HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Prairie fire--UIC-style

On a cold, snowy Sunday in late March, a University of Illinois at Chicago biologist, backed by a volunteer crew, set fire to dry vegetation on one of the last surviving patches of virgin prairie in the state.

"If we didnt do it, in the long run, the prairie wouldnt survive," says Dennis Nyberg, associate professor of biological sciences and director of the UIC-owned-and-operated James Woodworth Prairie Preserve in the Chicago suburb of Glenview.

Prairie fire can be as revitalizing as spring rain. It clears away foreign vegetation, releases nutrients for native plants and opens paths of sunshine to sprouts. Centuries ago, when most of Illinois was tallgrass prairie, racing fires that groomed the land for regeneration were common phenomena. Today, less than 1 percent of the states land is defined as prairie, and only a fraction of that has escaped alterations through human activity.

Nyberg has participated in or supervised more than 20 controlled prairie burns in different locations.

"The fire kills the above-ground part of woody vegetation," he says. Woody, as opposed to grass-stemmed plants, can overwhelm a prairie. Fire is a quick and effective control.

If left unchecked, Nyberg says, "thered be an increase in the amount of woody vegetation and in 25 to 30 years, the prairie would probably turn into a shrub thicket. Were not willing to let things go as an experiment to find out if that will happen."

UIC/ Prairie FireAdd One

Vast prairie fires were historically sparked either by lightning or by humans. Nybergs Chicago prairie burns follow strict controls. Burns are scheduled about 36 hours in advance, based largely on weather forecasts.

Ten-foot wide fire-breaks are mowed and raked along the perimeter of the burn area. The prairie grass is set alight upwind, then the fire progresses along a path, leaving in its wake a charred but cleared field. The process takes about an hour. The Illinois Envir
'"/>

Contact: Paul Francuch
francuch@uic.edu
312-996-3457
University of Illinois at Chicago
3-Apr-2001


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Newfound grasshopper takes to the trees on Konza Prairie
2. Konza Prairie instrumental in research that indicates small streams important in controlling nitrogen, preserving water quality
3. Greater Prairie Chicken Appears On Comeback Trail In Illinois
4. Mowing, Grazing Of Tall-Grass Prairie Increases
5. Prairies Will Be Hit Hard By Global Warming

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Prairie fire UIC style

(Date:7/24/2014)... smog-free Los Angeles, where electric cars ply silent freeways, ... heat from beneath the earth, from howling winds and ... study finds that it is technically and economically feasible ... by clean, renewable energy. Published in Energy , ... and reliable energy supply in California that could create ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... own microbial terroir, meaning the microbial populations found on ... product, creating the final flavor according to research published ... Environmental Microbiology . This is the first time investigators ... , Many sake makers inoculate with both bacteria ... the University of California, Davis, but he and his ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... Iyer, O.D., a low vision specialist at The University ... School, has been awarded a grant to help Harris ... eyeglasses, medication or surgery. , Even with corrective lenses, ... best. However, there are a variety of low vision ... help offset their vision loss. , Iyer is using ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Stanford study shows how to power California with wind, water and sun 2Stanford study shows how to power California with wind, water and sun 3Stanford study shows how to power California with wind, water and sun 4The microbes make the sake brewery 2UTHealth Dr. Bhavani Iyer awarded low vision grant 2
(Date:7/24/2014)... 24, 2014  ECC West Africa, LLC (ECC) signed ... with University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan Board of Management ... finance, design, construct, and operate and maintain a new, ... . Under the first of the 4-phase project, ECC ... funding applications. UCH Ibadan intends to finance and develop ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... A research team led by group leader Yung-Eun ... technology to synthesize sulfur-doped and nitrogen-doped graphenes which ... secondary batteries and fuel cells. Yung-Eun Sung is ... Nanoparticle Research at Institute for Basic Science* (IBS) ... , This achievement has great significance with regards ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... at the University of Delaware, is known worldwide ... engineering, environmental sustainability and electronics. , His early ... a well-defined, crystalline structure. At the atomic scale, ... zeolites can separate molecules with size differences of ... a nanometer), making them useful to the chemical ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... , July 24, 2014 Research ... "Global Cell Culture Market 2014-2018" report to ... Cell culture is the in vitro growth ... as research, cell studies, and biopharmaceutical production. Cell culture ... production. Cell culture instruments and cell culture consumables are ...
Breaking Biology Technology:ECC Signs a Contract for the Finance, Design, and Construction of a Premier Cancer Institute in Ibadan, Nigeria 2University of Delaware researcher describes new approach for creating organic zeolites 2Global Cell Culture Market 2014-2018: Key Vendors are Becton, Dickinson and Co, EMD, GE Healthcare, Lonza Group, Sigma Aldrich and Thermo Fisher Scientific 2
Cached News: