Majority of Missouri’s estimated 81,000 ha glade ecosystems are highly degraded, leading to increased rarity of many floral and faunal species that rely on them. Restoration of these ecosystems typically involves removal of woody vegetation, especially red cedar, from the site and introduction of a fire regime. Seeding with native grasses and forbs is sometimes employed to accelerate process of restoration. In this study, we treated a degraded glade site in central Missouri to restoration treatments including hardwoods removal, prescribed burnings, and seeding with native species. After 8 years of these restoration treatments that included 4 prescribed burns and seed mix application following NRCS guidelines, we re-examined the groundcover community and estimated the measures of species richness, composition, and diversity using six 0.25m2 quadrats along a 20-m transect replicated three times.
Overall, we observed 74 species, out of which 52 were native with species richness (mean±sd) of 13.5±5.1/0.25m2 quadrat. 55% of all species were perennial while 38% were annual. Native forbs and grasses were the dominant physiognomic group with Relative Importance Values (RIV) of 34.4 and 25 respectively. Non-native forbs and grasses had RIVs of 22.4 and 8.6, respectively. At species level, Anagallis arvensis, Bouteloua curtipendula, Schizachyrium scoparium, and Panicum flexile were the most dominant with RVIs between 7 and 6.3. Floristic Quality Assessment of the vegetation resulted in Native Floristic Quality Index of 8.7±3.6 and Native Mean coefficient of conservatism (C-value) of 2.9±0.7.The reatoration efforts did bring substantial improvement in glade groundcover; however, higher values of FQI and C-value are desirable.