Many Iowa woodlands no longer contain the diversity of herbaceous and woody species that once provided soil stabilization, nutrient retention and recycling, soil organic matter, and wildlife food and habitat. Woodlands in private ownership that have been used as pasture for many decades suffer from soil compaction, soil loss, and a ground cover composed of few species, most of which are cool-season exotics like Kentucky bluegrass and smooth brome. Other woodlands that have been protected on private land and in state parks, preserves, and wildlife areas, suffer from severe herbivory by dense deer populations and invasions by exotic trees (like buckthorn, white mulberry, Siberian elm, and black locust), exotic shrubs (like bush honeysuckles, multiflora rose, and Japanese barberries), and exotic herbaceous species (like garlic mustard). The pre-1900 logging history in Iowa followed by over a century of fire suppression, cattle grazing, and numerous introductions of invasives species have significantly altered Iowa's woodlands and greatly reduced their capacities to function within the landscape. Read more about