunflower stems increased from 295 to 1182. Personnel from the University of North Carolina Charlotte and Haw River Program used the point transect method for vegetative surveys of the prairies. Non-native species coverage on McDowell Prairie declined from 183.9% in 1999 to 17.5% in 2001. Non-native species coverage at the Dodge City Prairie decreased from 137.2% in 1999 to 47.2% in 2001. Native species coverage decreased from 150.4% in 1999 to 144.87% in 2001. McDowell and Dodge City Prairies are dominated by graminoids at 51% and 69% relative coverage. Coverage of vegetation more than doubled on Latta Prairie between 1999 and 2001, while graminoids and shrubs dominating 35% and 38%, respectively in 2001.
Publisher: The North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, NC, October 1-3, 2002. Omnipress, Madison, WI
Editor(s): J. Randall