Forest Succession and Grazing in William Cameron Park, an Urban Natural Area in Waco, Texas

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2010
Authors:Archer, KLang, Bratton, S
Journal:Castanea
Volume:75
Issue:1
Date Published:2010
ISBN Number:0008-7475
Keywords:Fraxinus, Juniperus, Ligustrum, Quercus, Ulmus
Abstract:

Abstract William Cameron Park is a 166 ha civic park located at the confluence of the Brazos and Bosque Rivers in Waco, Texas. During the pre-settlement period (first contact?1849), an oak-red cedar forest flourished on the ridge-top. In the early settlement phase (1849?1910), villagers cleared much of the ridge-top for logging and later for grazing. During the late settlement period (1910?present-day), vegetative cover increased markedly after the dedication of Cameron Park released ridge-top pastures. This release event resulted in delayed and differential regeneration of forest cover, first in Juniperus spp. and then in broadleaved species. Regeneration of deciduous species not only occurred after that of Juniperus spp. but initially followed historic fence-lines. Broadleaf species moved into the interiors of former pastures only within the last few decades, first in species such as Ulmus crassifolia and Quercus sinuata and later in Fraxinus texensis. The oldest ridge-top trees were Quercus fusiformis, whose size and canopy shape indicated that early settlers frequently left them to act as shade trees within pastures. Though invasion by exotic species is a management concern, historic sources reported that exotic plants, such as Ligustrum spp. were uncommon in the early 20th century. Current successional trends indicate that invasive species and anthropogenic pressures will prevent the forest's vegetation from returning to a historic species distribution.Abstract William Cameron Park is a 166 ha civic park located at the confluence of the Brazos and Bosque Rivers in Waco, Texas. During the pre-settlement period (first contact?1849), an oak-red cedar forest flourished on the ridge-top. In the early settlement phase (1849?1910), villagers cleared much of the ridge-top for logging and later for grazing. During the late settlement period (1910?present-day), vegetative cover increased markedly after the dedication of Cameron Park released ridge-top pastures. This release event resulted in delayed and differential regeneration of forest cover, first in Juniperus spp. and then in broadleaved species. Regeneration of deciduous species not only occurred after that of Juniperus spp. but initially followed historic fence-lines. Broadleaf species moved into the interiors of former pastures only within the last few decades, first in species such as Ulmus crassifolia and Quercus sinuata and later in Fraxinus texensis. The oldest ridge-top trees were Quercus fusiformis, whose size and canopy shape indicated that early settlers frequently left them to act as shade trees within pastures. Though invasion by exotic species is a management concern, historic sources reported that exotic plants, such as Ligustrum spp. were uncommon in the early 20th century. Current successional trends indicate that invasive species and anthropogenic pressures will prevent the forest's vegetation from returning to a historic species distribution.

URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.2179/08-006.1
Short Title:Castanea
Fri, 2014-01-24 22:30 -- admin
http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/5ade1b012674ce3dd941e2ea5dd15cc1.jpg?d=http%3A//flora.indianbiodiversity.org/sites/all/modules/contrib/gravatar/avatar.png&s=100&r=G
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith