Prairies | St. Louis Public Radio

Prairies

A prairie that contains the common big bluestem grass.
Provided by Kansas State University

Prairies in Missouri and southern Illinois could look shorter by the end of the century, according to a study from the Missouri Botanical Garden and Kansas State University. 

Researchers reported in the journal Global Change Ecology that tall varieties of the big bluestem grass that covers much of Midwestern prairies could be taken over by shorter forms of the plant over the next several decades. That's because climate change could reduce rainfall in many parts of the region, leading to drier conditions.

Peter Raven (left), the President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden, and Rudi Roeslein (right), CEO of Roeslein Associates
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

People in urban areas may not think about the importance of prairies. But beyond the asphalt, concrete and glass of the city, is a country rich in prairie land.

But, what is the importance of prairies and how do they affect our everyday lives?

On Thursday's “St. Louis on the Air” Peter Raven, president emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden, and Rudi Roeslein, CEO of Roeslein Associates, joined host Don Marsh to discuss the role of prairies conserving of natural ecosystems and their importance for production of next-generation biofuels.

Restoring the prairie, Missouri's endangered habitat

Sep 30, 2013
Forest Park prairies and savannas: Yellow area is Kennedy savanna; red area is Deer Lake prairie and savanna; purple is Hidden Creek savanna; and green area is Steinberg prairie.
Forest Park Forever

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: You’re walking south along Skinker next to Forest Park. Going past the golf course, you decide to turn into the park. Bordering mowed pathways, sky high grasses grow, and yellow flowers bloom above your head. Bees, bumblebees, butterflies, and beetles flit or crawl around on pink Monarda, black-eyed Susans, yellow flowers and grasses too numerous and varied to name. Insects hum. A goldfinch flies around.