Tuesday, January 1, 2008

oak savanna


If you can imagine a large expanse of grassland with widely-spaced spreading oaks like this one, you might see in your mind's eye the oak savanna that once occupied 2.3 million hectares of Wisconsin's land area. The "oak opening" savanna type was a prominent pre-settlement plant community. This was a habitat that was home to the Red-headed Woodpecker.

Behind the tree pictured here, the present-day landscape grades into shrub carr and wet meadow. This particular landscape is just east of the marshes that lie alongside the south branch of the Manitowoc River, which here flows through western Calumet and northern Fond du Lac counties. I feel at home in a landscape like this. Unfortunately, this and other sections like it are so fragmented that many of the species that once lived here have dramatically diminished in number and diversity.

Savanna restoration is being done in some areas in the Midwest, however...and that is good news for those species, and for people who wish to preserve them.

1 comment:

April said...

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