Our prairie remnants

study site

Our study area comprises 6400 ha (25 square miles) of rural western Minnesota, USA (centered near 45º 49' N, 95º 43' W). Before European settlement in the 1870s, the entire area, except for lakes and wetlands, was potential Echinacea habitat. Echinacea and other prairie plants now persist in remnant populations on hillsides too steep for agricultural production, in fence corners inaccessible to farm machinery, along road and railroad rights-of-way, and on abandoned pastureland. The largest remnant in our study area is a TNC preserve.