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Depression Prairies

Depression prairies are wet tallgrass prairies associated with karst depressions, specifically on the Pennyroyal Karst Plain. Historically, the Pennyroyal was a mosaic of treeless prairie and oak savanna with various types of embedded herbaceous and wooded wetlands. Deeper depressions filled with water for prlonged periods were either open-water ponds or marshes with emergent vegetation. Some depressions exhibited rapid and frequent fluctuation of water levels tied to precipitation events. Such vernal ponds were often embedded in treeless prairie but were themselves likely dominated by small, annual grasses, sedges, and herbs. Saturated portions of karst depressions that rarely flood for prolonged periods but remain saturated year-round and likely supported wet prairie. These would sometimes have been positioned along the gradient between depression marsh and upland prairie.

INTERIOR PLATEAUS

PENNYROYAL PLAIN ECOREGION

EASTERN HIGHLAND RIM ECOREGION