On the Radio: Helping our ecosystems with fire


Photo by Michael Kappel, Flickr.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s segment discusses the effect of controlled burns on Iowa’s ecosystems.

Burn, baby, burn!

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Did you know that some fires benefit our environment? Intentional burning – often referred to as prescribed or controlled burning – is a common technique used to help some ecosystems thrive.

Fires are a natural part of many ecosystems’ history. These fires get rid of dead plant material, help prevent the spread of invasive species, and release nutrients into the soil.

Ecosystems depend on fire, and include the prairies, open oak woodland and savanna – all of which once dominated Iowa’s natural landscape. Today, these intentional burns are performed on Iowa’s remaining prairie and woodlands as a means of preservation.

For more information on intentional burning, including an interview with UI ecological expert Connie Mutel, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.

I’m Jerry Schnoor from the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.

Thank You.

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