Low Prairie

On a gradient from wet to drier wetlands, low prairie is one of the driest, being only inundated in early spring and after very heavy rainfall, standing water may be a rare occurrence altogether.  However, the water table is close enough to the surface to affect soil characteristics and vegetation.  Low Prairie is one of the rarest wetland plant communities.  Like the tallgrass prairie, low prairie has excellent soils for agriculture so many low prairies were plowed and had their hydrology altered to lower the water table.  Like all grassland wetlands, low prairies are under threat from the invasion of native shrubs in the absence of fire and other management practices.