Carol E. Day

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School


Committee Member

Emily Grman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Daniel Clemans, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kristin Judd, Ph.D.


Historically, prairie restorations have lacked the plant diversity seen in remnant prairies. Most restoration practices focus on reestablishing the plant community but overlook the soil microbial community even though microbes are critical to habitat functioning. Developing techniques that increase soil microbes in prairie restorations is critical to ensuring diverse restored habitats. We compared how microbial communities differed between remnant and restored prairie sites. We also investigated if soil and compost teas could be used to reintroduce microbes to restored prairie soil and if the teas affected native plant establishment. We found significant differences in the levels of bacterial taxa between remnant and restored prairies. The results indicate that the teas were not effective ways of reintroducing microbes into the soil and had no effect on native plant establishment. These results provide a basis for understanding the effectiveness of soil and compost teas in amending the soil at restoration sites.