Classification of the vegetetation of the Southern Appalachians Final Report September 24, 1999




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Classification of the vegetetation of the Southern Appalachians



Final Report



September 24, 1999




Chris J. Ulrey




U.S. Forest Service

Southeastern Research Station

Bent Creek Experimental Forest


Asheville, NC 28806

Introduction

A vegetation classification allows people to communicate about effectively about plant communities. The purpose or use of any classification must always be stated in clear terms. The stated purpose therefore prevents any misuse of the classification but can also provide insight about the method by which the classification was derived. In this project I have attempted to develop a classification of the vegetation of the Southern Appalachian mountains using quantitative vegetation plot data. The goal of this classification is to identify units of compositionally similar vegetation for the purpose of inventory and management across the landscape of the Southern Appalachians. Ideally, these compositionally similar vegetation units will also be environmentally similar as well, but this report does not address this issue. The level of resolution for the units in this classification was initially anticipated to be equal to the plant association in the National Vegetation Classification, but for reasons to be explained later, a somewhat coarser level was used instead.

In this report I will 1) provide brief information about the individual datasets that make up the larger dataset that was used in this project, 2) briefly discuss the quantitative methods and approach used to arrive at the final classification, and 3) discuss the key to vegetation types and provide brief descriptions of the vegetation types.

It should be noted that this document is a synopsis of current understanding of vegetation patterns in the region as reflected in the current dataset, and that as environmental factors are examined, in particular how they may affect vegetation patterns, that the classification will likely change. However, the vegetation classification presented here is sufficiently “coarse” or “broad”, i.e., the units are relatively easy to recognize in the landscape, that additional information will likely result in refinement of the classification in the form of “finer” or more narrowly defined units. It is my hope that this classification will be useful to people interested in the vegetation of the Southern Appalachians, and that it may serve as a working hypothesis from which further research will be based.

The Southern Appalachian Vegetation Dataset

The regional vegetation dataset from which this work draws from, is the culmination of over 20 years of field work by various ecologists. I have compiled 18 datasets to date, with kind permission of the individual data owners. Brief information about each of these datasets are presented below and can serve as “metadata” to reference each dataset.


DATASET COMATIBILITY

Each individual dataset in its original form was not entirely compatible with other datasets for reasons such as changes in nomenclature, the botanical skill of the investigator, and seasonality effects. To maximize compatibility among these 18 datasets species nomenclature was modified. Take for example the genus Solidago. One dataset may contain only Solidago spp., while another may contain Solidago glomerata and S. juncea. To maximize compatibility between these 2 datasets I would change Solidago juncea to Solidago spp and retain Solidago glomerata on the assumption that this species is easily identified vegetatively. Obviously some taxonomic resolution has been lost, but the ability to search for pattern in the 2 datasets simultaneously has been gained. See appendix A for a complete list of name changes that were made.




SPECIES ABUNDANCE

The abundance of species is expressed in terms of cover. A coverclass system devised by the North Carolina Vegetation Survey (NCVS) allows easier cover estimates in the field and increases repeatability among different investigators. The coverclass system is as follows: trace cover=1, 0 - 1% cover=2, 1-2% cover=3, 2-5% cover=4, 5-10% cover=5, 10-25% cover=6, 25-50% cover=7, 50-75% cover=8, 75-95% cover=9, 95-100% cover=10. Species abundance can be easily converted to presence/absence data. In this project the NCVS coverclasses were used in analysis as well as presence/absence.

Information on Individual Datasets




Grandfather-Roan Mountains



File Number: 05

Date: 1995

Responsible Individual: Robert Peet, UNC-Chapel Hill.

Number of Plots: 74

Number of Species: 495

Number of Data Collectors: 7

Sampling Methodology: North Carolina Vegetation Survey (Peet et al. 1998).

Sampling Design: Subjective, based on some prior knowledge of the area. Sampling goals are to capture the range of vegetation and environmental conditions present in an area, with a slight bias toward sampling rare, unusual, and high quality sites. Stands >80 years old were sampled.

Permanent Plot: Yes. Typical plot contains 10 metal stakes.

Description: Data were collected during a one week intensive sampling effort (PULSE) by various botanists/ecologists from across the state. The Roan Massif and Grandfather Mountain and vicinity were the focus of this effort. These data were considered to be of the highest quality. Plots located either with GPS or from points on topographic maps. Soil samples collected (always surface soil when available, sometimes subsoil) and analyzed by Brookside Labs (Mehlich III extractant) for available nutrients and soil texture. The effects of seasonality are low in these data because they were collected over a short time period of 1 week. Tree stem data available in digital form. Miscellaneous plant specimens stored at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Publications/Presentations: none

Nomenclature: Weakley (where complete), otherwise Radford (1968).

Taxonomic Resolution: high (Weakley; Kartesz, 1994)

Sample Plot Location Confidence: high (GPS, and some manual determination)

Soil Data Available: nutrients and texture

Soil Analysis Lab/Extractant: Brookside, Mehlich III.


Thompson River Watershed



File Number: 07

Date: 1976-78

Responsible Individual: Tom Wentworth

Number of Plots: 150

Number of Species: 312

Number of Data Collectors: 1

Sampling Methodology: Whittaker-style plots (0.1 ha with centerline where 25 m2 subplots were used to sample shrub and herbaceous species). Cover estimated in 25 subplots and averaged (across all 25 subplots). Tree cover not assessed, only stem diameter measured. Tree stem data were converted to NCVS coverclasses using 2 regression models.

Sampling Design: Phase 1 (plots 1-47, 1976): subjectively determined plot placement; Phase 2 (plots 48-150, 1977-78): stratified-random (stratified by elevation, topographic position, and aspect). In all cases, only stands >50 years old were sampled. Goal was to capture the range of vegetation and environmental conditions present in this area.

Permanent Plot: No.

Description: These data were collected over a 3 year period by Tom Wentworth. The Thompson River is one in a series of rivers in the Southeastern Escarpment Gorge area, south of Highlands and Cashiers, NC. The forests of this watershed were heavily logged at the turn of the century. Data were collected before the GPS system was available, hence plot locations were determined from points on topographic maps. Tom Wentworth possesses the original topographic maps and field forms. The results of soil analyses processed at the North Carolina Soil Agronomy Lab are presented in 2 forms. Plots 1 through 47 were processed with Mehlich I extractant, while the remaining plots were processed with Mehlich III extractant. We were unable to convert Mehlich I results to Mehlich III results; therefore, we only consider 101 plots to have soil data, data are missing for two plots.

Publications/Presentations: (Wentworth 1980), Presentation at 1999 Association of Southeastern Biologists annual meeting: ULREY, CHRISTOPHER J. AND THOMAS R. WENTWORTH. Dept. Botany, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7612 - Evaluation of ordination procedures using field and simulated data: analysis of the Thompson River data.

Nomenclature: Radford (1968)

Taxonomic Resolution: moderate (Radford et al. 1968)

Sample Plot Location Confidence: moderate (No GPS, all manual determination)

Soil Data Available: nutrients for 101 sample plots. 49 plots without soil data.

Soil Analysis Lab/Extractant: NC Soil Testing Lab, Mehlich III.


High Elevation Red Oak



File Number: 08

Date: 1978

Responsible Individual: John DeLapp and Tom Wentworth

Number of Plots: 61

Number of Species: 227

Number of Data Collectors: 1

Sampling Methodology: Whittaker-style plots (0.1 ha with centerline where 25 m2 subplots were used to sample shrub and herbaceous species). Cover estimated in 25 subplots and averaged (across all 25 subplots). Tree cover not assessed, only stem diameter measured. Tree stem data were converted to NCVS coverclasses using 2 regression models.

Sampling Design: Subjective sampling based on preconceived notions about the community to be sampled and sought this community out across the region. Only sampled stands > 80 years old. Objective was to capture the compositional and environmental variation within a single community, but some bias introduced due to an a priori definition of the community in question.

Permanent Plot: No.

Description: John DeLapp’s Master’s work at NCSU under the direction of T. Wentworth. The goals of this research were to characterize and describe a single plant community (High Elevation Red Oak Forest) across the Southern Appalachian region. Stands at high elevation and dominated by Quercus rubra were considered candidates for sampling. Plot locations determined manually from topographic map. Soil samples analyzed by the North Carolina Agronomy Lab using Mehlich III extractant.

Publications/Presentations: (DeLapp 1978) Masters Thesis - NC State Univ., 1998 Presentation at the annual meeting of Association of Southeastern Biologists - “ ? “, MS thesis Ulrey

Nomenclature: Radford (1968)

Taxonomic Resolution: moderate (Radford et al. 1968)

Sample Plot Location Confidence: moderate (no GPS all manual determination)

Soil Data Available: nutrients only

Soil Analysis Lab/Extractant: NC Soil Testing Lab, Mehlich III.


Black and Craggy Mountains



File Number: 09

Date: 1984

Responsible Individual: Don Mcleod

Number of Plots: 156

Number of Species: 370

Number of Data Collectors: 1

Sampling Methodology: 0.1 ha sample plots where a modified Braun-Blanquet coverclass system was used for all vascular species. Tree stem diameter were also recorded. The modified Braun-Blanquet coverclass system was further modified to the NCVS coverclass system.

Sampling Design: Subjective, but only sampled stands > 80 years old. Goal was to capture the range of vegetation and environmental conditions present in the area.

Permanent Plot: plots 1- 31 (Black Mountain Research Natural Area) are permanently marked with 6 metal rebars, the remaining plots are not permanently marked.

Description: Don McLeod’s doctoral work at UNC-CH under the direction of A. Radford and R. Peet. The Black and Craggy Mountains area is large and diverse. Many plant communities are present due to the wide range in elevation and the relatively undisturbed nature of most of the forests. Soil analyses performed by NC Soil Testing Lab using Mehlich III extractant (chemical data available for 129 plots). Sample plots locations were determined manually from a topographic map.

Publications/Presentations: (McLeod 1988)

Nomenclature: Radford (1968)

Taxonomic Resolution: moderate (Radford et al. 1968)

Sample Plot Location Confidence: moderate (no GPS, all manual determination)

Soil Data Available: nutrient data for 129 sample plots.

Soil Analysis Lab/Extractant: NC Soil Testing Lab, Mehlich III.


Linville Gorge Wilderness Area



File Number: 10

Date: 1995

Responsible Individual: Claire Newell

Number of Plots: 181

Number of Species: 403

Number of Data Collectors: 1

Sampling Methodology: North Carolina Vegetation Survey methods (Peet et al. 1998).

Sampling Design: Stratified-Random sampling (stratified by major geology, and topography) with the goal of capturing the range of vegetation types and environmental conditions present in the area. Stands >80 years old were sampled.

Permanent Plot: Yes. Standard NCVS methods [10 metal stakes (conduit) mark each plot (see Peet et al. (1998) for further details)].

Description: Part of Claire Newell’s doctoral work at UNC-CH under the direction of R. Peet. This dataset is from a designated wilderness area and is located along the Blue Ridge Escarpment region north of the Asheville Basin. The area is characterized by high fire frequency and deeply incised topography. Soil analyses performed by Brookside Labs using Mehlich III extractant (chemical and texture data available). Sample plot locations were determined manually from a topographic map.

Publications/Presentations: (Newell and Peet 1995; Newell and Peet 1998)

Nomenclature: Kartesz (1994)

Taxonomic Resolution: high (Kartesz 1994)

Sample Plot Location Confidence: moderate (no GPS, all manual determination)

Soil Data Available: nutrient and texture for all plots.

Soil Analysis Lab/Extractant: Brookside, Mehlich III.


Shining Rock Wilderness Area



File Number: 11

Date: 1996

Responsible Individual: Claire Newell

Number of Plots: 160

Number of Species: 433

Number of Data Collectors: 1

Sampling Methodology: North Carolina Vegetation Survey methods (Peet et al. 1998).

Sampling Design: Stratified-Random sampling (stratified by major geology, elevation, and topography) with the goal of capturing the range of vegetation types and environmental conditions present in the area. Stands >80 years old were sampled.

Permanent Plot: Yes. Standard NCVS methods [10 metal stakes (conduit) mark each plot (see Peet et al. (1998) for further details)].

Description: Part of Claire Newell’s doctoral work at UNC-CH under the direction of R. Peet. This dataset is from a designated wilderness area and is located in the Southern Blue Ridge south of the Asheville Basin. The area is characterized by high elevation and dissected topography. Soil analyses performed by Brookside Labs using Mehlich III extractant (chemical and texture data available). Sample plot locations were determined manually from a topographic map.

Publications/Presentations: (Newell and Peet 1996)

Nomenclature: Kartesz (1994)

Taxonomic Resolution: high (Kartesz 1994)

Sample Plot Location Confidence: moderate (no GPS, all manual determination)

Soil Data Available: nutrient and texture for all plots.

Soil Analysis Lab/Extractant: Brookside, Mehlich III.


Joyce Kilmer - Slickrock Wilderness Area



File Number: 12

Date: 1997

Responsible Individual: Claire Newell

Number of Plots: 185

Number of Species: 425

Number of Data Collectors: 1

Sampling Methodology: North Carolina Vegetation Survey methods (Peet et al. 1998).

Sampling Design: Stratified-Random sampling (stratified by major geology, elevation, and topography) with the goal of capturing the range of vegetation types and environmental conditions present in the area. Stands >80 years old were sampled.

Permanent Plot: Yes. Standard NCVS methods [10 metal stakes (conduit) mark each plot (see Peet et al. (1998) for further details)].

Description: Part of Claire Newell’s doctoral work at UNC-CH under the direction of R. Peet. This dataset is from a designated wilderness area and is located in the Southern Blue Ridge southwest of the Asheville Basin and south of the Great Smoky Mountains. The area is characterized by high diversity, dissected topography, and stands of old-growth. Soil analyses performed by Brookside Labs using Mehlich III extractant (chemical and texture data available). Sample plots locations were determined manually from a topographic map.

Publications/Presentations: (Newell 1997)

Nomenclature: Kartesz (1994)

Taxonomic Resolution: high (Kartesz 1994)

Sample Plot Location Confidence: moderate (no GPS, all manual determination)

Soil Data Available: nutrient and texture for all plots.

Soil Analysis Lab/Extractant: Brookside, Mehlich III.


Ellicott Rock Wilderness Area



File Number: 13

Date: 1990-1991

Responsible Individual: Karen Patterson

Number of Plots: 57

Number of Species: 387

Number of Data Collectors: 3 (K.Patterson, B.Dellinger, D.Pittillo)

Sampling Methodology: North Carolina Vegetation Survey (Peet et al. 1998).

Sampling Design: Subjective plot placement for plots 1 through 20, remaining 37 plots used a stratified-random sampling design (stratified by elevation, topography, and aspect). Most stands >60 years old were sampled.

Permanent Plot: Yes. Standard NCVS methods [10 metal stakes (conduit) mark each plot (see Peet et al. (1998) for further details)].

Description: This dataset represents Karen Patterson’s Master’s work at NCSU under the direction of T. Wentworth. The area is located in the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment area south of the Asheville Basin and south of Highlands, NC. This landscape is characterized by low elevations, dissected and somewhat sheltered topography, and extensive logging at the turn of the century. Soil chemical analyses performed by the Brookside Labs using Mehlich III extractant (no texture data available). Sample plots located manually from a topographic map used in conjunction with altimeter and compass.

Publications/Presentations: (Patterson 1994)

Nomenclature: Kartesz (1994)

Taxonomic Resolution: high (Kartesz, 1994)

Sample Plot Location Confidence: moderate (no GPS, but detailed directions to plots)

Soil Data Available: nutrient only.

Soil Analysis Lab/Extractant: Brookside, Mehlich III.


Montane Cedar Hardwood Woodlands



File Number: 18

Date: 1996

Responsible Individual: Christine Small

Number of Plots: 20

Number of Species: 322

Number of Data Collectors: 1

Sampling Methodology: North Carolina Vegetation Survey (Peet et al. 1998).

Sampling Design: Subjective plot placement. Sampled from known locations of this uncommon-rare plant community. Stand age uncertain.

Permanent Plot: Yes. Standard NCVS methods [10 metal stakes (conduit) mark each plot (see Peet et al. (1998) for further details)].

Description: This dataset represents Christine Small’s Master’s work at NCSU under the direction of T. Wentworth. These sites are located throughout the Southern Appalachian region and extend into the North Carolina Piedmont, occurring on steep rock outcrops and cliffs presumably underlain by high-base rocks. Similar to the Northern Red Oak dataset, this dataset aimed to capture the compositional and environmental variability within a single plant community. Soil analyses performed by NC Soil Testing Lab using Mehlich III (only soil chemical data are available). Sample plots located manually with a topographic map.

Publications/Presentations: (Small 1996; Small and Wentworth 1998)

Nomenclature: Kartesz (1994)

Taxonomic Resolution: high (Kartesz, 1994)

Sample Plot Location Confidence: mod-high (no GPS, but all on cliff sites that are easily recognized on topographic maps.

Soil Data Available: nutrients only (not much soil on these sites)

Soil Analysis Lab/Extractant: NC Soil Testing Lab, Mehlich III.


Nantahala Mountains



File Number: 20

Date: 1995-96

Responsible Individual: NCVS, Bob Peet.

Number of Plots: 91

Number of Species: 724

Number of Data Collectors: 9

Sampling Methodology: North Carolina Vegetation Survey (Peet et al. 1998).

Sampling Design: Subjective, based on some prior knowledge of the area. Sampling goals are to capture the range of vegetation and environmental conditions present in an area, with a slight bias toward sampling rare, unusual, and high quality sites. Stands >80 years old were sampled.

Permanent Plot: Yes. Standard NCVS methods [10 metal stakes (conduit) mark each plot (see Peet et al. (1998) for further details)].

Description: Soil testing performed at Brookside Labs using Mehlich III (both soil chemical and texture data are available. Sample plot locations identified with either GPS or manually on a topographic map.

Publications/Presentations: none

Nomenclature: Kartesz (1994)

Taxonomic Resolution: high (Kartesz, 1994)

Sample Plot Location Confidence: high (some GPS and some manual)

Soil Data Available: nutrient and texture (some subsoil samples)

Soil Analysis Lab/Extractant: Brookside, Mehlich III.


Kelsey Tract



File Number: 21

Date: 1996

Responsible Individual: Steve Roberts

Number of Plots: 18

Number of Species: 146

Number of Data Collectors: 1

Sampling Methodology: North Carolina Vegetation Survey (Peet et al. 1998).

Sampling Design: Subjective, based on some prior knowledge of the area. Sampling goals were to capture the range of vegetation and environmental conditions present in an area. Stands >80 years old were sampled.

Permanent Plot: Yes. Standard NCVS methods [10 metal stakes (conduit) mark each plot (see Peet et al. (1998) for further details)].

Description: This dataset represents Steve Roberts’ Master’s work at WCU under the direction of D. Pittillo. The area is located in the Highlands, NC area adjacent to the Henry Wright Tract (owned by The Nature Conservancy). The site is characterized by extensive Hemlock stands, many which are undisturbed. Soil analysis carried out by Brookside Labs using Mehlich III extractant (only chemical data are available).

Publications/Presentations: (Roberts 1996)

Nomenclature: Kartesz (1994)

Taxonomic Resolution: high (Kartesz, 1994)

Sample Plot Location Confidence: moderate (all manually determined)

Soil Data Available: nutrient only

Soil Analysis Lab/Extractant: Brookside, Mehlich III.


Chattooga Basin



File Number: 23

Date: 1995

Responsible Individual: Steve Simon

Number of Plots: 20 NCVS and 532 reconnaissance samples.

Number of Species: 475

Number of Data Collectors: 2

Sampling Methodology: 20 plots used the North Carolina Vegetation Survey (Peet et al. 1998) methodology (10 metal stakes in each plot; all trees tagged at breast height with aluminum tags). 532 plots were sampled with recognizance methods consisting of 0.1 acre circular plots: all species listed and percent cover estimated. All downed wood within plot measured.

Sampling Design: Subjective, based on some prior knowledge of the area. Stands >60 years old were sampled.

Permanent Plot: The 20 NCVS plots were permanently marked.

Description: Part of the US Forest Service Vegetation Mapping Project in the Chattooga Basin. Soil analysis carried out by NC Soil Testing Lab using Mehlich III extractant (only chemical data are available) for the 20 NCVS plots. This area is located at the junction of NC, SC, and GA, and is characterized by intensive logging and high rainfall. Sample plot locations determined with GPS.

Publications/Presentations: (U.S.F.S. 1995)

Nomenclature: Radford (1968)

Taxonomic Resolution: moderate (Radford et al. 1968)

Sample Plot Location Confidence: high (GPS only)

Soil Data Available: nutrients only for the 20 NCVS plots

Soil Analysis Lab/Extractant: NC Soil Testing Lab, Mehlich III.


Steels Creek Watershed



File Number: 37

Date: 1992

Responsible Individual: Chris Ulrey

Number of Plots: 48

Number of Species: 178

Number of Data Collectors: 1

Sampling Methodology: Modified North Carolina Vegetation Survey protocol (no intensive modules or nested corners).

Sampling Design: Stratified-Random sampling design (stratified by elevation and topography). Some sample plots were placed in early successional stands (<30 years old).

Permanent Plot: No. Though a center stake was placed in each plot, the exact plot layout cannot be duplicated.

Description: A US Forest Service project titled Biodiversity II, which was a multidisciplinary study to inventory the diversity of a watershed. Area is located on the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment north of the Asheville Basin. This area is characterized by high intensity logging practices, generally south-facing slope, xeric conditions, and low diversity. Soil analyses were performed by NC Soil Testing Lab using Mehlich III extractant (only soil chemical data are available). Sample plots locations were determined by an independent Forest Service survey crew (directions to each plot are stored at the Marion Ranger Station or Bent Creek Experimental Forest).

Publications/Presentations: (Ulrey and McLeod 1992)

Nomenclature: Kartesz (1994)

Taxonomic Resolution: moderate (Kartesz 1994; Radford et al. 1968)

Sample Plot Location Confidence: high (manually determined, but surveyed by USFS)

Soil Data Available: nutrient only

Soil Analysis Lab/Extractant: NC Soil Testing Lab, Mehlich III.


Craggy Mountains



File Number: 38

Date: 1991

Responsible Individual: Chris Ulrey

Number of Plots: 29

Number of Species: 260

Number of Data Collectors: 1

Sampling Methodology: North Carolina Vegetation Survey protocol -- no nested corners.

Sampling Design: Random-Grid sampling design. Stands >80 years old sampled.

Permanent Plot: No. Though a center stake was placed in each plot, the exact plot layout cannot be duplicated.

Description: A US Forest Service project titled Biodiversity I, which was a multidisciplinary study to inventory the diversity of a watershed. Area is located north of the Asheville Basin on the Southern Blue Ridge. This mountain range is connected to the Black Mountains. This area is characterized by high species diversity, mesic conditions, and nutrient rich soils. Soil analyses were performed by NC Soil Testing Lab using Mehlich III extractant (only soil chemical data are available). Sample plots locations were determined manually using a topographic map

Publications/Presentations: (Ulrey and McLeod 1991)

Nomenclature: Kartesz (1994)

Taxonomic Resolution: moderate (Kartesz 1994; Radford et al. 1968)

Sample Plot Location Confidence: high, manually determined but surveyed by USFS

Soil Data Available: nutrient only

Soil Analysis Lab/Extractant: NC Soil Testing Lab, Mehlich III.


Great Smoky Mountains -- Uplands Data



File Number: 39

Date: 1980’s

Responsible Individual: Peter White

Number of Plots: 172

Number of Species: 450

Number of Data Collectors: several

Sampling Methodology: Whittaker-style plots. See TNC (1999)for details.

Sampling Design: Unknown. In general, stands >80 years old were sampled.

Permanent Plot: Unknown

Description: Data collected by GRSM Park personnel, entirely from the Tennessee side of the park. Three plot types were used. Tree stem diameter were converted to NCVS coverclasses. No soil data available. Plot locations available and determined manually from a topographic map. Data suitable for classification efforts, but limited by having no ancillary environmental data (particularly soil information), however, topographic variables could be generated from DEM’s.

Publications/Presentations: unknown.

Nomenclature: Radford (1968)

Taxonomic Resolution: moderate (1968)

Sample Plot Location Confidence: moderate, manually determined

Soil Data Available: none available

Soil Analysis Lab/Extractant: n/a


Great Smoky Mountains -- The Nature Conservancy



File Number: 40

Date: 1997-1998

Responsible Individual: Karen Patterson and Chris Ulrey

Number of Plots: 190

Number of Species: 475

Number of Data Collectors: 1-2

Sampling Methodology: 0.1 ha plots. NCVS coverclass estimated for all vascular plants across entire plot. Also estimated cover for each species by several strata. See TNC (1999) for details.

Sampling Design: Subjective. Goal was to capture the range of vegetation and environmental conditions occurring on the Mt. LeConte and Cades Cove topographic maps. Stands >80 years old were sampled.

Permanent Plot: 1 stake installed and witness tree tagged, but probably not enough information to reconstruct plot.

Description: Data collected by Chris Ulrey who contracted with TNC to sample and capture range of communities found on an area covered by 2 topographic maps in GRSMNP (Cades Cove and Mt. LeConte). Part of a larger effort to develop a vegetation map for the entire park. Plot locations determined with GPS. Soil samples collected (most plots) and analyzed by Brookside Labs (chemical and texture available) using Mehlich III extractant. Soil samples collected from surface soil and subsoil horizons. These data have been analyzed and classified by TNC (1999). Plot data originally entered on PLOTS database (available for K. Patterson) and subsequently converted to archive format.

Publications/Presentations: Final Report (unpubl.) (TNC 1999).

Nomenclature: Kartesz (1994) except where Weakley (draft) completed.

Taxonomic Resolution: high (Kartesz 1994)

Sample Plot Location Confidence: high (GPS nearly all plots, a few manually)

Soil Data Available: nutrient and texture for most plots

Soil Analysis Lab/Extractant: Brookside, Mehlich III.

Highlands Area -- PULSE 97



File Number: 22

Date: 1997

Responsible Individual: NCVS

Number of Plots: 92

Number of Species: 875

Number of Data Collectors: 10

Sampling Methodology: North Carolina Vegetation Survey (Peet et al. 1998).

Sampling Design: Subjective, based on some prior knowledge of the area. Sampling goals are to capture the range of vegetation and environmental conditions present in an area, with a slight bias toward sampling rare, unusual, and high quality sites. Stands >80 years old were sampled.

Permanent Plot: Yes. Standard NCVS methods [10 metal stakes (conduit) mark each plot (see Peet et al. (1998) for further details)].

Description: Soil testing performed at Brookside Labs using Mehlich III (both soil chemical and texture data are available. Sample plot locations identified with either GPS or manually on a topographic map.

Publications/Presentations: none

Nomenclature: Kartesz (1994)

Taxonomic Resolution: high (Kartesz, 1994)

Sample Plot Location Confidence: high (some GPS and some manual)

Soil Data Available: nutrient and texture (some subsoil samples)

Soil Analysis Lab/Extractant: Brookside, Mehlich III.

Chimney Rock and Hot Springs Vicinity -- PULSE 98



File Number: 35

Date: 1998

Responsible Individual: NCVS

Number of Plots: 74

Number of Species: 784

Number of Data Collectors: 10

Sampling Methodology: North Carolina Vegetation Survey (Peet et al. 1998).

Sampling Design: Subjective, based on some prior knowledge of the area. Sampling goals are to capture the range of vegetation and environmental conditions present in an area, with a slight bias toward sampling rare, unusual, and high quality sites. Stands >80 years old were sampled.

Permanent Plot: Yes. Standard NCVS methods [10 metal stakes (conduit) mark each plot (see Peet et al. (1998) for further details)].

Description: Soil testing performed at Brookside Labs using Mehlich III (both soil chemical and texture data are available. Sample plot locations identified with either GPS or manually on a topographic map.

Publications/Presentations: none

Nomenclature: Kartesz (1994)

Taxonomic Resolution: high (Kartesz, 1994)

Sample Plot Location Confidence: high (some GPS and some manual)

Soil Data Available: nutrient and texture (some subsoil samples)

Soil Analysis Lab/Extractant: Brookside, Mehlich III.

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