Researchers have discovered that grasslands have the capacity to store large amounts of carbon, which is a valuable ecological service in today's changing climate. Carbon is a greenhouse gas that is increasing in the Earth's atmosphere and contributing to global warming. Altered rain patterns, a rise in sea level, and higher temperatures are the negative impacts of global warming.
Carbon sequestration is the ability to store carbon over time. The ideal place to do this is on the prairie, below ground, where the roots can anchor to depths of at least 15 feet, which is much more than a forest can store above ground. If the soil is undisturbed, the carbon can stay underground for thousands of years. Disturbing the plants and soil will release the stored carbon into the atmosphere. We can offset increasing atmospheric carbon by doing favorable things for the environment like creating a diverse ecosystem.
Land restoration programs on the prairie might help put carbon back into the soil. Doing so will not only reduce atmospheric CO2, it will also boost soil productivity, feed the growing population, and increase resistance to floods and droughts. This will require planting native plants year-round in these areas.
Restoring milkweed and nectar plant habitats on prairies will invite monarchs and other pollinators. Milkweed will help to fight greenhouse gases and provide the only source of food for monarch caterpillars. It's a winning combination that can make a difference and help to slow climate change.
Monarch Flyway works within biodiverse ecosystems to deliver the renewable, natural resource of milkweed raw materials for Market Based conservation products. Ogallala Comfort creates down comforters and pillows with the silky tufts of fluff and Milkweed Balm discovered a pain reliever based on the oil of milkweed seeds that helps a lot of people fight dis-ease from a variety of ailments. As more products are discovered, and demand increases, more prairies will be protected to help combat greenhouse gasses, encourage monarch and pollinator habitat and help people along the way.