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Native Plant Research Projects

Restoring Prairie Remnants

Prairie restoring

Objective: Restore upland and swale prairies at Bradford to improve habitat for wildlife including migratory and resident birds, insects, amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates.

Treatments: Prescribe burning, mowing, and/or different herbicides and dosages to control reed canary grass, tall fescue, and other unwanted species.

Additional native species will be established from seed collected from other nearby natural remnants.

Evaluating Native Cool-Season Grasses As Living Mulches in Hardwood Plantations

Cool-season grasses

Objectives: Compare 4 native and 2 introduced cool season grasses establishment and persistence in early-successional fields and determine the effect of grasses on tree growth.

Species included: Native grasses: Virginia wildrye, river oats, cluster fescue, and manna, introduced grasses: turf tall fescue and red top, and hardwoods: northern pecan, bur oak, swamp white oak, and black walnut.

Evaluating Volunteer Native Vegetation on Tree Growth

Volunteer vegetation

Objectives: Restore a woodland remnant to provide habitat for wildlife and less competitive native species like orchids and other swale prairie vegetation.

Treatments: Prescribe burning, mowing, with and without herbicide applications to control early successional species to increase native plant diversity and allow tree establishment and growth.

Evaluating Pruning Techniques To Improve Landscaping Potential of Native Perennials

Pruning response

Objective: develop management techniques to control plant structure and size, extend or control flowering periods, and improve plant health. Treatments: Pruning frequency, plant height, and time of pruning.

Species evaluated: ironweed, common and rigid goldenrod, New England aster, germander, false wild indigo, and others.

Evaluating Poverty Grass As a Drought Tolerant Grass

Poverty grass

Objective: Determine poverty grass potential for rough areas in golf courses and in gardens under reduced dependency of chemicals and irrigation.

Treatments: basic research to improve seed germination, seed production studies, and turf plot establishment.

Comparing Insect Diversity Between Wild Sources And Domesticated Varieties of Native Plants

Insect diversity

Objective: Compare insect diversity between wild sources and domesticated varieties of selected native plants.

Species evaluated: include several species of asters, goldenrods, gray coneflower, black eye susan, and prairie coreopsis.

Determine Potential Uses of Native Cool Season Grasses For Forage, Landscaping, And Conservation

Species included: cluster and nodding fescue, river oats, junegrass, manna grass, Virginia wildrye, Canada wildrye, poverty grass (Festuca paradoxa, F. subverticillata, Chasmantium latifolium, Koeleria macrantha, Glyceria striata Elymus virginicus, E. canadensis, and Danthonia spicata).