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Overcup Oak Demographics and Hydrologic Conditions in Sinking Pond, Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee

Abstract

Sinking Pond is a seasonally flooded karst depression having a surface area of 24 hectares and draining a basin of 3.4 square kilometers within Arnold Air Force Base on Tennessee’s Eastern Highland Rim. The pond supports an unusual assemblage of wetland-tree species, most notably overcup oak (Quercus lyrata Walt.), a bottomland hardwood common in southern coastal plains but rare on the Highland Rim. In 1999, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the University of the South and the U.S. Air Force, initiated an investigation to assess the status of overcup oak in Sinking Pond and the relation of hydrologic conditions to overcup oak regeneration and survival. Annual vegetation surveys conducted by the University of the South from 1997 through 2000 showed that overcup oak seedlings dominate the woody understory of the pond’s interior in most years, and that first-year survival rates of new seedlings ranged from 28 percent (1998 cohort of seedlings) to 41 percent (1999 cohort). Second-year mortality rates for the 1997 and 1998 cohorts of seedlings were 12 and 7 percent, respectively. A total of 46 overcup oak saplings (trees 0.5 to 1.5 meters in height) were noted along two vegetation transects, compared with 305 adult trees. Saplings were concentrated in canopy gaps with maximum flooding depths of 50 centimeters or less. Ongoing components of the investigation include analysis of tree rings and climatic records to evaluate temporal trends in tree growth and hydrologic conditions.

  Friday, 13-Apr-01 14:34:11 CST

This abstract can be cited as follows:

Wolfe, W.J., and Evans, J.P., 2001, Overcup oak demographics and hydrologic conditions in Sinking Pond, Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee [abs.], in Tennessee Water Resources Symposium, 11th, Burns, Tenn., 2001, Proceedings: Tennessee Section of the American Water Resources Association, p. 2C-35.


U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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