RNA: Bayou Boeuf
County: Rapides Parish
Forest: Kisatchie National Forest
District: Evangeline Ranger District
Established: 1975; Acres: 737
To view Establishment records for Bayou Boeuf RNA in PDF format, Click Here
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Ecological/ Physical Description
Physical and Climatic Conditions:
Nearest weather station, with distance and direction from RNA: No information is available.
Annual precipitation (type, seasonal distribution): Rainfall is fairly well distributed throughout the year. Tropical storms rarely reach the area, although they contribute toward heavier rainfalls. Tornados are spawned by heavy spring rain and thunderstorms. The mean annual rainfall is 59 inches. Early fall is normally the driest part of the year and sometimes drought occurs.
Maximum and minimum temperatures: The average length of the frost–free season is about 247 days. The frost-free season usually extends from the 2nd week of March to the 2nd week in November.
Elevation: The area is relatively flat and the difference in elevation between sloughs and ridges is not over 4 to 5 feet.
Geology and Soils: The area is surfaced with sand, silt, clay and gravel of the Pleistocene terrace deposits or with recent alluvium (predominately sand, silt and clay) of the Calcasieu and Red Rivers and their tributaries.
Aquatic Features: The area consists of sloughs, flats and ridges. Sloughs meander through and drain area and flats are transitions between sloughs and ridges.
Plant Communities:The area contains 25 to 30 tree species including cherrybark oak (Quercus falcata v pagodifolia), Shumard oak (Q. shumardii), persimon (Diospyros virginiana), black willow (Salix nigra), sugarberry (Celtis laevigata), Nuttall oak (Q. nuttallii), white oak (Q. alba), green ash (Fraxinum pennsylvanica), haw (Ilex decidua), privet (Forestiera acuminata), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos), water oak (Q. nigra), willow oak (Q. phellos), red maple (Acer rubrum), cypress (Taxodium distichum), tupelo (Nyssa aquatica) and American elm (Ulmus americana). Swamp chestnut oak - cherrybark oak type occurs on the higher, well-drained ridges andsugarberry – elm – ash on flats and cypress-tupelo in sloughs. Much of the RNA has scattered large trees 140 to 165 years old with many smaller trees. The area is relatively isolated from the rest of the district by Bayou Boeuf The area offers the unusual opportunity to study three hardwood types in a relatively small area.
SAF Cover Types
|Sugarberry–American elm, green ash
||93 (405 acres)
|Swamp chestnut oak–cherrybark oak
||91 (146 acres)
||102 (80 acres)
At Risk Species: None are known.
Common Shrub Species: Swamp dogwood (Cornus foemina).
Common Herbaceous Species: Smilax (Smilax spp.,, poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), rattan (Berchemia scandens), blackberry (Rubus spp.), buckvine, Carex spp., abundant smartweeds (Polygonum spp.) and Indian pinks (Spigelia marilandica).
Common Mammal Species: deer (Odocoileus virginiana), small mammals, raccoon (Procyon lotor), opossum (Didelphis virginiana), squirrel Sciurus carolinensis, rabbit.
Common Bird Species: wood ducks, crows, owls and many other species
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Related Reports and Publications:
Additional reports and publications can also be found by clicking on the “RNA Publications and Products” link in the site menu or by clicking here.
Tucker, Sandra S. 1977. An ecological assessment of Bayou Boeuf Research Natural Area, Rapides Parish, Louisiana. Ms. Thesis, Louisiana State University.
Last Modified: 1/15/2016 by Margaret Devall (firstname.lastname@example.org)