Newswise — February 3, 2020 – When people think about endangered or threatened ecosystems, often the Amazon rainforest or the Great Barrier Reef come to mind. And, they are important. There’s another, less well-known yet very important ecosystem that’s endangered – the Great American Prairie. The Soil Science Society of America’s (SSSA) February 1st Soils Matter blog takes a look at this important biome.

According to blogger Mike Richardson, “Prairies and grasslands are some of the most endangered (and least talked about) ecosystems on earth. Grassland biomes have just as much, if not more, biological diversity as any of these other ecosystems. But, most of that diversity is under ground, in the soil beneath the prairies.”

In North America, the Great Plains used to cover more area. When European settlers arrived on the Great Plains, it’s estimated that the grasslands covered 1 billion acres of land! In some regions, 80% of the prairie land is now gone.

Without question, agricultural advances have led to incredibly productive lands that are critical to the health, economy, and food security. The blog explains how some of those advances have led to ecological disasters that continue to threaten our future.

The balancing act between restoring prairie, while growing food is an area that scientists can research. But there are many variables, including population growth, economics, and even politics, that affect the success of land management.

To learn more about agriculture’s impact on the Great American Prairies, read the entire blog post:  

Follow SSSA on Facebook at, Twitter at SSSA_Soils. SSSA has soils information on, for teachers at, and for students through 12th grade,

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, and founded in 1936, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members and 1,000+ certified professionals dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. The Society provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.

Register for reporter access to contact details