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Vegetation and Flora of the Sand Deposits of the Mississippi River Valley in Northwestern Illinois

 Volume/Number:  37 2006 6 October 
 Issuing Agency:  Illinois Natural History Survey Library 0182
 Description:  Irregularly published technical series. Abstract: This study was undertaken to determine vascular plant species composition, vegetation structure, and floristic quality of the major plant communities in the windblown sand deposits of northwestern Illinois during the growing seasons of 2002 through 2005. The major plant communities of the Ayers Sand Prairie Nature Preserve in Carroll County, Big River State Forest in Henderson County, Lost Mound Unit of the Upper Mississippi River Wildlife and Fish Refuge in Carroll and Jo Daviess counties, and the Thomson-Fulton Sand Prairie Nature Preserve located in Whiteside County were examined and the importance values determined for the plant species present. Located on broad terraces of the Mississippi River, these nature preserves and natural areas are remnants of a larger grassland/savanna/forest complex that contained extensive marsh; wet, mesic, and dry sand prairie; sand savanna; and sand forest communities. Most of the sand deposits are now cultivated and the original vegetation is found only in protected remnants, some of which are relatively large. The mature dry sand prairies were dominated by Schizachyrium scoparium; other important species were Opuntia macrorhiza, Dichanthelium villosissimum, Ambrosia psilostachya, and Tephrosia virginiana. Other assemblages of prairie and exotic species were encountered in successional sand prairie communities. Generally, the mature prairie communities in these preserves and natural areas had 35 or more species present in the study plots. Savanna and closed canopy forest communities were also examined. The dry sand savannas were dominated by Quercus velutina and Q. marilandica, dry sand forests were dominated by Q. velutina, and dry-mesic sand forests were dominated by Q. alba and Q. velutina. 
 Agency ID:   
 ISL ID:  000000010719   Original UID: 5811 
  Documents:  bulletin_37_6.pdf