Vegetation of limestone and dolomite glades in the Ozarks and midwest regions of the United States

Jerry M. Baskin, Carol C. Baskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Literature on the vegetation of limestone and dolomite (cedar) glades in the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas and in the midwestern United States (Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin) is reviewed. Dominant plants in these glades are C4 perennial prairie grasses, of which little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash) is the most important. Without removal of invading woody plants by fire or other means, succession in these rocky, calcareous openings is to forest. They differ from cedar glades in the southeastern United States, which are dominated by C4 annual grasses (primarily Sporobolus vaginiflorus (Torr. ex Gray) Wood) and do not require management or natural disturbances to maintain them. We suggest that the anthropogenic, prairie-grass-dominated openings in the Ozarks and Midwest be called xeric limestone (or dolomite) prairies and that the term cedar glades be used for an edaphic climax dominated by C4 summer annual grasses in natural openings on limestone or dolomite bedrock.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-294
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of the Missouri Botanical Garden
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000


  • Annual Sporobolus species
  • Midwestern (U.S.A.) limestone glades
  • Ozark glades
  • Schizachyrium scoparium
  • Woody plant invasion
  • Xeric limestone prairies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science


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