Landscape Gradients and Habitat Structure in Native Grasslands of the Central Great Plains

  • Mary Ann Vinton
  • Scott L. Collins
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 125)


Habitat variables have a powerful influence on the distribution and abundance of organisms, and many organisms directly affect the physical structure of their local environment. These interactions produce a complex feedback system that drives community dynamics. This scenario is particularly true in grasslands where the effects of “keystone engineers,” such as the North American bison (Bison bison), have a tremendous influence on ecosystem structure and function (Collins and Benning 1996). This interplay between organisms and habitat structure in grasslands occurs within a climatic regime that varies dramatically from one year to the next. In addition, the relative influence of different habitat variables changes at different spatial and temporal scales.


Great Plain Habitat Structure Native Grassland Tallgrass Prairie Shortgrass Steppe 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Ann Vinton
  • Scott L. Collins

There are no affiliations available

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