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      Biosphere Reserve Information
     

United States of America

CENTRAL PLAINS


Photo: USDA-ARS-CPER
 
       
  General Description   This biosphere reserve is situated in the western Central Great Plains in north-central Colorado in the shortgrass prairie. The predominant grass is blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis). Other grasses include sand dropseed (Sporobolus cryptandrus), red threeawn (Aristida longiseta) and buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides). The biosphere reserve has a long history of research on shortgrass prairie ecosystems and the effects of range management practices. Several areas in the biosphere reserve were farmed and grazed for many years and are now embedded in a countryside of intense agriculture.
Monitoring is carried out on aboveground and belowground plant biomass and livestock weights. There are four instrumented watersheds under different grazing intensities which are used to obtain data for water budgets.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate grasslands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Short grass prarie dominated by Blue Grama with Four wing saltbush along the creek bottoms
  Location   4050'N, 10445'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   6,210
  Core area(s)  
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +1,600 to +1,690
  Year designated   1976
  Administrative authorities   Central Plains Experimental Range U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service


Last updated: 1/31/2002

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