“Most prairies in their natural state will have a fire every 2-3 years or so. These disturbances are relatively modest. What might happen to the community of there were no fires for 100 years? How would the changes affect the community?”
Due to no fires, the prairies would become more like a jungle of unhealthy grass. At a glance, the idea of letting something grow widely seems like a good idea. But it is, unfortunately, a very bad one. Let me explain. When a prairie is set on fire, it controls the growth, but it also keeps it healthy. So, when you stop the fires, you open the gates to overgrowth. How would this effect the community? Interestingly, the community would undergo changes in such a way that it would be unrecognizable, and not in the good way. It would be a gangly mess of weeds that you wouldn’t be able to control. Most of the grass would be far gone, consumed long ago, and replaced with the monsters of the grasslands. The animals that consumed the grass would’ve moved on, while the hunters who needed the shelter of the weeds moved in.
In conclusion, the changes would be great. Terrible, but great.
R. Biology, Lesson 60