Central Plains

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).

Declaration Date: 1976
Surface Area: 6,210 ha
Administrative Division: Central Plains ExperimentalRange U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service

Human Activities

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.

Ecological Characteristics

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.


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                                                                                      Last updated : May 2012

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