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Researcher Spotlight

Jonathan Bauer

Jonathan Bauer is a PhD candidate at Indiana University studying the soil micro-organisms that interact with plant roots and play an important role in maintaining the diversity of prairie plant communities. Jonathan has been surveying the plant species at Kankakee Sands and other nearby prairies in an effort to understand the relationships between plants and soil micro-organisms. Soil micro-organisms can affect the growth of plants by discouraging plants of the same species from growing too close together (which is an example of the negative feedback) or encouraging the growth of other more conservative, late successional species (positive feedback) at the detriment of other weedy species. Jonathan hopes that conservationists will be able to use this knowledge of soil micro-organisms to improve the success of prairie restorations everywhere.

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