Principal Investigators: Donna Brandt, Randall Miles
Institution and/or Affiliation: University of Missouri
This project proposes to evaluate the effects of inoculating a portion of a Prairie Fork prairie restoration/reconstruction with “cores” of native prairie soil from Tucker Prairie. The inoculation effects on the surrounding soil microbial community, on targeted late successional prairie forbs, and on surrounding plant communities will be evaluated. The hypothesis is that 1) microbes found in cores of prairie soil will move into the surrounding soil at the restoration site producing a significant change in microbial biomass and community composition through time as measured through soil phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA), 2) selected prairie forbs inoculated with prairie soil will grow more vigorously than those not inoculated with prairie inoculum, and 3) the vegetative community surrounding inoculated sites will change more than sites not inoculated with prairie soil.