Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Thomas Bragg


Tallgrass prairie remnants situated in eight western Iowa cemeteries were sampled during 1995 and 1996 to compare both the frequency and season of mowing and burning on plant species composition. Dominant, native tallgrass prairie species, such as big bluestem (Andropha gerardii), Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) and leadplant (Amorpha canescens), generally showed a significant increase with burning, whether mowed or not. Mowing, however, adversely affected other species, including flower spurge (Euphorbia corollate) and porcupine grass (Stipa spartea), whether burned or not. Non-native species, in particular smooth brome (Bromus inermis) increased with mowing and the absence of fire. Overall, my study suggests the importance of selecting the appropriate type of frequency of management in order to maintain the native tallgrass prairie plant diversity. Further, it supports the appropriate use of fire rather than mowing, both to favor native species and to limit the advance of non-native species.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Biology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1998 Carrie L. Menges-Schaben.