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Evenings with Audubon: Wisconsin's Prairie Remnants, Then and Now

  • Capitol Lakes Grand Hall 333 West Main Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

60 years of change in Wisconsin prairie remnants: revisiting the Curtis dataset

Rattlesnake master, a native plant that thrives in prairie remnants.

Rattlesnake master, a native plant that thrives in prairie remnants.

With Amy Alstad, UW-Madison Department of Zoology

In the 1940s and 1950s, UW Botany Professor John Curtis surveyed hundreds of prairie remnants across Wisconsin. Since then, these prairie remnants have been resurveyed in 1987-1988 and again in 2012-2013. This talk will summarize the changes observed in the prairie flora over more than 60 years, present probable causes of that change, and discuss management implications.

Amy Alstad is a PhD student in Ellen Damschen's lab at UW Madison, where she studies plant community ecology.  She also helps private landowners in the Driftless region manage their properties for native biodiversity as the outreach ecologist for the Blue Mounds Area Project.  In their spare time, she and her husband are working on establishing an organic apple orchard and several acres of restored prairie and savanna on family property in Iowa County.

Learn more about Alstad's research tracking change in Wisconsin's prairies via University of Wisconsin-Madison News. 

Photos courtesy of Amy Alstad

Later Event: October 1
Birds, Bikes, & Brews