Warm Season Grasses-Prairie Ecosystems

Warm Season Grasses-Prairie Ecosystems

Before settlement, grasslands or prairies were prevalent throughout lower Michigan. Most prairies have since been used for farming as they were fertile and easy to clear. Prairies make up important habitat, as some species are dependent on them for survival. Major grass types in Michigan prairies include: Big Blue Stem, Little Blue Stem, Indian, Switch, and many wildflower species.

The District along with partnering agencies promote prairie ecosystems with many projects such as: seed distribution, Truax no-till drills, and prescribed burns. It is recommended to pass prairie seed mixes through a specialized no-till drill for planting to get good grass establishment. Many sites take up to three years to establish, and it is known that the use of fire helps rejuvenate and maintain stands of Warm Season Grasses.