CRESO
Study Site

 

The CRESO Research sites are located in Anderson County, TN.

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Site I:  Anderson County Wildlife Sanctuary (ACWS) -1989-1997

ANDERSON COUNTY WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
1989 TO 197

History
The Anderson County Wildlife Sanctuary (ACWS), approximately sixty hectares, is situated within the Valley and Ridge physiographic province of East Tennessee.  In 1895 the Anderson County court purchased this area to serve as the Anderson County Poor Farm.  The land was used to cultivate crops and raise domesticated animals until 1962.  For the next ten years, the area served as the county dump, and in 1972 it was officially upgraded to a sanitary landfill under government regulations.  Expanded twice during the next ten years, the landfill closed according to Environmental Protection Agency guidelines in May of 1982.  These guidelines required that the landfill be capped in red clay and that a catch pond be constructed in order to help control surface drainage.  In 1988 the Anderson County Commission designated the original Poor Farm as the Anderson County Wildlife Sanctuary with the provision that the area be used for education and research.
Site Description
The wildlife sanctuary is characterized by six distinct habitat types:  second growth mid-successional forest, recovering landfill, pine plantation, limestone bluffs, road/railroad track corridors, and wetland areas.Forest covers the majority of the sanctuary: about 42 ha along Lost Ridge, ranging from xeric conditions along the ridges to mixed mesophytic woods and two mesic coves.  The forest canopy is composed of a variety of species including oak (Quercus. alba, Q. coccinea, Q. falcata, Q. montana, Q. rubra, Q. stellata, and Q. velutina), maple (Acer rubrum and A. saccharum), Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana), beech (Fagus grandifolia), tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), and basswood (Tilia americana).  Relatively more Virginia pine and oak grow near the top of the ridge with more beech and basswood in the coves.  The forests of the sanctuary appear largely independent of the landfill and unaffected by any landfill drainage, which flows into the Clinch River rather than towards Lost Ridge.  The landfill covers approximately 17 ha, and is best described as old field habitat dominated by young Virginia pine, broomstraw (Andropogon virginicus), sericea (Lespedeza spp.), goldenrod (Solidago spp.), and brambles (Rubus spp.).  The landfill also includes a small catchment pond, about 0.5ha in area.  Adjacent to the Clinch River on the southwestern side of the sanctuary is a small pine plantation of 3 ha.  The loblolly pines (Pinus taeda) are nearing maturity, but the plant community in this area remains limited in both woody and herbaceous species.  Although riverine bluff habitat covers only about 2 ha of the sanctuary, it contains a more unique and undisturbed flora than the other areas.  Because of this, the late successional forest community on and surrounding the limestone bluffs near the Clinch River was designated a TVA Natural Area in 1996.  This calcophyllous plant community offers the best opportunity to observe the forest community in a less disturbed state.  The forest canopy above the bluffs is composed of beech, maple, buckeye, (Aesculus flava), Chinkapin oak (Quercus muhlenbergii), and basswood.  Prevalent woody species on and below the bluffs include blue ash (Fraxinus quadrangulata), Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii), Bladdernet (Staphylea triflora), and Smooth Alder (Alnus serrulata).  Small corridors of highly disturbed plant communities exist along the edges of the roads and the railroad tracks running through the sanctuary.  Although very small in area, these habitats, particularly along the train tracks, serve as dispersal routes for invasive exotic plants.  Three perennial creeks run west out of the sanctuary into the Clinch River.  The sanctuary also contains two smaller ponds, and several low marshy areas.  These wetland habitats vary in their species composition depending on their location within the sanctuary.  Streams are lined with trees such as sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), while the ponds and marshy areas are surrounded by such species as Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) and Smooth Alder.

Soils and Geology
The rock formations exposed at the ACWS range in origin from the middle Ordovician to the lower Silurian Age.  The oldest formation, from the Chickamauga Group, middle Ordovician, is a light grey limestone with beds of black and purple chert located in the northwest section of the sanctuary.  The Reedsville Shale and the Sequatchie Formation from the upper Ordovician are also present.  Lost Ridge is capped with Rockwood Sandstone from the Silurian (Gilliam, 1991).  The soils of ACWS are among the great groups Paleudult and Hapludult.  These groups are low in organic matter and are found in humid climates with short dry periods (Buol et al., 1980).  Excluding the landfill cells and the river-side bluffs, the sanctuary is covered by the Armuchee-Muskingum complex of soils.  These soils are strongly acidic with a low natural fertility; they are generally found on a 25 to 60 percent slope and produce medium to rapid surface runoff.  The Collegdate-Rock Outcrop of complex soils covers the limestone bluff region along the Clinch River.  This complex has a clay subsoil which discourages water movement and root growth (Moneymaker, 1981).   A red clay cap covers the landfill proper.

Climate

The climate for the ACWS is warm-temperate.  The summers are typically humid with peaks from July through September (Bair 1992).  The first frost of the year usually occurs near the end of October and the last frost around mid-April (Moneymaker, 1981).  There are no distinct wet or dry seasons, although August, September, and October are slightly drier on average than the other months.  Average annual precipitation is 138.5 cm (+ 5.9 cm).  Most precipitation occurs as rain, with snowfall averaging only 23.6 cm per year.  The mean daily temperature in July is 24.9oC, with an average maximum of 29.3 and average minimum of 16.3oC.  In January, the mean temperature is 2.2oC, with average maximum and minimum of 7.3 and -3.0oC respectively.  Yearly mean temperature is 14.0 (+ or - 3.7oC).  Climate data from "30 Year Climate Statistics from Oak Ridge, TN 1967-1996.  Most precipitation occurs as rain, with snowfall averaging only 23.6 cm per year.  The mean daily temperature in July is 24.9oC, with an average maximum of 29.3 and average minimum of 16.3oC.  In January, the mean temperature is 2.2oC, with average maximum and minimum of 7.3 and -3.0oC respectively.  Yearly mean temperature is 14.0 (+ or - 3.7oC).  Climate data from "30 Year Climate Statistics from Oak Ridge, TN 1967-1996."

Literature Cited

Bair, F.E. (ed.). 1992.  The weather almanac.  6th ed.  Gail Research Inc., Detroit, MI.
Buol, S.W., F.D. Hole, and R.J. McCracken. 1980.  Soil genesis and classification.  Iowa State University Press, Ames, IO.
Gilliam, C.  1991.  The Geologic History of East Tennessee with special emphasis on Anderson County Wildlife Sanctuary.  In Environmental Survey of the Anderson County Wildlife Sanctuary Vol.1, F.W. Holtzclaw and J. G. Byrd, eds.
Moneymaker, R. H. 1981.  Soil survey of Anderson County, Tennessee. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service.
30 year Climate Statistics from Oak Ridge, TN

Site II:  University of Tennessee Forestry Experiment Station and Arboretum - (1997-Present)
 

Site Description adapted from Brian Clark, 1995.  Effects of Tebuthiuron on Wildlife Habitat on Two Powerline Rights of Way Management in Eastern Tennessee.  Upubl. Masters Thesis, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

History

The University of Tennessee Forestry Experiment Station's Oak Ridge Forest in Anderson County, Tennessee was originally owned by the United States Atomic Energy Commission from 1942 to 1962.  The land was purchased by the University of Tennessee in 1962 and has since been protected from uncontrolled fire and has had limited timber harvest.  In 1993, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency identified this area as an official Wildlife Observation Area (Hamel 1993).

Site Description

The UT Forestry Experiment Station is transected by a utility corridor containing two parallel electric tranmission line ROWs (approximately 1.4 km in length).  The two ROWs are cleared and maintained by TVA.  The combined ROWs are 78.8 m wide and are separated by a narrow strip of tall snagstrees killed by hand-applied, 40%a.i. tebuthiuron pelleys in 1990.

The powerline corridor is adjacent to upland hardwood and mixed pine-hardwood stands, and regenerating clearcuts.  The deciduous forest stands are composed principally of 2-aged oak-hickory groups.  Dominant pretreatment tree species on the ROWs included red maple (Acer rubrum), wild black cherr, black gum (Nyssa sylvatica), sassafras, black oak (Quercus velutina), white oak (Q. alba), shagbark hickory (Carya ovata), and short-leaf pine (Pinus echinata).  The most prevalent shrubs were blackberries (Rubus spp.) and sumacs (Rhus copallina and R. glabra), while low-bush blueberry (V. angustifolium) and bicolor lespedeza were locally abundant in some areas.  The most abundant vine species on the corridor were Japanese honeysuckle and greenbrier (Similax spp); Virginia creeper, grapes (Vitis  spp).  and poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) were occassional residents.

Common grasses and sedges on the ROWs include broomsedge, willow grass (Microstegium vimineum), panic grasses, purple top, silver plume grass (Erianthus alopecuroides), and sedges (Carex spp.)  Goldenrods (Solidago spp.), tick trefoils (Desmodium spp.), partridge-pea (Cassia fasciculata), yellow wood-sorrel (Oxalis stricta), crownbeards (Verbesina spp.), and bedstraw (Galium spp.) were the most common forbs.  Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides), lobed spleenwort (Asplenium pinnatifidum), and ebony spleenwort (A. platyneuron) were the most prevalent ferns.

Soils and Geology

The parent rock material is dolomitic limestone and the soil is in the Fullerton cherty silt loam series, taxonomically described as a claykey, kaolinitic, thermic, Typic Paleudult soil (Moneymaker, 1991).

Climate

Summer and winter temperatures average 24.2oC and 5.3oC, respectively.  Rainfall averages 121 cm year and is usually well distributed throughout the year. (Univ. Tenn. For. Exp. Stn. 1993)

Literature Cited

Hamel, P.B. 1993.  Tennessee wildlife viewing guide.  Falcon Press Publ. Co., Helena Mont.  96pp.

Moneymaker, R. H. 1981.  Soil survey of Anderson County, Tennessee. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service.

University of Tennessee Forestry Experiment Station.  1993.  Univ. Tennessee Arboretum and For. Exp. Stn., Oak Ridge. 1p. pamphlet.