Term of Award

Fall 1992

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Donald J. Drapalik

Committee Member 1

Timothy P. Spira

Committee Member 2

Lisa K. Wagner

Abstract

The George L. Smith State Park is located approximately 5.6 kilometers east of Twin City. This 556 hectare park contains a 167 hectare lake (Watson Mill Pond) which was created in 1880 when Fifteen Mile Creek was impounded to power a grist mill. The present study was conducted to document all vascular plant species and habitats found in the most used southern portion of the park. I found 242 genera and 377 vascular plant taxa on the state park. These taxa were distributed as follows; primitive vascular plants (Pteridophyta): four families, seven genera, and nine species; gymnosperms: three families, three genera, and seven species; dicots: 74 families, 137 genera, and 271 species; monocots: 14 families, 47 genera, and 87 species.

Using the quarter point method, quantitative data was obtained for trees growing in a hardwood swamp, bay swamp, and sandhill community. In addition, sandhill vegetation was sampled using the line intercept method. In these analyses importance values were obtained for all measured taxa. Plant habitats and communities found on the park included forested and nonforested lake habitat, hardwood swamp, bay swamp, sandhill, branch swamp, pine barrens, secondary woods, open disturbed habitats, planted pines, lawns, and marginal areas. Dominant plant taxa were Nyssa biflora Walt., Quercus laurifolia Michx., and Acer rubrum L. in hardwood swamp; Magnolia virginiana L., Cliftonia monophylla (Lam.) Britt. ex Sarg., Persea palustris (Raf.) Sarg., and Gordonia lasianthus (L.) Ellis in bay swamp; and Quercus laevis Walt., Pinus palustris Mill., and Quercus margaretta Ashe in sandhill. Total vegetation cover in the sandhill was 79.5 % of which approximately 65 % was trees, shrubs, and woody vines and 35% was herbaceous vascular plants, bryophytes, and lichens. In the sandhill Aristida stricta Michx., Q. laevis, and Q. margaretta had the greatest cover.

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