Nickel Preserve Stream Habitat

This vegetation type includes several plant communities dominated by various species of oaks, including northern red oak (Quercus rubra), southern red oak (Q. falcata), white oak (Q. alba), post oak (Q. stellata), and blackjack oak (Q. marilandicum). Shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata) occurs along ridges and south- & west- facing slopes. Tree canopy is generally closed with an understory consisting of shade-tolerant trees and shrubs such as flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) and red maple (Acer rubrum). Bottomlands and north- & east-facing slopes often have an abundant herbaceous cover of ferns and woodland forbs. Ground cover of drier sites is more dependent on canopy cover and recent fire history. Forest structure and plant community composition are strongly influence by the fire regime. Much of the Conservation Area has undergone a period of fire exclusion of more than 30 years, resulting in a largely homogeneous landscape matrix of closed canopy forest with little ground cover and low plant diversity. Where fire has occurred more recently and/or more frequently, forest structure is more open with a greater diversity and productivity in the understory.

Nested Elements
  • Oklahoma salamander, Eurycea tynerensis (G3) endemic
  • Cerulean warbler, Dendroica cerulea (G4) declining, habitat restricted
  • Louisiana waterthrush, Seiurus motacilla (G5) area sensitive
  • Acadian flycatcher, Empidonax virescens (G5) declining