Talladega National Forest (TALL)

Talladega National Forest (TALL)

Jordan Luongo

12-13 June 2018

87.433 W, 32.978 N

The TALL NEON site is located within the Oakmulgee Ranger District of the Talladega National Forest. This rolling terrain is part of the Fall Line Hills of the Eastern Gulf Coastal Plain. The area was heavily logged in the 1800’s, but since the 1980’s the Forest Service has worked on restoring longleaf savannah. Many of the plots are subjected to regular burn treatments by the U.S. Forest Service.  Others lie within dense ravines.

Coordination was done with the domain manager, David Mitchell, and Senior Field Ecologist, Jake White. Sampling was initiated on nine NEON plots.

 

Monthly effective precipitation over the last five years (left) and annual values since 1960 (right). At left are shown winter surpluses in blue and summer deficits in orange. At right are annual anomalies in minimum winter temperature and annual deficit.

Plot 1 at the bottom slope near a ravine supports a dense canopy above an open understory. Species include Pinus palustris, Acer rubrum, Oxydendrum arboreum, Quercus alba, Liriodendron tulipfera, and Liquidambar styraciflua.

Plot 2 is on a rocky slope with a dense canopy dominated by Pinus taeda, with mixed hardwoods including Oxydendrum arboreum, Liriodendron tulipifera, and several Quercus species. The understory is sparse.

Plot 3 had been clearcut for road construction and was not sampled. The understory is recovering, but trees will not be productive for many years.

Plot 4 is a Pinus palustris stand located on a rocky hill. The understory is dominated by Vaccinium arboretum. This stand was burned February 2019.

Plot 5 is located on the edge of a ravine. The uphill side of the plot is an open stand of Pinus palustris. The lower side is a mixture of hardwoods, including Oxydendrum arboreum, Cornus florida, and Quercus spp.

Plot 6 is an open Pinus palustris stand, supporting a few individual hardwoods such as Acer rubrum and Liquidambar styraciflua. The understory has regrown since the burn in late 2017.

Plot 7 is located in a ravine. It is dominated by mixed hardwoods, supporting a dense canopy of Oxydenrum arboreum, Liquidambar styraciflua, Nyssa sylvatica, and Liriodendron tulipifera. The under story is dense thicket of tall saw grass.

Plot 9 is dominanted by Pinus palustris, with Quercus nigra and Liquidambar styraciflua. The understory is dense thicket of briers, Vaccinium, and ferns.

Plot 13 is an open Pinus palustris stand. The under story is dense with Oxydendrum arboreum saplings, Vaccinium, and Rhus spp