All species used in BioCON are common to prairies and grasslands near Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Preserve (CCESP). Prior work with these species at CCESP provide us with a wealth of information about their physiology and growth in similar soil and site conditions.
Each of the species belong to one of four functional groups. The functional groups include warm season grasses (C4 grasses), cool season grasses (C3 grasses), forbs, and nitrogen fixing legumes. Physiological and structural differences among these functional groups suggest that they will respond differently to the experimental treatments. These functional groups are represented in the vast majority of the world’s ecosystems making the results of BioCON more relevant to more general ecological questions regardless of geographic location.