Friday, April 6, 3:00 PM
The vascular flora and soils of the wet pine savannas of shaken creek preserve (pender county, north carolina). Robert W. Thornhill1, Alexander Krings1, David L. Lindbo1 and Jon M. Stucky1. North Carolina State University1
Shaken Creek Preserve is a 6050-acre Nationally Significant Natural Area in Pender County, North Carolina. Best known for its high-quality savanna habitat, the site supports at least 28 state-listed plant species (including three federally-endangered species) and is the only site in the state to contain four distinct Wet Pine Savanna communities, three of which are globally rare (G1). Formerly a private hunting club, the site was virtually unknown to scientists until the 1990s; consequently, few biological inventories of the site have been conducted. In particular, no systematic floristic inventories of the species-rich savannas have been undertaken, despite the fact that floristic data are critical to the effective management of any natural area. The ongoing goals of this study are to 1) document the vascular flora of each of the savanna sites with voucher specimens and tissue samples; 2) compare the vegetation and soils of the four Wet Pine Savanna communities on site; and 3) create a taxonomic manual (complete with keys, synonymy, phenology, notes on abundance, and illustrations) of the savanna flora. Besides providing the baseline data for site management, the information from this study will facilitate further biological and ecological research on site and will ultimately provide a valuable educational resource for anyone interested in the exceptional flora of these rare savannas.