Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

H. L. Hutcheson


This thesis cumulates the final segment of a two-part study to establish base-line data on the present vegetational composition of the S. H. Ordway Jr. Memorial Prairie. Mean standing crop and mulch were 341.1 g˙m-2 and 136.3 g˙m-2 respectively. Forbs accounted for 21% of the standing crop. Much of the variation in productivity between 1977 and 1978 may be attributed to variation in environmental factors preceding each sampling period. Basal cover averaged 10.2%. Cool season species constituted most of the basal cover in al pastures with Poa pratensis and Carex spp. contributing substantially. Base cover of individual species or ecological groups should not be interpreted as a reflection of their productivity. Diversity indices and similarity coefficients were computed by pasture. Significant differences between pastures were found for grass, forb, and mulch biomass, and for relative density or relative frequency of sixteen plant species. It is hoped that this data will enable a more effective assessment of vegetational changes and the effects of various management techniques.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Prairies -- South Dakota -- McPherson County
Prairie plants
Samuel H. Ordway Memorial Prairie (S.D.)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University