The Talladega NEON site is located within the Oakmulgee Ranger District of the Talladega National Forest. This rolling terrain is part of the Fall Line Hills of the Eastern Gulf Coastal Plain. In the 1800’s this area was heavily logged, but since the 1980’s the Forest Service has worked on restoring this area back to the Longleaf Savannah ecosystem. Many of the plots are subjected to regular burn treatments by the U.S. Forest Service, but some of the plots do occur within the dense ravines.
Coordination of this site was done with the domain manager, David Mitchell, and Senior Field Ecologist, Jake White. Sampling was established at 9 of the NEON plots.
Below is a brief description of sites:
Plot one is located down in a ravine. Dominated by a mixed hardwood s, supporting a dense canopy of Oxydenrum arboreum, Liquidambar styraciflua, Nyssa sylvatica, and Liriodendron tulipifera. The under story is dense thicket of tall saw grass.
Plot two is on a rocky slope with a dense canopy. Primarily dominated by Pinus taeda, with mixed hardwoods including Oxydendrum arboreum, Liriodendron tulipifera, and a couple species of Quercus. The under story supports a healthy layer of Vaccinium.
Plot three was not completed due to the fact it had been clear cut for road construction. The under story is recovering, but trees will not be productive for many years.
Plot four is a Pinus palustris stand located on a rocky hill. The under story is dominated by shrub height Vaccinium arboretum, with some scattered Cornus florida throughout the plot.
Plot five is located on the edge of a ravine. The uphill side of the plot is an open stand of Pinus palustris. While the lower side is a mixture of hardwoods, including Oxydendrum arboreum, Cornus florida, and Quercus spp.
Plot six is an open Pinus palustris stand, supporting a few individual hardwoods such as Acer rubrum and Liquidambar styraciflua. The under story is sparse due to a recent burn over the winter of 2017/2018.
Plot seven is on the bottom end of a slope close to a ravine. Supports a dense canopy with a very open under story. Species include Pinus palustris, Acer rubrum, Oxydendrum arboreum, Quercus alba, Liriodendron tulipfera, and Liquidambar styraciflua.
Plot nine is a dominant stand of Pinus palustris, but also supports Quercus nigra and Liquidambar styraciflua. The understory is dense collection of briers, sumac and ferns.
Plot thirteen is an open Pinus palustris stand. The under story shows evidence of past thinning’s and consists of only a few Acer rubrum and Vaccinium.