Characterization of Floral community within Gravel Hills
Gravel Hills are a rare fragmented habitat in the Upper midwest, and as a consequence they have a high frequency of species identified as rare or threatened. What makes this interesting is that this is a naturally fragmented habitat and therefore many of the species which are found on these hills have evolved to survive in this type of condition. As native ecosystems become increasingly fragmented due to humans, there are some species which are going to be more adversely affected than others. In this study we plan to compare life-history characteristics of species pairs, one native to gravel hills and one native to more continuous habitats, such as forest or mesic prairie. Through this comparison we hope to identify which characteristics allow a species to be successful in fragmented habitats and conversely identify those species which may be more at risk.