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Savanna Restoration Bibliography

Welcome to Northern Prairie Science Center's Savanna Bibliography, a living bibliography on savannas and their restoration.

The transition between grasslands and forests can be abrupt or may consist of a broad transitional zone referred to as a savanna. Savannas are plant communities dominated by grasses, herbs, and shrubs, with an intermittent canopy of trees. The canopies of North American savannas are dominated by oaks and occasionally hickories or by various pine species. Savanna communities develop where climatic, hydrologic, topographic, and edaphic features permit the establishment of fire-tolerant tree species; they are often maintained by periodic fires.

Because of their dependence on fire, savannas tend to succeed to closed forest if fire is suppressed. Savannas growing on fertile soils have been widely converted to agricultural uses. Fires suppression, cultivation, and other processes have greatly reduced the area of savanna remaining in North America, at least. In the Midwest, oak savannas, along with tallgrass prairie, is the most threatened ecosystem; estimates of losses exceed 99 percent for Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Missouri, and Minnesota (Noss et al. 1995). In the South, estimates of savanna loss are 100 percent for Kentucky and 95-99 percent for Louisiana (Noss et al. 1995).

Savannas have received increased attention recently, due to their conversion to other uses, losses of associated plant and animal species, and their potential for restoration. That interest led users of the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Home Page to inquire about a bibliography on savannas and their restoration. We were unable to locate an existing bibliography, so we decided to serve as a catalyst to develop one.

This product is only a first step. It is intended to be a "living bibliography," in that users who are aware of additional references on the topic are encouraged to provide citations. Those new references will then be added to the bibliography. In that way, all users can benefit. Also, we do not have summaries of any papers or books included; if anyone has prepared such information and wishes to make it available, we would be interested in including it in this bibliography. Please contact Northern Prairie at for information.

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This is one of several Northern Prairie resources on this site dealing with ecological habitats and their restoration. See also the following annotated bibliographies: Wetland Restoration Bibliography, Riparian Communities and Related Topics, and Bibliography of Fire Effects and Related Literature.

This resource is based on the following source:

Johnson, Douglas H.  1995.  Savanna restoration bibliography.  Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center.  Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. (Version 30SEP2002).

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