Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Lenczewski, Melissa E.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Biological Sciences


Prairie restoration is important for reversing the loss of biodiversity and repairing ecosystem functions humanity is dependent on diverse ecosystems. This study looks at the impact of the beginning phases of prairie restoration on groundwater geochemistry and microbial communities the relationship between them. This research project studied the geochemistry and microbial communities in five wells before, during, and after the beginning phases of the first year of a prairie restoration on the Northern Illinois University campus. Water samples were collected bimonthly for a year and analyzed on an Ion Chromatograph. Microbial samples were collected monthly and underwent DNA extraction, amplification, and sequencing to determine microbial diversity. Using linear regression statistics and Piper diagram, this study found that calcium concentrations increased in the groundwater with prairie restoration and that geology of the site (sandy versus clay aquifer) influenced the geochemistry. Additionally, with ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis statistics, microbial diversity was found unchanged with the start of the restoration process, but rather impacted by the geology of the site. This study helped with the understanding of initial restorations affects and lead to the understanding that more time is needed for changes. More studies are needed to see the long-term effects of prairie restoration on geochemistry and microbial diversity, especially once the restored prairie has been established


98 pages




Northern Illinois University

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In Copyright

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