• research-terrestrial
  • Terrestrial Ecology Research

    Our terrestrial research involves studying the relationship between vegetation communities and the environmental characteristics (such as hydrology and soils) of big river floodplains in the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS). Research also extends into habitat use by wildlife, terrestrial vegetation sampling and invasive species control.

    Visit NGRREC Terrestrial Wildlife Ecologist John Crawford's research website to learn more, crawfordlab.weebly.com.

    Floodplain Forest Monitoring

    NGRREC℠ has established a network of permanent monitoring plots in UMRS floodplain forests to assess changes in community composition and structure over time, as well as responses to discrete events such as major floods. NGRREC℠ and its researchers work with federal partners including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Forest Service as well as state natural resources agencies in establishing the long-term monitoring of these permanent floodplain-forest sites, stretching from southern Illinois to Minnesota.

    Management Planning

    Beyond floodplain forest monitoring, the Center partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies in the development of a Systemic Forest Management Plan for the UMRS. The plan provides a framework for coordinated management at a system level to ensure the long-term sustainability of the terrestrial communities of the UMRS floodplain.

    Palisades Nature Preserve

    As part of its terrestrial program, the Center manages the Palisades Nature Preserve in partnership with the Great Rivers Land Trust. This 430-acre site contains a mix of upland oak-hickory forests and bluff hill prairies overlooking the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.

  • Contact Information

    National Great Rivers Research and Education Center

    One Confluence Way
    East Alton, IL 62024

    Phone: (618) 468-2900
    Fax: (618) 468-2899