RNA: Little Wambaw Swamp
State: South Carolina
Forest: Francis Marion National Forest, Francis Marion-Sumter National Forests
Established: 1963; Acres: 60
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Ecological/Physical Description: Creek swamp in the Little Wambaw Swamp Scenic Area. The area is subject to intermittent flooding during any season but probably most deeply and for longer durations during the dormant season. Flooded conditions are the rule with depths rarely averaging more than 16 inches. Primarily virgin swamp area in Carolina Low Country; relatively uniform stand of bottomland hardwood swamp dominated by swamp tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica var. biflora), baldcypress (Taxodium distichum), water tupelo (Nyssa aquatica).
Physical and Climatic Conditions
Nearest weather station, with distance and direction from RNA:
Annual precipitation (type, seasonal distribution): The swamp is close enough to the Atlantic Ocean to have the rather humid oceanic climate typical of the South Carolina low country. Precipitation is heaviest during the summer and averages about 50 inches a year, with a 280 day growing season.
Maximum and minimum temperatures: Daily average temperatures are ~81 F for July and 50F for January.
Geology and Soils: Low lying area, relatively youthful geologic age and low position account for immature stream development and poor drainage.
Aquatic Features: Headwater area for several creeks, not subject to flooding inundation as are river bottom alluvial swamps, but serves as a collecting basin from surrounding uplands; no well-defined waterways through swamp. “Green reservoir” for ducks and other water fowl. A fishing lake at Awandaw, formed by damming a stream that emerges from the general area of Little Wambaw Swamp may have some effect on the swamp’s natural drainage regimen.
SAF Cover Types (acres):
Swamp tupelo – baldcypress, type 102
Common Shrub Species: sweet bay (Magnolia virginiana), southern bayberry (Myrica cerifera) and Leucothoa axillaris.
Common Herbaceous Species: none mentioned due to the flooding and heavy canopy cover.
Common Mammal Species: white tailed deer, feral hogs, bobcat, red fox, mink, weasel, gray squirrel, cotton tail rabbits, wood rat, cotton rat. Possibly black bear and alligators.
Common Bird Species: wood duck, white ibis, wood ibis, egrets, a variety of herons, pileated woodpecker, turkey, robin.
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.
Dombois, D. Mueller. 1962. Visits with European ecologists (November 2 to December 6, 1960). For. Chronicle, “News and Views” section, Vol. 37, No. 2, pp. 155-156.
Last Modified: 9/29/2015 by Mary Mallinson Long (email@example.com)