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K-State Today

February 21, 2019

Jesse Nippert to give geology seminar Feb. 21

Submitted by Angelina Butler

Jesse Nippert, associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences' Division of Biology, will give a presentation titled "Ecohydrology of the Konza Prairie" in this week's geology seminar. The presentation will take place at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, in 213 Thompson Hall. All are welcome to attend. 

Abstract: The Konza Prairie supports ecological research focused on the dynamics and drivers of tallgrass prairie. In addition to biotic research, detailed landscape and hydrological characterization of the site have provided insight about the roles of climate and land-use history as drivers of landscape evolution. Konza Prairie Biological Station is topographically complex (320 to 444 m asl), and soil type and depth vary with topography. Soils are silty clay loams, formed from thick colluvial and alluvial deposits ≥2 m in lowlands, while hillside and upland soils are shallow. Soils overlay alternating layers of limestone and shale, contributing to complex subsurface hydrology. Vegetation is primarily (>90 percent) native tallgrass prairie plants, dominated by perennial C4 grasses. Numerous sub-dominant grasses, forbs and woody species contribute to high floristic diversity. The entire Kings Creek watershed, a USGS Benchmark Stream, is located on Konza. In this presentation, Nippert will explore linkages between the biotic and abiotic components of the Konza landscape, and provide new examples relevant to the ecohydrological themes presented in Vero et al. 2018 (doi:10.2136/vzj2017.03.0069). These examples will include infiltration pathways, groundwater recharge and stream dynamics, plant water use, and the impacts of land-use change and climate change on this landscape.