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    Author(s): Victor B. Shelburne; Lawrence R. Gering; J. Drew Lanham; Gregory P. Smith; Thomas M. Floyd; Eran S. Kilpatrick
    Date: 2002
    Source: In: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-48. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pg. 610-614
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (189 KB)


    Application of a Piedmont landscape ecosystem classification methodology was used as a basis for a survey of vegetation and herpetofaunal communities on a 343 hectare (846 acre) tract on Lake Thurmond near Plum Branch, SC. The site is located in the Carolina Slate Belt of the Midlands Plateau Region of the Piedmont province. A total of 160 plots were established and 30 were sampled intensively for vegetation. Herpetofaunal populations were sampled within 6 sites, representative of habitat types found throughout the site, using drift fences and pitfall traps.

    Nearly 180 species of plants were documented and classification and ordination revealed the expected array of plant communities in an area that has not as yet achieved a steady state plant community. Landscape Ecosystem Classification revealed five site units in a repeating pattern across the site. Herpetofaunal communities were documented across the were captured or otherwise recorded. This total included species from 2 classes (Amphibia, Reptilia), 4 orders (Caudata, Anura, Testudines, Squamata), and 2 suborders (Lacertilia, Serpentes). Species richness and abundance were greatest at depression wetlands (18) followed by riparian zones (16) and uplands (11). Depression wetlands and riparian zones should be given the highest priority in conserving critical habitats for herpetofauna on the training site.

    Through the use of geographic information systems (GIS), a map showing the location of the various site types in relation to the vegetation and herpetofaunal communities was produced. These data may provide valuable reference information for the landowner.

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    Shelburne, Victor B.; Gering, Lawrence R.; Lanham, J. Drew; Smith, Gregory P.; Floyd, Thomas M.; Kilpatrick, Eran S. 2002. Application of Piedmont Landscape Ecosystem Classification as a Reference For A Vegetation and Herpetofaunal Survey on Lake Thurmond, SC. In: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-48. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pg. 610-614

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