Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

Gary Peterson


The presence of large numbers of cattle in prairie sites can lead to the trampling and destruction of native vegetation in some areas. These damaged, or disturbed sites are typically invaded by a variety of undesirable alien plant species. Many of the alien plant species possess allopathic mechanisms. These allopathic mechanisms enable the alien species to dominate the disturbed sites, and prevent the re-establishment of native plant species. Attempts are currently underway to preserve remaining tracts of native prairie in South Dakota. The Samuel H. Ordway, Jr. Memorial Prairie in McPherson county is one such tract, and is the research site of this study. The tall and mid-grass prairies of the eastern Dakotas were historically maintained by grazing pressure and periodic fires. The primary management tool used at Ordway Prairie is limited grazing with cattle to simulate native herbivore grazing pressures. Burning is not currently a significant management tool. This research was conducted to identify the presence and distribution of allelopathic alien species in disturbed sites resulting from overgrazing by cattle Ordway Prairie. Recommendations will be made regarding management techniques designed to reduce the dominance of disturbed sites by alien species.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Prairie ecology -- South Dakota
Grazing -- South Dakota
Samuel H. Ordway Memorial Prairie



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University