The Red Buffalo
The nickname given to prairie fires by Native Americans. Fire is an essential componant to keeping an ecological balance. Once the job of Mother Nature, today's controlled burns prevent the predominance of foreign plant species, allowing native and sometimes rare species to prosper, encouraging germination of prairie plants and assists in enrichening the soil.
If you hit some of my Off The Beaten Path tips you might encounter scientific experiment sights like the one pictured here. Not just the birthplace of ecology, The Dunes are a living laboratory with a very high level of plant diversity. And the nearby industries offer a chance to study the impact human activity has had on the natural world. Leave the experiments alone, serious research is being done.
This experiment, conducted by the U. of Illinois, The Field Museum of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory is measuring the effect Nitrogen has on native plant species.