The Castalia Prairie

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The Castalia Prairie in northern Ohio developed on 3000 or more acres of calcareous deposit averaging 6 to 7 feet in thickness and representing an interval of some 8000 years. Below it, at 54 feet, are lake sediments that accumulated on till during an interval of about 5000 years. Pollen analysis shows a transition from spruce dominance to deciduous forest and grassland conditions just above the lake sediments, with a subsequent increase in herbaceous (prairie) pollen. However, peaks of prairie pollen occur within the (coniferous) lake sediments, indicating that representatives of the grassland community had already migrated eastward during the time of glacial retreat and were at hand to become established at the onset of xerothermic conditions around 3600 years ago.


Author Institution: Department of Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.



The Ohio Journal of Science. v67 n2 (March, 1967), 78-88