Abstract Detail

Monday Symposium

Thompson, Ralph [1].

A Vascular Flora of Pine Mountain Settlement School and James E. Bickford State Nature Preserve, Harlan County, Kentucky.

Pine Mountain Settlement School is a rugged 298 ha mountain area from 530 m to 823 m elevation in extreme northern Harlan County in southeastern Kentucky. PMSS was founded in 1913 as a school for mountain youth and it has served as an environmental education center since 1972. PMSS is situated within the Pine Mountain Overthrust Fault of the Cumberland Mountain Thrust Block Ecoregion in the Eastern Kentucky Coal Field Physiographic Region. Bedrock lithology consists of shale, siltstone, conglomerate, sandstone, and coal of the Lower and Middle Pennsylvanian Series. Mountain colluvial and residual soils are well drained with loamy subsoils on steep south and very steep north mountain slopes. A preliminary floristic study of PMSS was conducted during 1987–1988, 1997–1998, and 2014 that included the James E. Bickford State Nature Preserve (BSNP), a 141 ha mountain tract on the north face of PMSS. BSNP was dedicated in 2003 by the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission to preserve an old-growth stand of Mixed Mesophytic Forest. E. Lucy Braun, the famous American plant ecologist on the Deciduous Forest of eastern North America, studied the Mixed Mesophytic Forest of the Cumberland Mountains during the demise of the American Chestnut by the Chestnut Blight during the 1930–1950s. She designated the Cumberland Mountains as the richest center of the Mixed Mesophytic Forest where many rare species existed and several canopy tree species shared dominance. A preliminary PMSS flora consists of 738 taxa from 422 genera in 128 families. A total of 575 are native and 163 non-native. Non-natives constitute 30 introduced and 133 naturalized; 74 taxa are invasive. Fourteen native taxa are planted. BSNP is comprised of 481 taxa (65.2% of PMSS flora) in 297 genera from 111 families; 14 are invasive. BSNP has at least 12 state-listed endangered, threatened, or special concern plant species.

1 - Berea College, Biology, Berea, KY, 40403, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Abstract ID:55
Candidate for Awards:None