Vegetation Community Monitoring at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

Prairie at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
Prairie at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

NPS

The prairie at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site gives a glimpse of the landscape from Hoover’s time. It also provides a peaceful setting for visitors to learn about President Hoover’s life. The prairie was reconstructed 47 years ago with a mix of just five grasses. Plant and seed additions over time have improved the prairie composition.
Species diversity graph for Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
Native species diversity as monitored by the Heartland Network at Herbert Hoover NHS, Iowa. Shannon index (He) and Simpson’s index (De) are measured as effective number of species. Note N = 4 in 2004 and N = 6 for all other years.

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Graph of Woody Species cover at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
Abundance of native woody plants guild at Herbert Hoover NHS, 2004–2017.

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Graph of mean relative cover of exotic species at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
Mean relative cover of exotic species observed in monitoring sites from 2004– 2017 at Herbert Hoover NHS. Note that N = 4 in 2004, and N = 6 in all other years.

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Eighty-two native plant species were recorded in 2017, with each monitoring site averaging 41 native species. Woody plants, particularly sumac and dogwood shrubs, and exotic plants increased between 2013 and 2017. We found the increase in woody and exotic plants occurred at the same time that prescribed fire use decreased. Mean time since fire was 6 years (range: 3-9 years) in the period 2011-2017. This information can help managers to develop action plans for the prairie.


For more information, download the full report. (pdf)

Learn more about the Heartland Inventory & Monitoring Network.


Data in this report were collected and analyzed using methods based on established, peer-reviewed protocols and were analyzed and interpreted within the guidelines of the protocols.

Last updated: November 27, 2018