Research Projects

Research Projects 2023

Continued Evaluation of Restoration and Reconstruction Techniques in a Gradient of Natural Communities in Missouri

Principal Investigator: Dr. Benjamin O. Knapp Institution and/or Affiliation: University of Missouri PROJECT DESCRIPTION:The proposed project addresses management questions related to the restoration and/or reconstruction of prairie, savanna, and woodland natural communities. This project will build off the work initiated in ‘Evaluation of...

Research Projects 2022

Comparing Prairie Reconstruction Chronosequences to Remnants Following Two Site Preparation Methods in Missouri, USA

Principal Investigators: Chris Newbold, Dr. Benjamin O. Knapp, Dr. Lauren S. Pile Institution and/or Affiliation: University of Missouri PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Prairie reconstruction has become a common method for reestablishing tallgrass prairie communities in the central United States. With the objective of creating plant communities that...

Research Projects 2021

Research Projects 2020

Assessing Soil Seed Banks in North Central Missouri Remnant Prairies and a Chronosequence of Restored Prairies

Principle Investigators: Katherine Wynne and Dr. Lauren Sullivan (MU), Institution and/or Affiliation: University of Missouri Project Description: Our project aims to 1) assess and compare soil seed banks found in Missouri tallgrass prairie restorations of various ages to mature remnant prairie and 2) connect soil seed bank dynamics to seed rain...

The Consequences of Post-Dispersal Seed Predation for Rare, Common and Exotic Species Survival in Remnant and Restored Prairies

Principle Investigator: Dr. Lauren Sullivan Institution and/or Affiliation: University of Missouri Project Description: Our overall objective is to understand the fate of seeds after they have fallen to the soil - either through the initial seeding of a restoration or from maternal plants in the aboveground community. Our initial work from 2019...

Research Projects 2019

Quantifying Patterns of Seed Rain

Principal Investigator: Dr. Lauren Sullivan Institution and/or Affiliation: University of Missouri  Project Description: Relationship of the proposal to goals of PFCA: The long-term goals of PFCA include “reestablishment and maintenance of natural biological communities and service as an outdoor laboratory that advances science and engages...

Research Projects 2018

Space Use and Habitat Selection of Prairie Kingsankes (Lampropeltis Calligaster Calligaster) on a Managed Prairie Landscape

Principle Investigators: Dr. Michael Byrne School,  Natural Resources & Dr. Richard Daniel, Division of Biological Sciences Institution and/or Affiliation: University of Missouri Project Description:   1: Use radio telemetry to quantify home range size and habitat requirements of adult prairie kingsnakes. 2: Understand the response of prairie...

Engaging and Empowering Urban Youth Through Schoolyard Habitat Restoration and Conservation Education – An Innovative Middle School Program

Principal Investigator: Dr. Christine Li Institution and/or Affiliation University of Missouri Project Description: The team will study how to design an interdisciplinary, natural sciences + schoolyard garden and conservation activities to engage and empower urban youth in an informal, after-school program. They will investigate how to leverage...

The Effect of Milkweed Plantation and Temporal Prairie Restoration Gradients on the Native Bee Community Composition and Pollination Service in Prairie Fork Conservation Area

Principal Investigators: Zack Miller and Dr. Candace Galen Institution and/or Affiliation: University of Missouri, Division of Biological Project Description: Our specific aims are: (1) to measure the impacts of milkweed cultivation on the diversity (species richness and evenness) of native bees; (2) to measure bee pollination services to...

Research Projects 2017

Research Projects 2016

Comparing Grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acrididae) Communities on Tallgrass Prairie Reconstructions and Remnants in Missouri

Principal Investigator(s) (PI): Joseph P. LaRose, Dr. Elisabeth B. Webb, and Dr. Deborah L. Finke Institution and/or Affiliation: University of Missouri Project Description:   Tallgrass prairies, which once occupied a large swath of central North America, face the combined challenges of habitat loss and fragmentation. In Missouri, where less than...

Using Cameras to Survey Small Carnivores

Principal Investigator(s) (PI): Dr. Matthew Gompper Institution and/or Affiliation: University of Missouri Project Description: This proposal, which will continue a project that has been underway since 2016, will enhance our understanding of the Prairie Fork Conservation Area (PFCA) fauna, provide insights into the possible use of restored...

Establishing Sustainable Milkweed Populations and Expanding Capacity to Collect and Propogate Local Ecotype Seed or Public Lands in Central Missouri

Principal Investigators: Eric Kurzejeski, Dr. Larry Vangilder Institution and/or Affiliation: University of Missouri Project Description: Objective 1: Ensuring sustainable populations of milkweeds exist within the restored prairie to benefit monarchs and other pollinators.Objective 2: Using the infrastructure, land base, and skills of the PFCA...

Research Projects 2014

Influence of Agriculture and Remedial Land Use Practices of Efficacy of Soil in Supporting a Diverse Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Community for Central Missouri Prairies

Principal Investigators: Christine Carson, Alice Tipton, Candace Galen Institution and/or Affiliation: University of Missouri Project Description: The objective of this study is to quantify and identify AMF taxa available to native plant species in soils undergoing three land use histories: relic unplowed prairie, reconstructed prairie on...

Past Projects

Seed Phenology and Burning Regimes

Period: January 3, 2003 -December 31, 2004Contact: John FaaborgOrganization: the University of Missouri and Missouri Department of ConservationFunding Source: Prairie Fork Trust Objectives: This project is directly related to long-term goals of education and habitat restoration noted in the PFCA Area Plan. Restoration of prairie natural...

Conservation Honors

Principal Investigator(s) (PI): Rob Hayward Abstract: Publications: PI Website(s): Funding & Support: Prairie Fork Trust Project Dates: January 30, 2000 – July 30, 2012 Objectives: This project will provide learning experiences to high school senior leaders associated with PFCA’s unique natural, cultural and historical resources. The project...

Educational and Outreach Program Development

Period: January 30, 2005 – April 15, 2010Contact: Trana Madsen, Ginny WallaceOrganization: Missouri Department of ConservationFunding Source: Prairie Fork Trust Objectives: Multiple conducted projects are aimed at developing and implementing a comprehensive educational and outreach program. This Program has a goal of providing outdoor,...

Glacial Sediment Dating

Period: January 30, 2005 – April 15, 2010Contact: Charles Rovey, Michael Chalfant, Fred YoungOrganization: Missouri State UniversityFunding Source: Prairie Fork Trust Objectives: The primary objective of this research is to measure the age of glacial sediments at Prairie Fork Conservation Area (PFCA) using the cosmogenic-isotope technique. These...

Native Forb Establishment

Period: January 30, 2005 – April 15, 2010 Contact: Quinn Long, Kelly KindscherOrganization: the University of KansasFunding Source: Prairie Fork Trust Objectives: The dominant paradigm for prairie reconstructions has been to use tillage for seed bed preparation and plant seeds, commonly on sites recently removed from row cropping and therefore...

A Test of Morning Covey Call Count Technique

A TEST OF THE MORNING COVEY CALL COUNT TECHNIQUE FOR ESTIMATING POPULATION DENSITIES OF NORTHERN BOBWHITES IN MISSOURI Period: August 10, 2001 – May 12, 2003Contact: Ronald DrobneyOrganization: the University of Missouri and the Missouri Department of ConservationFunding Source: Prairie Fork Trust Objectives: The morning covey call count...

PF Research Staff

Jeff Demand

Area Manager / Wildlife Management Biologist

Clinton Prenger

Wildlife Biologist

Darby Niswonger

Fisheries Management Biologist

Steve Buback

Natural History Biologist