Fort Worth Prairie
The Fort Worth Prairie (also known as the Grand Prairie) is a vast grassland with gently sloping, almost level plains dissected by valleys along rivers and streams. This prairie ecosystem is underlain by limestone geology with limestone bedrock near the surface across most of the region. This limestone gives the Fort Worth Prairie its unique features. Thin soil overtop of limestone restricts root penetration limiting the growth of woody vegetation. The area historically supported a vast grassland with woody vegetation mostly limited to river edges, hilltops, or mesas where soil was deeper and moisture more plentiful.
BRIT botanists have been studying the plants and ecology of the Fort Worth Prairie for several years. The primary goals are:
1. Document the flora of the Fort Worth Prairie;
2. Understand the distributions of rare and endemic species that grow in the Fort Worth Prairie;
3. Understand the environmental factors that influence where plants grow on the Fort Worth Prairie; and
4. Understand the plant community types of the Fort Worth Prairie.