Soil physical and chemical properties associated with flat rock and riparian forest communitiesThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Flat Rock forest communities are unique ecosystems found adjacent to some large rivers in the Central and Southern Appalachian Mountains. Characterized by thin, alluvial soils overlying flat, resistant sandstone, these areas are maintained by severe flooding and have unique associated plant systems. With the advent of dams to control flooding in the 20th century, many flat rock communities have declined; these areas have been invaded by both exotic species and traditional riparian trees and shrubs. A flat rock forest community and adjacent riparian forest were studied to determine the soil physical and chemical properties associated with each. Vegetation measurements were made of overstory, understory, and regeneration strata and were related to soil characteristics. Based on these measurements, silvicultural treatments to maintain the principal species in the flat rock community were proposed.