Research NewsEcology

Bison Prime Prairie Biodiversity

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Science  01 May 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5364, pp. 677
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5364.677a

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Findings from a 10-year study, described on page 745, linking bison grazing to plant diversity in tallgrass prairie offer hope to land managers trying to preserve the last remnants of native U.S. grasslands and may also put cattle grazing in a slightly better light. That's a hot-button issue in the U.S. heartland, where environmentalists contend that cattle are driving to extinction native plants on public lands. But some scientists worry that the message might be carried too far and that the results will be used to advocate more cattle grazing.