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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Ecological determinants of species loss in remnant prairies
Year: 1996
Author(s): Leach, M. K., Givnish, T. J.
Source Title: Science
Source Type: Journal
pages: 1555-1558
Original Publication: http://  
Abstract: Recensuses of 54 Wisconsin prairie remnants showed that 8 to 60 percent of the original plant species were lost from individual remnants over a 32- to 52-year period. The pattern of species loss was consistent with the proposed effects of fire suppression caused by landscape fragmentation. Short, small-seeded, or nitrogen-fixing plants showed the heaviest losses, as did species growing in the wettest, most productive environments. The interruption of landscape-scale processes (such as wildfire) by fragmentation is an often overlooked mechanism that may be eroding biodiversity in many habitats around the world.