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Konza Prairie

Attending:  Cynthia Annett, Laura Calwell, Charlie Barden, Corey Alderson, Paul Ingle, Angela, Beavers, Hillary Kaizer

After lunch the group met with Dr. Walter Dodds, KSU Professor of Ecology, and his graduate assistant Alyssa Riley to view and hear about the research they are doing on the Konza Prairie. 

The group visited two sites: the first was a small watershed that has a branch of King’s Creek running through it and currently has a tree lined riparian corridor running along its reach. It is an intermittent stream with perinneal pools. The trees will be removed in late 2010 and then research conducted on the changes in the stream’s ecology. The second site was on the main branch of King’s Creek where a 300 foot corridor of  trees were removed in the winter of 2008; so this is the second growing season without the trees. A number of ecological parameters are being measured in the tree removal area and then compared to the reaches where the trees and shade are still present. Dr. Dodds reported there has been very little research done around the world on prairie streams.

At the first site discussion was conducted on what parameters will and will not be measured after the removal of the trees in 2011. As Dr. Dodds is an aquatic biologist, he does not plan to look at the fluvial morphology of the stream channel; the plant community before and after removal; or any wildlife and habitat parameters. He extended an invitation to this group or any other scientists that wants to tag on to this project. This would be an excellent opportunity for KRWG to jump into. There is ample time to pursue a research plan and find funding for such an endeavor. This will be discussed in further detail at the next KRWG meeting. The tour concluded at 3:00 PM.  

Description of Konza Prairie