Our Forest Studies

 

 Oak of the Drey Land Forest

 Hickory of the Drey Land Forest

The Site

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.




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