Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Forest Communities of the Texas Hill Country by Susan Sander

268 views

Published on

Published in: Environment
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Forest Communities of the Texas Hill Country by Susan Sander

  1. 1. Forest Communities of the Hill Country & Forest Health Issues Susan M. Sander rainlilyhc@omniglobal.net 2012
  2. 2. Where in the world…?
  3. 3. Location, Location, Location 30o N, 99o W Balcones Canyonlands EP woodlands Nueces alluvial plains
  4. 4. The Texas Hill Country – 24 million acres of variety! 76.3-78.6 F 73-76.3 F 78.6-81.6F 53.7-58F 50-53.7F 45.6-50F 29” 31” 33” 27” 25” 35” 23”
  5. 5. Local ground truth…. Elevations ranges 2,400’ – 1,400’ (drops 100’/mile) Soils - limestone based Or granite (Llano Uplift) Soil organic horizon is THIN.
  6. 6. A sign of what’s to come?
  7. 7. Our present landscape was shaped over time
  8. 8. Things get a little tricky when we try to answer the questions: What was the landscape of the Hill Country pre-1492? What was it before (17,000 years ago)? What is native?
  9. 9. Edwards Plateau Biome: Meeting zone Cottonwood Baldcypress Basswood Little WalnutCedar Elm BT Maple Texas Mulberry TX Mountainlaurel Greggs Acacia Dwarf Palmetto
  10. 10. Rare as a result of locale Blanco Crapapple Am Smoketree Kidneywood GBLT TX Madrone Lacey Oak SL Snowbell
  11. 11. Witness/Bearing Trees – historic records 40% Live oak (40”); 33% post >1% pecans 30-55”
  12. 12. 1840s saw the earnest arrival of European settlers… Historic records: 5% witness trees 10’ DBH (85-90”) shingle camp 1848 (Kendall County) 1852 Joshua Brown 1875 C.Hugo Claus, 1875
  13. 13. County sq mi 1850 1860 1870 1880 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1960 est 2001 BANDERA 1853 793 people 2,158 5,332 4,001 3,784 4,234 18,553 cattle 4,740 9,471 15,308 3,784 goats 73,853 128,950 sheep 32,974 42,247 89,594 BLANCO Sp 1700s 714 people y1854 1,218 1,187 4,649 4,703 4,311 4,063 3,842 4,264 8,767 cattle 17,179 2,200 31,000 20,000 20,000 20,000 goats 789 13,780 81,500 sheep 19,000 3,000 19,000 30,000 9,685 71,000 40,000 GILLESPIE 1846> 1,061 people 1,235 10,015 11,020 21,280 goats 81,566 KERR 1854>1856 1,107 people 634 1,042 2,108 5,000 5,505 5,842 10,151 44,558 cattle 4,000 56,000 goats 4,653 63,508 160,000 82,274 sheep 1,100 15,504 37,115 154,468 KENDALL 1840s> people 1,536 2,765 4,103 5,080 24,869 cattle 20,000 goats 2,048 13,626 sheep intro 4,293 16,259 8,600 EDWARDS & goats 207,990 2,044 REAL 1856 622 people 1,461 2,420 3,083 cattle 6,000 2,862 goats 103,000 137,000 sheep 18,300 39,350 Co dates of 1st settlements 1st US Census 1887 RR: SA to Kerrv WWI needs help wool & mohair economy >incorporation camels to Camp Verde autos & bridges Intro of exotic game: many naturalize Civil War & secession issues by 2000: 100,000 animals, 45 sp 1950s droughts 1970s I-10 Source: Handbook of Texas-Online <www.tsha.uteas.edu/handbook/online/index.new.html
  14. 14. 1940: Kerr Co - 160,000 goats & 154,468 sheep 1960: Edwards Co – 207,990 goats The setters brought their livestock….
  15. 15. So after 170 years of land-use what do we have?
  16. 16. Savannahs  Little slope/drainage  Upland plateaus often Adobe soils (red clay)  Exposed to sun & wind  Land use is ranch  Historic grassland, stunted oaks
  17. 17. Savannah is a mosiac of open grasslands dotted with motts of trees. Agent of Change: FIRE & Grazing
  18. 18. Ecotone Diversity Woodland edges provide shelter belts for wildlife. Layers accommodate different species/ages.
  19. 19. Woody species Texas Persimmon Champion Honey Mesquite Brush control: • Prickly Pear • Agarita
  20. 20. Upland trees: * Pinyon Pine Shin Oak (shinnery) Blackjack Oak * Blanco Crabapple Post Oak * American Smoketree
  21. 21. Former national champion Landmark (Plateau Live) Oak, Quercus fusiformis, Rio Frio, Texas .. .
  22. 22. Canyonlands  Elevation  Rugged slopes (aspect)  Little soil  Fast drainage  Cooler, more moist
  23. 23. Enchanted Rock/ Llano Uplift Life between a rock and a very hard place.
  24. 24. Ashe Juniper – a Texas native. Adaptations: • Drought tolerant • Thrives on limestone • Disease free • Insect proof • Wood rot-resistant • Doesn’t resprout like Red-berry juniper Historic accounts: 25’ x 1.5’ 1828 Berlandier: dense “cedar brakes 1853 – Bennett (6 miles)
  25. 25. Cedar & Rain
  26. 26. The Good Side A natural resource since settlement 1870s –fences, telegraph poles • Today oil used for perfume. • Sawdust mixed with recycled plastic for lumber. Golden-cheeked Warbler: nesting material * Nursery tree for hardwoods.
  27. 27. Canyon Trees: unique mix * YellowBuckeye <* Escarpment Black-cherry * Big-toothed Maple * Texas Red Oak * Witch-Hazel
  28. 28. * Texas Madrone* Texas Snowbell * Canyon Mock-orange <* Lacey (Blue) Oak
  29. 29. “The Riparian Zone comprises those areas near the river channel that affect that channel and are affected by it.” ~ Luna Leopold Baldcypress, Concan (a wall of wood) * Dwarf Palmetto, Honey Creek
  30. 30. Floodplain  Agents of change: frequent, long droughts punctuated by flash floods  Floods cause water and debris damage  Trees help dissipate flood water energy, trap sediment
  31. 31. Scouring of soil back to gravel favored by pioneer plants. Castor Bean Watershed impacts show up in floodplain, particularly non-natives.
  32. 32. Elephant Ears Floating downstream on floods to new ground. 60+ species!
  33. 33. Different banks, Different bottoms, Different water depth = Different plant associations.
  34. 34. Moisture loving Cottonwood Black Willow Indigo Amorpha
  35. 35. The Champion Tree of Texas Baldcypress Crider’s River Resort Leakey, Texas Grow Native!
  36. 36. Bottomland Forests Pecan Bottom – with walnuts, mulberry, American elm Chinkapin Oak <<Basswood <Rough-leaf Dogwood Poison Ivy >
  37. 37. Urban Forest: The Man-made Ecosystem Urban tree survey conducted by TFS with 7th graders found in a 10 block area 793 trees, of 53 species - of which only 23 were natives (such as hackberry, pecans, oaks).
  38. 38. Urban challenges:  Loss of native soils  Scrambled soil horizon  Change in drainage  Change of grade  Soil compaction  Heat island
  39. 39. • Poor placement: = Utility conflicts  Compromised tree health • Construction damage
  40. 40. East invades West: Non-native introductions
  41. 41. Forest Health Issue 1: Oak Wilt Dominance of oaks in landscape. Shared root system among live oaks.
  42. 42. Issue 2: Cedar Encroachment  Reduction of grass & forbs due to overgrazing plus droughts  Elimination of grass fire regime (due to reduced fuel) that controls woody species  Fosters an abundance of Ashe Juniper (AKA cedar)  A true survivor: Cedar can compete with native hardwoods and reduce regeneration.
  43. 43. Issue 3: Lack of Native Hardwood Regeneration  Over-browsing by white-tailed deer, livestock, exotic ungulates  Loss of top soil: drought followed by downpours -> run-off (erosion)  Competition by alien plant species
  44. 44. Issue 4: Alien Invasion From garden thug to environmental thug. Propagule pressure = math problem. More than 100 species are now naturalized, all since the mid-1800s. Vitex
  45. 45. 250 or 254 Texas counties under a burn ban. 1890-94 1918 & 1954 still rule http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/drought/drght_sitemap.html Time lag for plants
  46. 46. So ~ is the drought over yet? Kerrville weather data: http://www.ars.usda.gov/Main/docs.htm?docid=14130 Comparison between 1950s drought and 2013 Kerrville, TX yr Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Year 1953 0.1 1.8 3.22 1.37 1.2 0.05 2.5 2.12 4.86 7.29 0.96 0.89 26.36 1954 0.68 0.16 0.64 2.66 3.03 1.85 0.2 0.35 0.78 3.08 0.96 0.25 #3 14.64 1955 2.2 1.93 0.24 0.45 5.71 2.25 7.03 1.36 3.84 1.88 0.78 1.23 28.9 1956 0.71 1.61 0.2 1.73 1.2 0.45 0.88 1.45 0.69 1.65 1.22 2.25 #2 14.04 Comparison between 2010 and current > aver in bold tan <aver aver 1982-2011 1.58 1.79 2.29 2.02 3.95 2.77 1.62 3.6 3.38 2.47 1.95 1.84 31.07 2007 growing season YTD 19.62 month total 2010 3.21 2.88 2.5 3.94 1.88 3.86 4.78 0.04 5.16 0.84 0.06 0.98 30.13 # events 9 e 10 e 11 e 11 e 7 e 4 e 7 e 2 e 11 e 2 e 3 e 3 e hgh amt 1.54 1.2 0.68 2 @ 1.26 1.12 1.4 3 >1.1 0.02 2.76 0.45 0.03 0.68 date of high 29th 4th 20th 16 & 24 12& 29 3 (12, 29) 2&3 8 (3=1.12) 25th month total 2011 1.3 0.56 0.07 0.95 1.17 0.78 0.16 0.21 2.06 0.79 2.06 3 #1 13.1 # events #1 5 e 7 e 4 e 4 e 3 e 1 e 2 e 1 e 3 e 3 e 4 e 12 e hgh amt 0.86 0.3 0.02 0.57 1.05 0.78 0.13 0.21 0.89 0.74 0.8 0.61 date of high 9th 16th 3x 22nd 13th 22nd 31st 12th 19th 9th 26th 22nd month total 2012 2.05 2.42 4.16 0.07 5.92 0.12 1.89 1.67 4.47 2 0 0.27 25.04 # events 5 e 9 e 9e 4e 9e 3e 8e 6e 7e 7e 3e hgh amt 1.13 1.02 3.1 0.03 3.09 0.08 0.76 0.44 1.48 1.28 0.17 date of high 25th 18th 20th 13th 11th 18th 15th 10th 14-17t=3.77 10th 15th month total 2013 2.83 0.13 0.55 2.55 4.97 2.45 1.1 1.93 # events 9e 5e 5e 8e 10e 6e 5e 2e hgh amt 2.29 0.04 0.39 1.01 1.12 0.98 0.61 1.48 date of high 9th 10th 10th 1st 10th 10th 17th 16th YTD 16.51
  47. 47. Even if Kerrville gets 30” rain a year, the evaporation rate is 80”!
  48. 48. Comparison between 1950s drought and 2015 Kerrville, TX data recorded @ USDA Insect Lab yr Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Year 1953 0.1 1.8 3.22 1.37 1.2 0.05 2.5 2.12 4.86 7.29 0.96 0.89 26.36 1954 0.68 0.16 0.64 2.66 3.03 1.85 0.2 0.35 0.78 3.08 0.96 0.25 #3 14.64 1955 2.2 1.93 0.24 0.45 5.71 2.25 7.03 1.36 3.84 1.88 0.78 1.23 28.9 1956 0.71 1.61 0.2 1.73 1.2 0.45 0.88 1.45 0.69 1.65 1.22 2.25 #2 14.04 Comparison between 2010 and current > aver in bold tan <aver aver 1982-2011 1.58 1.79 2.29 2.02 3.95 2.77 1.62 3.6 3.38 2.47 1.95 1.84 31.07 2007 growing season YTD 19.62 month total 2010 3.21 2.88 2.5 3.94 1.88 3.86 4.78 0.04 5.16 0.84 0.06 0.98 30.13 # events 9 e 10 e 11 e 11 e 7 e 4 e 7 e 2 e 11 e 2 e 3 e 3 e hgh amt 1.54 1.2 0.68 2 @ 1.26 1.12 1.4 3 >1.1 0.02 2.76 0.45 0.03 0.68 date of high 29th 4th 20th 16 & 24 12& 29 3 (12, 29) 2&3 8 (3=1.12) 25th month total 2011 1.3 0.56 0.07 0.95 1.17 0.78 0.16 0.21 2.06 0.79 2.06 3 #1 13.1 # events #1 5 e 7 e 4 e 4 e 3 e 1 e 2 e 1 e 3 e 3 e 4 e 12 e hgh amt 0.86 0.3 0.02 0.57 1.05 0.78 0.13 0.21 0.89 0.74 0.8 0.61 date of high 9th 16th 3x 22nd 13th 22nd 31st 12th 19th 9th 26th 22nd month total 2012 2.05 2.42 4.16 0.07 5.92 0.12 1.89 1.67 4.47 2 0 0.27 25.04 # events 5 e 9 e 9e 4e 9e 3e 8e 6e 7e 7e 3e hgh amt 1.13 1.02 3.1 0.03 3.09 0.08 0.76 0.44 1.48 1.28 0.17 date of high 25th 18th 20th 13th 11th 18th 15th 10th 14-17t=3.77 10th 15th month total 2013 2.83 0.13 0.55 2.55 4.97 2.45 1.1 1.93 3.44 3.54 1.73 0.77 25.99 # events 9e 5e 5e 8e 10e 6e 5e 2e 10e 4e 10e 7e hgh amt 2.29 0.04 0.39 1.01 1.12 0.98 0.61 1.48 0.85 3.38 0.53 0.45 date of high 9th 10th 10th 1st 10th 10th 17th 16th 9th 17th 22nd 22nd month total 2014 0.12 0.26 0.037 0.93 6.28 1.19 0.3 2.58 3.48 2.29 2.23 0.56 20.59 # events 4e 6e 7e 6e 73 7e 3e 4e 10e 4e 5e 10e hgh amt 0.07 0.09 0.08 0.42 2.7 0.47 0.23 1.77 1.04 1.66 1.28 0.12 date of high 10th 26th 27th 15th 13th 10th 18th 19th 8th 11th 5th 18th month total 2015 2.42 0.65 1.82 2.61 *11.05 4.38 0.2 0.6 # events 9e 6e 11e 8e 18e 9e 1e 3e hgh amt 0.94 0.28 0.48 0.96 2.18 2.04 0.2 0.29 date of high 23rd 1st 21st 18th 29th 16th 5th 1st 6.62+ytd 23.55 18.21 av
  49. 49. Forests for the future depend upon: Planting new trees now. (Know your tree’s growth habits.)
  50. 50. Founded 1989, Established 1994 Still Growing 2014
  51. 51. Plant diversity – Grow native! A diverse woodland is better able to withstand pests & disease outbreaks. Restoration needs trees.Desert Willow Blanco Crabapple Goldenball Leadtree Big-toothed maple Texas Ash Cedar Elm
  52. 52. Wildlife Trees for Hill Country Ashe Juniper Carolina Buckthorn Possumhaw Sugarberry Texas Mulberry Mexican Plum All oaks!
  53. 53. Deer Axis Goats Cows Horses Beaver Squirrels Porcupines Insects Caterpillars Think of the caged areas as: An exclosure A seed bank A safe nesting spot Whochews on Trees?
  54. 54. Give nature a helping hand.

×