Provisional. A provisional ecological site description has undergone quality control and quality assurance review. It contains a working state and transition model and enough information to identify the ecological site.
Figure 1. Mapped extent
Areas shown in blue indicate the maximum mapped extent of this ecological site. Other ecological sites likely occur within the highlighted areas. It is also possible for this ecological site to occur outside of highlighted areas if detailed soil survey has not been completed or recently updated.
Major Land Resource Area (MLRA): 116A–Ozark Highland
The Ozark Highland constitutes the Salem Plateau of the Ozark Uplift. Elevation ranges from about 300 feet on the southeast edge of the Ozark escarpment, to about 1,600 feet in the west, adjacent to the Burlington Escarpment of the Springfield Plateau. The underlying bedrock is mainly horizontally bedded Ordovician-aged dolomites and sandstones that dip gently away from the uplift apex in southeast Missouri. Cambrian dolomites are exposed on deeply dissected hillslopes. In some places, Pennsylvanian and Mississipian sediments overlie the plateau. Relief varies, from the gently rolling central plateau areas to deeply dissected hillslopes associated with drainageways such as the Buffalo, Current, Eleven Point and White Rivers.
Terrestrial Natural Community Type in Missouri (Nelson, 2010):
The reference state for this ecological site is most similar to a Wet-Mesic Bottomland Forest.
Missouri Department of Conservation Forest and Woodland Communities (MDC, 2006):
The reference state for this ecological site is most similar to a Wet Bottomland Forest.
National Vegetation Classification System Vegetation Association (NatureServe, 2010):
The reference state for this ecological site is most similar to a Quercus macrocarpa – Quercus shumardii – Carya cordiformis / Chasmanthium latifolium Forest (CEGL004544).
Geographic relationship to the Missouri Ecological Classification System (Nigh & Schroeder, 2002):
This ecological site occurs primarily within the following Subsections:
Inner Ozark Border
Gasconade River Hills
Osage River Hills
Ecological site concept
NOTE: This is a “provisional” Ecological Site Description (ESD) that is under development. It contains basic ecological information that can be used for conservation planning, application and land management. After additional information is collected, analyzed and reviewed, this ESD will be refined and published as “Approved”.
Wet Footslope Forests occur primarily in the northern part of the Ozark Highland. Soils are very deep, with silt loam surface horizons, loamy to clayey subsoils and seasonal high water tables. The reference plant community is forest with an overstory dominated by a variety of trees including bur oak, Shumard oak, swamp white oak, American elm, and black cherry, an understory dominated by American hornbeam, northern spicebush, and Ohio buckeye, and a rich herbaceous ground flora.
Chert Upland Woodland
Chert Upland Woodlands, and other upland and backslope ecological sites, are upslope.
Loamy Terrace Forest
Loamy Terrace Forests are adjacent and downslope.
Wet Terrace Forest
Wet Terrace Forests are adjacent and downslope.
Loamy Floodplain Step Forest
Loamy Floodplain Step Forests are adjacent and downslope.
Sandy/Gravelly Floodplain Forest
Sandy/Gravelly Floodplain Forests and other floodplain ecological sites are downslope.
Wet Terrace Forest
Wet Terrace Forests are adjacent and downslope.
Table 1. Dominant plant species
(1) Quercus macrocarpa
(1) Boehmeria cylindrica
This site is on footslopes and strath terraces with slopes of 1 to 9 percent. The site receives runoff from adjacent upland sites. This site does not flood.
The following figure (adapted from Holbrook & Childress, 2005) shows the typical landscape position of this ecological site, and landscape relationships with other ecological sites. It is within the area labeled “2” on the figure. Wet Footslope Forest sites are downslope from a variety of upland sites. They often grade downslope into Loamy Terrace Forest sites, labeled “3”, or into Wet Terrace Forest sites.
Figure 2. Landscape relationships for this ecological site.
Table 2. Representative physiographic features
(2) Strath terrace
|Slope||1 – 9%|
|Water table depth||10 – 24 in|
|Aspect||Aspect is not a significant factor|
The Ozark Highland has a continental type of climate marked by strong seasonality. In winter, dry-cold air masses, unchallenged by any topographic barriers, periodically swing south from the northern plains and Canada. If they invade reasonably humid air, snowfall and rainfall result. In summer, moist, warm air masses, equally unchallenged by topographic barriers, swing north from the Gulf of Mexico and can produce abundant amounts of rain, either by fronts or by convectional processes. In some summers, high pressure stagnates over the region, creating extended droughty periods. Spring and fall are transitional seasons when abrupt changes in temperature and precipitation may occur due to successive, fast-moving fronts separating contrasting air masses.
The Ozark Highland experiences regional differences in climates, but these differences do not have obvious geographic boundaries. Regional climates grade inconspicuously into each other. The basic gradient for most climatic characteristics is along a line crossing the MLRA from northwest to southeast.
The average annual precipitation in almost all of this area is 38 to 45 inches. Snow falls nearly every winter, but the snow cover lasts for only a few days. The average annual temperature is about 53 to 60 degrees F. The lower temperatures occur at the higher elevations in the western part of the MLRA. Mean January minimum temperature follows a stronger north-to-south gradient. However, mean July maximum temperature shows hardly any geographic variation in the MLRA. Mean July maximum temperatures have a range of only two or three degrees across the area.
Mean annual precipitation varies along a northwest to southeast gradient. Seasonal climatic variations are more complex. Seasonality in precipitation is very pronounced due to strong continental influences. June precipitation, for example, averages three to four times greater than January precipitation. Most of the rainfall occurs as high-intensity, convective thunderstorms in summer.
During years when precipitation comes in a fairly normal manner, moisture is stored in the top layers of the soil during the winter and early spring, when evaporation and transpiration are low. During the summer months the loss of water by evaporation and transpiration is high, and if rainfall fails to occur at frequent intervals, drought will result. Drought directly affects plant and animal life by limiting water supplies, especially at times of high temperatures and high evaporation rates.
Superimposed upon the basic MLRA climatic patterns are local topographic influences that create topoclimatic, or microclimatic variations. In regions of appreciable relief, for example, air drainage at nighttime may produce temperatures several degrees lower in valley bottoms than on side slopes. At critical times during the year, this phenomenon may produce later spring or earlier fall freezes in valley bottoms. Deep sinkholes often have a microclimate significantly cooler, moister, and shadier than surrounding surfaces, a phenomenon that may result in a strikingly different ecology. Higher daytime temperatures of bare rock surfaces and higher reflectivity of these unvegetated surfaces may create distinctive environmental niches such as glades and cliffs.
Slope orientation is an important topographic influence on climate. Summits and south-and-west-facing slopes are regularly warmer and drier than adjacent north- and-east-facing slopes. Finally, the climate within a canopied forest is measurably different from the climate of a more open grassland or savanna areas.
Source: University of Missouri Climate Center - http://climate.missouri.edu/climate.php; Land Resource Regions and Major Land Resource Areas of the United States, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Basin, United States Department of Agriculture Handbook 296 - http://soils.usda.gov/survey/geography/mlra/
Table 3. Representative climatic features
|Frost-free period (characteristic range)||162-173 days|
|Freeze-free period (characteristic range)||192-202 days|
|Precipitation total (characteristic range)||45-48 in|
|Frost-free period (actual range)||162-179 days|
|Freeze-free period (actual range)||191-207 days|
|Precipitation total (actual range)||43-48 in|
|Frost-free period (average)||168 days|
|Freeze-free period (average)||197 days|
|Precipitation total (average)||46 in|
Figure 3. Monthly precipitation range
Figure 4. Monthly minimum temperature range
Figure 5. Monthly maximum temperature range
Figure 6. Monthly average minimum and maximum temperature
Figure 7. Annual precipitation pattern
Figure 8. Annual average temperature pattern
Climate stations used
(1) ROLLA UNI OF MISSOURI [USC00237263], Rolla, MO
(2) TRUMAN DAM & RSVR [USC00238466], Warsaw, MO
(3) WEST PLAINS [USC00238880], West Plains, MO
Influencing water features
This ecological site is influenced by a seasonal high water table from high groundwater levels, as well as slow hydraulic conductivity, which impedes throughflow from precipitation and flood events. The water table is typically near the surface in late fall through spring, receding in the summer. This ecological site is on footslopes of perennial streams. They are not adjacent to the current stream channel. Areas on stream terraces are subject to flooding, typically of short duration and low intensity. Constructed levees, often accompanied by stream channelization, have altered the flooding dynamics in many places.
Footslopes not subject to flooding, are in the SLOPE wetlands of the Hydrogeomorphic (HGM) classification system class (Brinson, 1993). SLOPE wetlands are found in stream headwaters, slope toes, or at outcrops of low conductivity soil or rock layers. In a stream network, they are found on stream corridor reaches upstream of higher order RIVERINE reaches. Water is forced to the surface by a break in land slope, or when it encounters an aquaclude that moves it to an outcrop. These topographic conditions are common at the boundary between floodplains and adjoining uplands where groundwater is forced to the surface by a rapid change in slope.
These soils have no rooting restriction. The soils were formed under forest vegetation, and have thin, light-colored surface horizons. Parent material is colluvium or alluvium. They have silt loam surface horizons, and loamy to clayey subsoils. Wasola areas have rock fragments in the subsoil. They are affected by a seasonal high water table during the spring months. Soil series associated with this site include Freeburg, Hartville, Higdon, McGirk, and Wasola.
Table 4. Representative soil features
(1) Silt loam
|Family particle size||
|Drainage class||Poorly drained to somewhat poorly drained|
|Permeability class||Very slow to slow|
|Soil depth||72 in|
|Surface fragment cover <=3"||5%|
|Surface fragment cover >3"||Not specified|
|Available water capacity
|4 – 8 in|
|Calcium carbonate equivalent
|Sodium adsorption ratio
|Soil reaction (1:1 water)
|4.5 – 7.3|
|Subsurface fragment volume <=3"
(Depth not specified)
|Subsurface fragment volume >3"
(Depth not specified)
Information contained in this section was developed using historical data, professional experience, field reviews, and scientific studies. The information presented is representative of very complex vegetation communities. Key indicator plants, animals and ecological processes are described to help inform land management decisions. Plant communities will differ across the MLRA because of the naturally occurring variability in weather, soils, and aspect. The Reference Plant Community is not necessarily the management goal. The species lists are representative and are not botanical descriptions of all species occurring, or potentially occurring, on this site. They are not intended to cover every situation or the full range of conditions, species, and responses for the site.
Wet Footslope Forests in the Ozark Highland are on relatively stable former floodplain positions. The historic reference plant community is dominated by a wide variety of deciduous hardwood tree species, tolerant of seasonally wet conditions including bur oak, Shumard oak, swamp white oak, American elm, black cherry. Trees generally form a dense, closed canopy. These forests are structurally and compositionally diverse, with occasional tree-fall gaps and natural mortality providing opportunities for regeneration of overstory species. The understory is also complex, with multiple layers of shade tolerant species such as American hornbeam, northern spicebush, and Ohio buckeye. Grape vine, greenbriar, and trumpet creeper are also present along with a diverse array of ground flora species that carpets the forest floor.
In this region of historic fire-prone savannas and woodlands, Wet Footslope Forests occur in the most protected landscape positions on lower, concave slopes distant from the fire prone uplands. While the upland woodlands had an estimated fire frequency of 3 to 5 years, these sites burned much less frequently (estimated 15 to 25 years) and with lower intensity. Wet Footslope Forests are also subject to occasional disturbances from wind and ice, which periodically open the canopy up by knocking over trees or breaking substantial branches of canopy trees. Such canopy disturbances allow more light to reach the ground and favor reproduction of the dominant oak species.
Today, these communities have been cleared and converted to pasture and some cropland, or have undergone repeated timber harvest and periodic domestic grazing. Most existing occurrences have a younger (50 to 80 years) canopy layer whose composition may have been altered by timber harvesting practices. An increase in hickory over historic conditions is common. The absence of periodic fire may have allowed more shade-tolerant tree species, such as elm and hickory to increase in abundance.
Uncontrolled domestic grazing has also diminished the diversity and cover of woodland ground flora species, and has often introduced weedy species such as gooseberry, coralberry, poison ivy and Virginia creeper. Grazed sites also have a more open understory. In addition, soil compaction and erosion related to grazing can lower site productivity.
Wet Footslope Forests are not productive timber sites. Timber harvest in this region typically is done using single-tree selection, and often results in removal of the most productive trees, or high-grading of the stand. This can result in poorer quality timber and a shift in species composition away from more valuable oak species.
Carefully planned single tree selection or the creation of group openings can help regenerate more desirable oak species and increase vigor on the residual trees. Clear-cutting does occur and results in dense, even-aged stands of primarily oak. This may be most beneficial for existing stands whose composition has been highly altered by past management practices. However, without some thinning of the dense stands, the ground flora diversity can be shaded out and productivity of the stand may suffer.
Prescribed fire can play a beneficial but limited role in the management of this ecological site. Footslope forests did evolve with some fire, but their composition often reflects more closed, forested conditions, with fewer woodland ground flora species that can respond to fire. Consequently, while having these sites in a burn unit is acceptable, targeting them solely for woodland restoration is not advisable.
A State and Transition Diagram follows. Detailed descriptions of each state, transition, plant community, and pathway follow the model. This model is based on available experimental research, field observations, professional consensus, and interpretations. It is likely to change as knowledge increases.
State and transition model
Figure 9. State and transition diagram for this ecological site
More interactive model formats are also available.
View Interactive Models
More interactive model formats are also available.
View Interactive Models
Click on state and transition labels to scroll to the respective text
State 1 submodel, plant communities
The historical reference state for this ecological site was old growth oak forest. The forest was dominated by Shumard oak and bur oak. Periodic disturbances from flooding, fire, wind or ice as well as grazing by native large herbivores maintained the woodland structure and diverse ground flora species. Long disturbance-free periods allowed an increase in both the density of trees and the abundance of shade tolerant species. Two community phases are recognized in the reference state, with shifts between phases based on disturbance frequency. Reference states are very rare today. Fire suppression and altered drainage have resulted in increased canopy density, which has affected the abundance and diversity of ground flora. Most reference states are currently altered because of timber harvesting, clearing and conversion to grassland or cropland.
Bur Oak – Shumard Oak/Possumhaw/Indian Woodoats
Forest overstory. Forest Overstory Species list is based on field reconnaissance as well as commonly occurring species listed in Nelson 2010; names and symbols are from USDA PLANTS database.
Forest understory. Forest Understory Species list is based on field reconnaissance as well as commonly occurring species listed in Nelson 2010; names and symbols are from USDA PLANTS database.
Bur Oak – Shumard Oak/ Hackberry – Possumhaw/Indian Woodoats
Low Disturbance/ Logged Forest
Composition is altered from the reference state depending on tree selection during harvest. This state will slowly increase in more shade tolerant species and swamp white oak and bur oak will become less dominant. Without periodic canopy disturbance, stem density and fire intolerant species, like hackberry, will increase in abundance. Some periodic grazing may be occurring.
Bur Oak – Elm – Hackberry/Possum Haw/Sedge
Cool Season Grassland
Conversion of other states to non-native cool season species such as tall fescue, orchard grass, and white clover has been common. Occasionally, these pastures will have scattered oak. Long term uncontrolled grazing can cause significant soil erosion and compaction. A return to the reference state may be impossible, requiring a very long term series of management options and transitions.
Tall Fescue – White Clover
This is a state that exists currently with intensive cropping of soybeans and wheat. Some conversion to cool season hay land occurs, but when commodity prices are high, these states transition back to cropland.
Additional community tables
Table 5. Community 1.1 forest overstory composition
|Common name||Symbol||Scientific name||Nativity||Height (ft)||Canopy cover (%)||Diameter (in)||Basal area (square ft/acre)|
|bur oak||QUMA2||Quercus macrocarpa||Native||–||–||–||–|
|Shumard's oak||QUSH||Quercus shumardii||Native||–||–||–||–|
|bitternut hickory||CACO15||Carya cordiformis||Native||–||–||–||–|
|shellbark hickory||CALA21||Carya laciniosa||Native||–||–||–||–|
|green ash||FRPE||Fraxinus pennsylvanica||Native||–||–||–||–|
|swamp white oak||QUBI||Quercus bicolor||Native||–||–||–||–|
|pin oak||QUPA2||Quercus palustris||Native||–||–||–||–|
|slippery elm||ULRU||Ulmus rubra||Native||–||–||–||–|
|common hackberry||CEOC||Celtis occidentalis||Native||–||–||–||–|
|American sycamore||PLOC||Platanus occidentalis||Native||–||–||–||–|
Table 6. Community 1.1 forest understory composition
|Common name||Symbol||Scientific name||Nativity||Height (ft)||Canopy cover (%)|
|Indian woodoats||CHLA5||Chasmanthium latifolium||Native||–||–|
|soft fox sedge||CACO13||Carex conjuncta||Native||–||–|
|Gray's sedge||CAGR5||Carex grayi||Native||–||–|
|false hop sedge||CALU3||Carex lupuliformis||Native||–||–|
|hop sedge||CALU4||Carex lupulina||Native||–||–|
|Muskingum sedge||CAMU9||Carex muskingumensis||Native||–||–|
|squarrose sedge||CASQ2||Carex squarrosa||Native||–||–|
|sweet woodreed||CIAR2||Cinna arundinacea||Native||–||–|
|fowl mannagrass||GLST||Glyceria striata||Native||–||–|
|smallspike false nettle||BOCY||Boehmeria cylindrica||Native||–||–|
|pale touch-me-not||IMPA||Impatiens pallida||Native||–||–|
|calico aster||SYLAA||Symphyotrichum lateriflorum var. angustifolium||Native||–||–|
|foxglove beardtongue||PEDI||Penstemon digitalis||Native||–||–|
|Canadian clearweed||PIPU2||Pilea pumila||Native||–||–|
|bristly buttercup||RAHI||Ranunculus hispidus||Native||–||–|
|limestone wild petunia||RUST2||Ruellia strepens||Native||–||–|
|blue skullcap||SCLA2||Scutellaria lateriflora||Native||–||–|
|giant goldenrod||SOGI||Solidago gigantea||Native||–||–|
|cutleaf coneflower||RULA3||Rudbeckia laciniata||Native||–||–|
|common threeseed mercury||ACRH||Acalypha rhomboidea||Native||–||–|
|fourleaf yam||DIQU||Dioscorea quaternata||Native||–||–|
|spotted snapweed||IMBA||Impatiens balsamina||Native||–||–|
|lowland bladderfern||CYPR4||Cystopteris protrusa||Native||–||–|
|sparselobe grapefern||BOBI||Botrychium biternatum||Native||–||–|
|shoestring fern||VILI2||Vittaria lineata||Native||–||–|
|sensitive fern||ONSE||Onoclea sensibilis||Native||–||–|
|northern spicebush||LIBE3||Lindera benzoin||Native||–||–|
|American hornbeam||CACA18||Carpinus caroliniana||Native||–||–|
|Ohio buckeye||AEGL||Aesculus glabra||Native||–||–|
|frost grape||VIVU||Vitis vulpina||Native||–||–|
|eastern poison ivy||TORA2||Toxicodendron radicans||Native||–||–|
|heartleaf peppervine||AMCO2||Ampelopsis cordata||Native||–||–|
|trumpet creeper||CARA2||Campsis radicans||Native||–||–|
|catbird grape||VIPA7||Vitis palmata||Native||–||–|
|riverbank grape||VIRI||Vitis riparia||Native||–||–|
Wildlife (MDC 2006):
Moist conditions with abundant coarse woody debris make this type of ecological site important for many herptiles.
Ephemeral pools provide important amphibian breeding habitat. Periodic inundation and acorns provide important habitat and food for migrating ducks (especially mallards) and breeding ducks including wood ducks and hooded mergansers.
Tall emergent trees along with an uneven canopy structure and canopy gaps are important for heron colonies, eagle nesting, Mississippi kites, cerulean warblers and other bird species.
Birds associated with late-successional to mature forests are Wood Duck, Hooded Merganser, Barred Owl, Cerulean Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, Pileated Woodpecker, Yellow-throated Vireo, Brown Creeper, and Yellow-crowned Night Heron.
Reptiles and amphibians associated with this ecological site include: small-mouthed salamander, central newt, midland brown snake, gray treefrog, northern spring peeper, Blanchard’s cricket frog, southern leopard frog, western painted turtle, and red-eared slider.
Forestry (NRCS 2002, 2014):
Management: Estimated site index values are 55 to 60 for oak. On the wettest sites, timber management opportunities may be limited. Management of these groups may be difficult because of variation in species, age, stocking levels and seasonal wetness. Use seed-tree, group selection, or clear cutting regeneration methods.
Limitations: Wetness from high water table. Use of equipment may be restricted in spring and other excessively wet periods. Restrict activities to dry periods or surfaced areas. Equipment use when wet may compact soil and damage tree roots. Unsurfaced roads and traffic areas tend to be slippery and form ruts easily. Access to forests is easiest during periods in late summer or winter when soils are frozen or dry. Planting may be extremely difficult during spring periods. Seedling mortality may be high due to excess wetness. Unsurfaced roads and skid trails may be impassable during rainy periods
Inventory data references
Potential Reference Sites: Wet Footslope Forest
Plot ROBESP03 – Hartville soil
Located in Robertsville SP, Franklin County, MO
Plot CACOFS02 – Higdon soil
Located in Carter County Forest Service, Carter County, MO
Anderson, R.C. 1990. The historic role of fire in North American grasslands. Pp. 8-18 in S.L. Collins and L.L. Wallace (eds.). Fire in North American tallgrass prairies. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.
Batek, M.J., A.J. Rebertus, W.A. Schroeder, T.L. Haithcoat, E. Compas, and R.P. Guyette. 1999. Reconstruction of early nineteenth-century vegetation and fire regimes in the Missouri Ozarks. Journal of Biogeography 26:397-412.
Brinson, M.M. 1993. A hydrogeomorphic classification for wetlands. Technical Report WRP-DE-4, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS.
Cowardin, L.M., V. Carter, F.C. Golet, & E.T. LaRoe. 1979. Classification of wetlands and deepwater habitats of the United States. U.S. Dept. of Interior, Fish & Wildlife Service, Office of Biological Services, Washington DC.
Harlan, J.D., T.A. Nigh and W.A. Schroeder. 2001. The Missouri original General Land Office survey notes project. University of Missouri, Columbia.
Holbrook, Donald, and J. Daniel Childress. 2005. Soil Survey of Wayne County, Missouri. U.S. Dept. of Agric. Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Ladd, D. 1991. Reexamination of the role of fire in Missouri oak woodlands. Pp. 67-80 in G.V. Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. 2000. Wildland fire in ecosystems: effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 257 p.
Missouri Department of Conservation. 2010. Missouri Forest and Woodland Community Profiles. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City, Missouri.
NatureServe, 2010. Vegetation Associations of Missouri (revised). NatureServe Central Databases. Arlington, VA U.S. NatureServe, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Nelson, Paul W. 2010. The Terrestrial Natural Communities of Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City, Missouri. 550p.
Nigh, Timothy A., and Walter A. Schroeder. 2002. Atlas of Missouri Ecoregions. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City, Missouri. 212p.
Schoolcraft, H.R. 1821. Journal of a tour into the interior of Missouri and Arkansas from Potosi, or Mine a Burton, in Missouri territory, in a southwest direction, toward the Rocky Mountains: performed in the years 1818 and 1819. Richard Phillips and Company, London.
United States Department of Agriculture – Natural Resource Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS). 2006. Land Resource Regions and Major Land Resource Areas of the United States, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Basin. U.S. Department of Agriculture Handbook 296. 682 pgs.
Nels Barrett, 9/24/2020
Missouri Department of Conservation and Missouri Department of Natural Resources personnel provided significant and helpful field and technical support during this project.
Rangeland health reference sheet
Interpreting Indicators of Rangeland Health is a qualitative assessment protocol used to determine ecosystem condition based on benchmark characteristics described in the Reference Sheet. A suite of 17 (or more) indicators are typically considered in an assessment. The ecological site(s) representative of an assessment location must be known prior to applying the protocol and must be verified based on soils and climate. Current plant community cannot be used to identify the ecological site.
|Contact for lead author|
|Approved by||Nels Barrett|
|Composition (Indicators 10 and 12) based on||Annual Production|
Number and extent of rills:
Presence of water flow patterns:
Number and height of erosional pedestals or terracettes:
Bare ground from Ecological Site Description or other studies (rock, litter, lichen, moss, plant canopy are not bare ground):
Number of gullies and erosion associated with gullies:
Extent of wind scoured, blowouts and/or depositional areas:
Amount of litter movement (describe size and distance expected to travel):
Soil surface (top few mm) resistance to erosion (stability values are averages - most sites will show a range of values):
Soil surface structure and SOM content (include type of structure and A-horizon color and thickness):
Effect of community phase composition (relative proportion of different functional groups) and spatial distribution on infiltration and runoff:
Presence and thickness of compaction layer (usually none; describe soil profile features which may be mistaken for compaction on this site):
Functional/Structural Groups (list in order of descending dominance by above-ground annual-production or live foliar cover using symbols: >>, >, = to indicate much greater than, greater than, and equal to):
Amount of plant mortality and decadence (include which functional groups are expected to show mortality or decadence):
Average percent litter cover (%) and depth ( in):
Expected annual annual-production (this is TOTAL above-ground annual-production, not just forage annual-production):
Potential invasive (including noxious) species (native and non-native). List species which BOTH characterize degraded states and have the potential to become a dominant or co-dominant species on the ecological site if their future establishment and growth is not actively controlled by management interventions. Species that become dominant for only one to several years (e.g., short-term response to drought or wildfire) are not invasive plants. Note that unlike other indicators, we are describing what is NOT expected in the reference state for the ecological site:
Perennial plant reproductive capability:
The Ecosystem Dynamics Interpretive Tool is an information system framework developed by the USDA-ARS Jornada Experimental Range, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and New Mexico State University.
Click on box and path labels to scroll to the respective text.