Value of Goats as a Mechanism for Eliminating <em>Lespedeza cuneata</em> from a Restored Tallgrass Prairie

  • A. Klodd Grinnell College
  • J. Kreznar Grinnell College
  • W. Ren Grinnell College


Recent efforts to restore America's tallgrass prairie are challenged by the introduction of invasive species that can monopolize resources and suppress the growth of native plants. Our experiment studied the effects of a new method, goat grazing, on the invasive plant Lespedeza cuneata and soil conditions in order to determine the value of goats as an invasive plant control mechanism. The study was conducted at the Conard Environmental Research Area of Grinnell College, near Kellogg, Iowa. We collected and tested plant and soil data in October, 2009 from test plots that had never been grazed and plots that were grazed by goats at two different times during the summers, L. cuneata's primary growing period, of 2008 and 2009. We found L. cuneata in grazed plots to have significantly lower mean density, biomass, and height; however, soil conditions did not vary among treatments. These results show that goat grazing is an effective eliminator of the invasive species and has minimal impact on the soil. Thus, this treatment may be useful for future restoration efforts that involve species elimination.
How to Cite
KLODD, A.; KREZNAR, J.; REN, W.. Value of Goats as a Mechanism for Eliminating Lespedeza cuneata from a Restored Tallgrass Prairie. Tillers, [S.l.], v. 6, p. 33-37, june 2012. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 22 sep. 2017.