Oak of the Drey Land Forest
Hickory of the Drey Land Forest
The forest surrounding Drey Land camp has not been disturbed
by man for over 60 years and much of it may be at the climax stage
of Ozark succession. The forest study site faces east and extends
from Sinking Creek to a hill top approximately 1100 feet west.
Over this distance, there is a gradual elevation change of nearly
120 feet. Within the study site environmental variations and prior,
man caused, disturbances give rise to three distinct associations
of plant and animal populations. For convenience, these are designated
Flood Plain, Lower Slope, and Upper Slope associations. The Flood
Plain, a lush community of trees, vines, saplings and herbacious
plants, is occasionally inundated by water as the local geology
and topography promotes rapid runoff following heavy rainstorms.
The Lower Slope is thought to be in an intermediate stage of succession
as cedar trees and a mixture of hardwoods are present here. Possibly
this section of the forest was once a pasture or field. The upper
slope association is characterized by large oak and some pine
trees. These trees form a high and nearly continuous overstory.
Below the overstory, a prominent understory of dogwood is present.
The soil of this association is thin and sometimes just covers
the underlying bedrock of limestone and dolomite.