Vegetation of Hitts Siding Prairie Nature Preserve, Will County, Illinois

Paul B. Marcum, Loy R. Phillippe, John E. Ebinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hitts Siding Prairie Nature Preserve, 3 km northeast of Braidwood, Will County, Illinois, is dominated by an extensive mesic prairie on sandy loam. The trailing shrub Rubus flagellaris was the dominant species of the dry-mesic to mesic prairie with a mean cover of 14.18 and an importance value (I.V.) of 11.9 (possible 200). Schizachyrium scoparium was the dominant grass (I.V. of 11.2) followed by Sorghastrum nutans (I.V. of 9.2) and Andropogon gerardii (I.V. of 6.8). Dominant forbs included Euthamia gymnospermoides (I.V. of 10.8), Helianthus mollis (I.V. of 10.7), Solidago missouriensis (I.V. of 8.6), and Coreopsis tripteris (I.V. of 7.6). A total of 106 species were recorded for the survey plots of the prairie. Of the species recorded in the plots 72 had an I.V. of 1.4 or less while six exotic species were recorded. A small sedge meadow dominated by Carex haydenii/stricta (I.V. of 51.2) forming small tussocks was surveyed in the Preserve as well as a marsh dominated by Onoclea sensibilis (IV. of 43.3) and Thelypters palustris (I.V. of 30.9). We recorded 360 vascular plant species from the Preserve. The study was conducted to determine vascular plant species composition, and vegetation structure of the least disturbed plant communities of the Preserve.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-34
JournalTransactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science
StatePublished - 2021


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