Spatial Delineation of Acer grandidentatum within the Owl and Bear Creek Watersheds, Fort Hood Military Installation, Texas
Faulkner, Melinda S, McBroom, Matthew W, Farrish, Kenneth W

Disjunct populations of bigtooth maple (Acer grandidentatum) exist as Pleistocene relicts in several counties in Texas, with isolated populations found within the Owl Mountain Province of Fort Hood Military Installation. Transect vegetation surveys conducted by the Fort Hood Natural Resources Branch in 1996 and 2011 identified nine distinct areas of A. grandidentatum habitat covering 71 hectares within the 9,000 hectare study area. During spring 2014, fifty-four nested vegetation plots were established within known maple habitat to inventory woody and emergent species. These data were used to create a vegetation model in ERDAS by isolating the spectral intensity of A. grandidentatum to determine additional maple populations, locating an additional 129 hectares of A. grandidentatum habitat. Sixty-one nested plots within the newly defined maple habitat were compared to determine the similarities and differences between modeled and established maple habitat. Independent-samples T-tests were conducted to determine the differences between stand dynamics with regards to A. grandidentatum and Ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei) in established and modeled vegetation stands at a = 0.05. Statistical analyses for both the established and modeled bigtooth maple habitat revealed that the Owl Creek watershed represents a later successional habitat with maples expressed in near equal proportion in the canopy and understory. The Bear Creek watershed is highly segmented with less continuous maple and hardwood habitat;hardwoods are still prominent, but Ashe juniper represents a largerportion of the vegetation community in the canopy and understory, indicating greater disturbance.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jges.v8n2a2