Campus News

UW-Madison grad student updates research on Wisconsin prairies

A recent study by UW-Madison graduate student Amy Alstad reexamined the changes in Wisconsin prairies.

Image By: Wil Gibb and Wil Gibb

UW-Madison graduate student Amy Alstad released survey findings Friday about human influence on the rate of species change in Wisconsin prairies.

The report, published in the journal Science Advances, found that prairies are drastically different compared to about 60 years ago when the late UW-Madison botany professor John Curtis published his initial study, according to a university release.

“We know Curtis selected those sites in the 1940s and 50s because they represented the best remaining prairies in Wisconsin at the time,” Alstad said in the release. “What became apparent was that things are very, very different now than they were.”

Alstad said the findings in her report can be used by land managers to best utilize the changing Wisconsin landscape.

Prairie Biotic Research, the Kettle Moraine Garden Club Scholarship Fund and the UW-Madison Zoology Department funded the study.

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