Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



Northeastern South Dakota has many areas of scenic, historic, and geologic interest. One such region is a high-rising remnant of Pleistocene glaciation. Viewing the area has prompted a variety of responses according to the observer's particular interest. Geologists have labeled the area the Western Lake Section of the Central Lowlands Province. It was the early French fur traders who· gave it the name Coteau des Prairies, or Prairie Hills. Its lakes, kettles, and marshes serve as water banks, stabilizing the area's wildlife production. Wildlife management interests recognized this value, and in recent times have set aside a wildlife refuge and areas for production of game and waterfowl. It is understandable that to the hunter, fisherman, and trapper it remains a wildlife paradise. Agricultural interests have viewed the area as a challenge which has been met by drainage of large acreages for farm production. Land developers plan for the time when the region may become better known as one of the state's vacationlands. To anyone interested in the flora, the diversity exhibited in the northeast corner of Day County suggests that it could hold representatives of most of eastern South Dakota's vascular species. A portion of northeastern Day County was, therefore, chosen as the focus of this study. The choice was influenced by the untilled acreage and the habitat variety: its extensive lakes and marshes, some woodlands, and the highest moraine ridges in the county. It was expected that the vegetation in such areas would reflect the complex plant associations which developed over the glaciated area before simpler ecosystems were imposed by settlement. This is a period of growing concern for all of our resources. There is now a realization by more people that no species is insignificant, even those which are rare or infrequent. Environmental data are needed on all areas of the state before further changes are made. Such data could prove valuable whenever preservation, restoration, or development of an area's natural potential is being considered. Vegetational information should supplement other environmental data in determining the impact of proposed projects. The objectives in this study were: (1) to provide a representative sample of the vascular vegetation found in northeastern Day County, (2) to compare such data with the previous collections or observations in the same area, (3) to extend the known distribution of some species, and (4) to note the effects of certain kinds of disturbance of natural areas upon species survival.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Botany -- South Dakota -- Day County

South Dakota State University Theses



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University