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AndersonCoPrairiePreserve2007PlantCommunity (MapServer)

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Service Description: The objective of this project was to create a coarse level map delineating plant communities on the Anderson County Prairie Preserve in 2006. The map will be used for research and management planning at the Preserve, and to document baseline vegetation conditions for future studies of vegetation change. Methods. Information for the map was collected from observations and notes taken in the field and from aerial photos. Field observations were made while compiling plant species lists and collecting voucher specimens on individual Preserve management units during 2006. Most polygons were hand drawn on aerial photos in the field and digitized in ArcMap using 2006 (NAIP color) and 2002 (black and white) imagery.

Map Name: 2007 Habitat Map - Anderson County Prairie Preserve

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Layers: Description: Information for the map was collected from observations and notes taken in the field and from aerial photos. Field observations were made while compiling plant species lists and collecting voucher specimens on individual Preserve management units during 2006. Most polygons were hand drawn on aerial photos in the field and digitized in ArcMap using 2006 (NAIP color) and 2002 (black and white) imagery. In developing the vegetation classifications we roughly followed Freeman and Delisle (2004), who combined the classification of natural/near-natural vegetation of Lauver et al. (1999) with the cultural vegetation types recognized by Grossman et al. (1998). Association descriptions from Plant Communities of the Midwest (Faber-Langendoen, D., editor. 2001) were also used for some community types. Several of the classifications we chose were dictated more by the projected use of the map for management and/or research planning than by any formal regional or national classification system. Communities were divided into three categories: 1) natural/near-natural communities that have not been modified by human activities or have been marginally impacted; 2) semi-natural/altered vegetation communities that have been altered by human disturbance to such an extent that no close natural analogues are known; and 3) disturbed/other communities that have been highly modified by human activities. The following are descriptions of the plant communities used to delineate map polygons. We acknowledge the categories are broad and could be further refined in future surveys. Plant Community Type Descriptions Natural/Near Natural 1. Unglaciated Tallgrass Prairie- (Andropogon gerardii-Sorghastrum nutans Unglaciated Herbaceous Vegetation). Found on nearly level to moderately steep slopes in uplands. Soils: moderately deep to deep, somewhat poorly drained to well drained silts and loams formed in clayey, old alluvium or from shale, limestone, or sandstone (Sallee 1977). Other species present include Amorpha canescens, Dalea candida, D. purpurea, Psoralea tenuiflora, Schizachyrium scoparium, and Scleria triglomerata. Fire and edaphic factors are important in limiting woody vegetation distribution. 2. Shallow Flats-Clay Upland Sites- (Schizachyrium scoparium-Bouteloua curtipendula). The boundaries for this community type were drawn using soil survey maps and differences in vegetative cover as seen on the ground and in aerial photographs. It is named after the range sites described for the underlying Eram-Clareson soil complex as described in the Anderson County Soil Survey (Sallee 1977). These areas tend toward sparser vegetation with more rock at or near the surface and a higher percentage of tree invasion and brush cover (e.g. Rhus aromatica). This community was distinguished from the surrounding Tall Grass Prairie mainly for management considerations. Fuel loads may not be adequate in some areas to prevent woody invasion with controlled burns. These areas may also be more sensitive to overgrazing and erosion. 3. Green Ash - Elm Species - Hackberry - Oak Forest Mosaic - (Fraxinus pennsyvanica-Ulmus spp.-Celtis occidentalis). This forested area is confined to the steeper sections of the ravine containing Bradshaw Creek. Parts of this ravine may have been historically forested but likely to a lesser extent than currently. Chinquapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii) dominates on some of the steeper west facing slopes with Red bud (Cercis canadensis) in the understory. These areas may more closely resemble the Chinquapin Oak –Bur Oak Ravine Woodland community type. The level areas on the bottom of the ravine and on the east facing slopes have a species composition closer to the Green Ash - Elm Species Hackberry Forest community. We decided designate the area a mosaic of the two types rather than creating numerous smaller polygons. Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) and Cottonwood (Populus deltoides) are found along the creek bottom. Common shrubs include Cornus drummundii and Symphoricarpos orbiculatus. Seminatural Natural / Altered 4. Roughleaf Dogwood – (Cornus drummondii - Rhus glabra- Prunus spp.) Shrubland. Found on level to moderate, well-drained slopes of uplands, usually along the borders of upland woods, but also in grassland ravines. The vegetation consists of bands or patches of shrubs 2-3 m tall. Rhus glabra and Cornus drummondii are usually the dominant species, although Prunus americana, Symphoricarpos orbiculatus, or Rhus aromatica may dominate in places. Under a dense canopy of shrubs the herbaceous layer may be sparse. In more open stands the herbaceous layer is denser and consists of tall grass prairie species. Many stands may have originated through human disturbance and management so this is considered a semi-natural vegetation type. 5. Green Ash-Elm Species-Hackberry (Fraxinus pennsyvanica-Ulmus spp.-Celtis occidentalis) Forest. These wooded areas were not historically forested but have developed more recently with the exclusion of fire and other management. Elm species, ash and hackberry tend to dominate. Other species present include honey locust (Gleditsia triancanthos), Osage Orange (Maclura pomifera), Cherry 6. (Prunus serotina), Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) and dogwood (Cornus drummondii). Cottonwood may be found near water sources. Disturbed/Other 7. Cropland-Abandoned - Areas on the Preserve previously plowed and planted to crops. Unit 14 in the northwest corner of the Preserve was subsequently seeded to prairie grasses. 8. Abandoned-Farmstead - Areas that once contained buildings and structures associated with a farmstead. They tend to be invaded with cool season grasses. 9. Old Quarry Sites - Abandoned gravel quarries digitized from aerial photos and soil survey maps. Many native plants have these re-colonized these highly disturbed areas but they contain much lower species diversity than the surrounding native prairie. 10. Water/Stock Ponds – (and surrounding disturbed area) - Polygons digitized include the disturbed zones around watering ponds formed during their construction. These areas are often invaded by cool season grasses and are heavily used by cattle. The two larger ponds north of highway 69 are believed to be borrow pits formed during the highways construction. 11. Cattle Feeding and Confinement Areas- Degraded areas as seen from aerial photos and on the ground. The same areas are often used year after year and contain many weedy and invasive species.

Copyright Text: Kansas Biological Survey

Spatial Reference: 4269  (4269)


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