Forest Ecology

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Forest Ecology

  1. 1. Forest Ecology/Geology Hike Forest Ecology/ Geology Hike
  2. 2. What You Will Experience <ul><li>3-mile round trip hike </li></ul><ul><li>4 waterfalls </li></ul><ul><li>Geologic features </li></ul><ul><li>Forest structure </li></ul><ul><li>Native wildlife </li></ul><ul><li>Plateau resources </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural history </li></ul>
  3. 3. Cane Creek Cascades Suspension Bridge <ul><li>Bridge crosses above cascades </li></ul><ul><li>Bickford Grist Mill operated here </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Local gathering place </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Destroyed by flood in 1929 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Jungle Book and other movies filmed on park </li></ul>
  4. 4. Forest Structure <ul><li>Hemlock forest </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Predominate forest after last ice age </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pushed north by warming climate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Currently thrives in cool moist microclimate in gorges </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Forest Structure <ul><li>Deciduous forest </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Current predominate forest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consists of Oaks, Hickories, Maples, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides food and habitat in nature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High lumber value </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Forest Structure <ul><li>Pine trees </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Require full sun </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quickly replaced logged hardwoods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eliminated by natural causes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pine Beetles </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ice storms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shade </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Farmed by lumber companies </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Decomposition <ul><li>Decaying logs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Home to fungus, termites, beetles, and other decomposers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Habitat for other animals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Decaying leaves </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Return nutrients to soil </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Important habitat </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Nutrient Cycle <ul><li>Plants need nutrients to survive </li></ul><ul><li>Decomposers help return nutrients to soil </li></ul><ul><li>Nutrients move through food webs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some of the more important components are dead plant material, various decomposers, amphibians and reptiles </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Cane Creek Falls Overlook <ul><li>Cane Creek Falls is about 85 feet tall </li></ul><ul><li>Plunge basin is about 60 feet deep </li></ul><ul><li>Rockhouse Creek Falls is about 110 feet tall </li></ul><ul><li>Cane Creek Falls used for jump in The Jungle Book </li></ul>
  10. 10. Cane Creek Falls Overlook <ul><li>Many rock layers exposed by erosion </li></ul><ul><li>Warren Point sandstone exposed here </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sedimentary rock </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Very hard and resistant to erosion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forms caprock on the Cumberland Plateau </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Softer shale is eroded away and sandstone collapses to create an amphitheater </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Cane Creek Falls Overlook <ul><li>Great place to observe our hemlock forest in cool moist gorge </li></ul><ul><li>Deciduous and pine trees on plateau top </li></ul>
  12. 12. A Few Native Plants <ul><li>Wintergreen (teaberry) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Red berries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be brewed for tea </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pipsissiwa </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relative of wintergreen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Medicinal value </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. A Few Native Plants <ul><li>Rattlesnake plantain </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Believed to cure rattlesnake bites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flowers look like snake rattles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rhododendron </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Toxic but used for medicine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beautiful flowers </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. A Few Native Plants <ul><li>Mountain laurel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Toxic also </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beautiful flowers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hemlock tree </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High vitamin C </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not toxic like the herb </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. White Oak Tree <ul><li>Many types of oaks in the forest </li></ul><ul><li>Red oak group has pointed leaves </li></ul><ul><li>White oak group has rounded leaves </li></ul><ul><li>Some are more nutritious, but variety is important </li></ul>
  16. 16. White Oak Tree <ul><li>Oaks are major hard mast producers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Feed deer, squirrels, turkey, bear etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feral hogs compete with other wildlife for mast </li></ul></ul><ul><li>American chestnuts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Once major mast producers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Now nearly extinct </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Big Rock <ul><li>Frequently seen in class photos </li></ul><ul><li>Sewanee conglomerate sandstone </li></ul><ul><li>Other layers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pennsylvania </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sewanee conglomerate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Warren point </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shale </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limestone </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Fall Creek <ul><li>Fall Creek Lake </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Built in late 60’s and early 70’s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sulfur and iron create the water’s odor and color </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Serves as reservoir to keep falls flowing in summer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides many recreational opportunities and helps increase visitation </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Fall Creek <ul><li>Sulfur and iron are diluted, or dissipated as Fall Creek “falls” and merges with Cane Creek </li></ul><ul><li>Healthy invertebrate and fish populations in Cane Creek </li></ul><ul><li>Several threatened or endangered species in Cane Creek </li></ul>
  20. 20. First Fall Creek Overlook <ul><li>Rocky Point Overlook </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Warren point sandstone layer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Junction of Cane Creek and Fall Creek </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Top of Fall Creek Falls </li></ul>
  21. 21. Main Fall Creek Falls Overlook <ul><li>Fall Creek Falls </li></ul><ul><ul><li>256 feet tall </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tallest waterfall in North America; east of Rocky Mountains </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water volume strongly influenced by dam </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Amphitheater created by erosion of soft shale, and sandstone collapse </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. On the Way Down <ul><li>Copperhead Rock </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hibernaculum for copperheads </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Popular rock climbing location </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Messic slope </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most of the canyon slope is fairly moist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plant and animal communities change as moisture levels increase </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. On the Way Down <ul><li>Colluvium stream is a slowly flowing river of rocks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Similar to tallus slope </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides habitat for a multitude of arthropods as well as amphibians, reptiles, and mammals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Air conditioner </li></ul><ul><ul><li>60 degree air generated deep in a split in the rocks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Split caused by ice jacking </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Coal Seam <ul><li>Coal is an abundant resource on the plateau </li></ul><ul><li>Formed as ancient peat bogs are buried, compressed, and decayed </li></ul><ul><li>Primarily composed of carbon </li></ul><ul><li>Other minerals like sulfur present environmental hazards during mining operations </li></ul>
  25. 25. Rock Shelter <ul><li>Giant rock shelter or rockhouse </li></ul><ul><li>Used by Native Americans for temporary shelter </li></ul><ul><li>Lichens on wall of bluff slowly generate soil from rock </li></ul>
  26. 26. Base of Fall Creek Falls <ul><li>End of trail! </li></ul><ul><li>Many interesting plants such as liverwort </li></ul><ul><li>Wind generated by displacement of air as the water falls from the bluff </li></ul><ul><li>Always cool and moist here </li></ul><ul><li>Virgin forest surrounding area due to steep slopes creating a difficult logging environment </li></ul>

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