Presented by Dan Caudle, Botanic Research Institute of Texas
The native grassland communities of North Central Texas were historically dominated by tallgrasses along with a diverse community of subdominant midgrasses, shortgrasses and wildflowers in a complex mosaic of vegetation. In recent decades, an alarming amount of native plant communities in our region have been replaced by development, cropland, intensively managed monocultures of introduced grass species, and/or invasive grasses.
Even though native grasses are vitally important to our everyday lives, they are often overlooked or ignored. The ecosystem services they provide are rarely recognized. Many of the lesser known tallgrasses, midgrasses and shortgrasses are just as interesting, attractive, and vital to a properly functioning ecosystem as the higher profile “Big Four” grasses.
Dan Caudle is a native West Texan with a special interest in the native grasslands of the plains and prairies, and the ecological drivers, natural disturbances and plant community dynamics that are essential to their existence. He retired in 2006 after a 40-year career as a Rangeland Management Specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service with extensive work experience throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
He is currently a Resident Research Associate at BRIT where he assists the research staff, herbarium staff, and education specialists with research projects, workshops, and other activities associated with grasses and grasslands.
Info: Vicki Gleason, email@example.com