Historic vegetation of Camp Bullis and Camp Stanley, southeastern Edwards Plateau, Texas.
Abstract. -- Historic land survey data were used to test a previously proposed nineteenth century landscape model of southeastern Edwards Plateau (Balcones Canyonlands or Texas Hill Country) counties; the model (47% wooded pre-1860) was supported by the results of this study. Woodland and savanna savanna or savannah (both: səvăn`ə), tropical or subtropical grassland lying on the margin of the trade wind belts. were common, open grassland was uncommon, and forest was rare on the study area. Five tree species were recorded; Plateau oak (Quercus fusiformis Quercus fusiformis, commonly known as Texas Live Oak, is an evergreen or nearly evergreen tree native to the southern United States. In Texas, it occurs from about Corpus Christi west to the Pecos River, north to southern Oklahoma, and also south into adjacent ) was the most common species, post oak (Quercus stellata) was the largest species, and Texas oak (Quercus buckleyi Quercus buckleyi (also called Texas Red Oak) is a species of plant in the Fagaceae family. It is endemic to the United States. Source
Proper planning of ecological restoration requires that the nature of historic landscapes be known to the greatest degree possible. The Edwards Plateau of central Texas has been and continues to be a major focus of study for plant ecologists and range managers (Amos & Gehlbach 1988; Taylor 1997) interested in understanding and managing this region for biodiversity and economic benefits to society. However, little quantitative treatment of the subject of its original condition has been published (Weniger 1984; 1988; Wills 2005). Narrative accounts, though historically valuable as qualitative statements about a particular locality, or (in aggregate) a region, are too often substituted for quantitative analyses of the early composition and structure of regional plant communities.
In 1839, surveyors began delineating tracts of land along Salado Creek Salado Creek is a waterway in San Antonio that runs from Northern Bexar County for about 38 miles to the San Antonio River near Buena Vista. History
The Creek was given its name in 1716. in northern Bexar County granted by the Republic of Texas. John Leonard Riddell John Leonard Riddell (Feb. 20, 1807 - Oct. 7, 1865), was a science lecturer, botanist, geologist, medical doctor, chemist, microscopist, numismatician, politician, and science fiction author. He was born in Leyden, Massachusetts, the son of John Riddell and Lephe Gates. (Breeden 1994:58-59) described the contemporaneous landscape seen by surveyors of this area in the following manner: "The musquit tree now disappears and is replaced by live oak, post oak etc.... Land sparsely timbered, but no uninterrupted large prairies. Real thickets occur only in the canadas or ravines of water courses." Spaight (1882:25) provides additional detail, stating that the "timber in the northern portion [of Bexar County] is live oak on the hills and high plateaus, post oak on the flats, and elm, walnut, pecan, and hackberry hackberry: see elm. along the streams."
Based on study of historic land surveys, an assessment of the amount of woodland in the southeastern edge of the Edwards Plateau region (Comal County and Kendall County Kendall County is the name of several counties in the United States:
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Study area. -- Camp Bullis (subpost of Fort Sam Houston Fort Sam Houston, U.S. army base, 3,300 acres (1,335 hectares), S Tex., in San Antonio; headquarters of the Fifth Army. San Antonio, long a military center, donated land in 1870 for the site of a permanent military post that was constructed from 1876 to 1890 and ) and Camp Stanley Camp Stanley is a U.S. Army camp located just outside the city of Uijeongbu, South Korea. Currently, it is the home of the 304th Signal Battalion, the 61st Maint Co, 498th CSB, 501st CSG; 46th Trans, 498th, 501st CSG; Warrior Replacement Company; and assorted supporting units. (part of the Red River Arsenal) are contiguous sites located in northern Bexar and western Comal counties approximately 29 km NNW NNW
Noun 1. NNW - the compass point that is midway between north and northwest
nor'-nor'-west, north northwest of San Antonio, Texas “San Antonio” redirects here. For other uses, see San Antonio (disambiguation).
San Antonio is the second most populous city in Texas, the third most populous metropolitan area in Texas, and is the seventh most populous city in the United States. As of the 2006 U.S. (29[degrees]41'N, 98[degrees]34'W). These two sites, together formerly known as the Leon Springs Military Reservation, cover approximately 12,870.8 ha within the Balcones Canyonlands subregion sub·re·gion
A subdivision of a region, especially an ecological region.
subre of the Edwards Plateau. The topography is hilly, with numerous intermittent streams draining to the east and south. The most prominent of these are Cibolo Creek The Cibolo Creek begins ten miles northwest of the town of Boerne in Southwestern Kendall County, Texas, and runs southeast for about 100 miles, forming the county line between Bexar County, Texas, Comal County, Texas, and Guadalupe County, Texas, and crosses Wilson County, and Salado Creek. Mean annual precipitation is 74 cm; mean annual temperature is 19.8[degrees]C. Elevation ranges from 306-462 m. Many of the hills exhibit a terraced or "stair step" appearance due to alternating harder and softer strata. Most (74%) of the rock outcropping on Camp Bullis is Upper Glen Rose limestone. Lower Glen Rose limestone is exposed over 14% of the northern portion of Camp Bullis, while 12% (mainly in the southeastern corner of the site) is Kainer limestone of the Edwards group (Anonymous 1990). Soils belong primarily to the Tarrant-Brackett association; these are shallow to very shallow soils over limestone parent material. Specific soils within the study area include Bexar, Brackett, Crawford, Krum, Lewisville, Patrick, Tarrant, Frio, and Venus. These fall into nine range sites: Clay Loam (Lewisville, Venus), Loamy Bottomland (Frio), Low Stony Hill (Tarrant), Redland (Bexar, Crawford), Rocky Upland (Tarrant), Shallow (Patrick), Steep Adobe (Brackett), Steep Rocky (Tarrant), and Valley (Krum) (Anonymous 1990; Taylor et al. 1991).
Recently, the vegetation of Camp Bullis was estimated to be 18.3% grassland, 11.9% savanna, 62.7% woodland (including forest), and 7.1% other (sotol so·tol
1. Any of several tall woody plants of the genus Dasylirion of the southwest United States and adjacent Mexico, having prickly-margined leaves and a large panicle of whitish unisexual flowers.
2. [Dasylirion texanum], yuccas [Yucca spp.], rock outcrop, other) (Hudler 2000). Grassland is more frequent at higher elevations, whereas oak savanna is more common at lower elevations (Hudler 2000). Riskind & Diamond (1986, 1988) described the region as comprising evergreen woodland, deciduous deciduous /de·cid·u·ous/ (de-sid´u-us) falling off or shed at maturity, as the teeth of the first dentition.
1. woodland, and floodplain floodplain, level land along the course of a river formed by the deposition of sediment during periodic floods. Floodplains contain such features as levees, backswamps, delta plains, and oxbow lakes. forest (riparian riparian adj. referring to the banks of a river or stream. (See: riparian rights) woodland), and these types are all represented at Camp Bullis. American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) is the principal riparian species, although pecan (Carya illinoensis) is also present.
Data collection and analysis. -- Witness tree data were obtained from field notes of 64 original land surveys (Whitney & DeCant de·cant
tr.v. de·cant·ed, de·cant·ing, de·cants
1. To pour off (wine, for example) without disturbing the sediment.
2. To pour (a liquid) from one container into another. 2001) of the study area conducted during the years 1839-1862. These survey reports are held in the Archives and Records Division, General Land Office of Texas, Austin; a list is available from the author. Data collected included survey number, year, tree species, tree diameter, bearing of tree from survey corner, and distance of tree from survey corner. All survey corners were inside, or within 750 m of, the Camp Bullis/Camp Stanley boundary. Abbreviations for tree species, as used by surveyors, were interpreted as follows: L.O. = Plateau (live) oak (Quercus fusiformis), P.O. = post oak (Quercus stellata), and Sp.O. = Texas (Spanish) oak (Quercus buckleyi). Other species included blackjack blackjack, one of the world's most widely played gambling card games; also known as twenty-one or vingt-et-un. Despite contesting claims between the French and Italians, its origins are unknown. [oak] (Quercus marilandica) and [cedar] elm (Ulmus crassifolia). Diameters, recorded in whole inches, were converted to meters. Distances, recorded by surveyors in fractional varas, were converted to meters by multiplying by 0.84667 (Reasonover 1946), and the tree radius (in meters) was added to the converted distance. The Texas General Land Office apparently did not specify how far surveyors should go from a survey corner to record witness (bearing) trees. Maximum tree distance reported for the study area was 85.6 m. Most survey corners with reported trees had two witness trees, but a few indicated one or three. Only those with two or three witness trees could be used in computing mean tree distance at a corner. Corners with a single tree were assigned to a coarser vegetation type (grass-dominated). Corners with no reported trees were scored as open grassland. One hundred and seventy-two corners were included in the analyses. Most surveys having shared corners agreed with respect to presence/absence of trees, tree species, diameters, bearings, and distances at a given corner. In the few cases where any of these data differed, information from the oldest survey was given priority to eliminate changes due to settlement (e.g., tree cutting) and possible field note transcription errors.
Trees per hectare were calculated according to the following formula: 10,000/[d.sup.2] where d is the mean tree distance in meters (Smeins & Slack 1982). Weniger's (1988) distance criteria were adopted to determine if a given survey corner (point) represented savanna (>21 m), woodland (7-21 m), or forest (<7 m). For some analyses, corners were grouped into wooded (woodland and forest) and grass-dominated (savanna, grassland, and single trees) categories. The only differences between the methods used in this paper and those of Weniger (1988) are that data on plant communities are reported by five categories herein instead of two, and that one of these five categories (single trees) was eliminated from consideration by Weniger.
Using ArcView 9.02 GIS, a digital Texas General Land Office original land survey map (RRC RRC Radio Resource Control (3G)
RRC Red River College (Canada)
RRC Railroad Commission of Texas (Austin, TX)
RRC Residency Review Committee (medical) 2000, slightly modified sensu Boggs & Giles 1932) was superimposed on a digital NRCS NRCS Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA)
NRCS Nepal Red Cross Society
NRCS Normalized Radar Cross-Section
NRCS Namibia Red Cross Society
NRCS New Ross Consolidated School (Canada) range site map to provide a basis for locating survey corners and their witness trees within range site types on the study area. Some range sites were combined into larger groups if they had similar potential vegetation and/or similar topographic positions (Taylor et al. 1991). The following range sites were combined into range site groups (percent of study area in parentheses): Steep Adobe and Steep Rocky (35.9%), Clay Loam and Shallow (1.6%), and Rocky Upland and Low Stony Hill (27.3%). This process reduced the number of range sites or range site groups from nine to six, including Loamy Bottomland (4.7%), Redland (15.7%) and Valley (14.9%). Chi-square analysis was used to compare the results of this study with those of Weniger (1988). A similar analysis comparing range site groups with respect to wooded and grass-dominated vegetation was performed (Bruning & Kintz 1968). The sample sizes for Clay Loam/Shallow and Loamy Bottomland were too limited; these sites were excluded from the analysis.
Surveyors found five species of trees on the study area, including four oak species and cedar elm (Ulmus crassifolia). Almost 99% of the 294 trees reported were oaks. Riparian trees were absent from the survey notes, as was Ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei), the most abundant species in the contemporary woodland (Van Auken 1988). Post oak (Quercus stellata) was the largest species (mean diameter 38 cm), Plateau oak (Quercus fusiformis) was intermediate in size (mean diameter 27 cm), and blackjack oak (Quercus marilandica), Texas oak (Quercus buckleyi), and cedar elm were the smallest species (mean diameters 20, 18, and 22 cm, respectively). Plateau oak was the dominant tree (ca. 85% of all trees), post oak and blackjack oak (between 5-8% each) were uncommon, and Texas oak and cedar elm (<2% each) were rare (Table 1).
In decreasing order of abundance, woodland, savanna, grassland, and forest plant communities were found to occur in the historic landscape (Table 2). Woodland and savanna were common and together accounted for 77.3% of the total landscape. Grassland was uncommon and appeared to be concentrated in the southern portion of the study area. Forest was rare and located mostly in the western part. Points having a single tree (ca. 5% of the total points) were not assigned to any plant community as no average tree distance could be calculated. Grass-dominated communities (grassland, savanna, and unclassified un·clas·si·fied
1. Not placed or included in a class or category: unclassified mail.
2. [single trees]) occurred at 91 points (52.9%), while wooded communities (woodland and forest) occurred at 81 points (47.1%). Comparable values reported by Weniger (1988) were 563 grass-dominated points (53.0%) and 500 wooded points (47.0%). There was no difference between the Weniger model and the data in this study ([X.sub.2] < 0.01, df = 1, n.s.). Grass-dominated and wooded communities were apparently equally abundant in the landscape of the study area during the historic period (Z = 0.76, n.s.).
Range sites and site groups appeared to vary in the extent to which they were wooded. Clay Loam/Shallow (n = 4, 3 wooded), Loamy Bottomland (n = 6, 4 wooded), and Redland (n = 32, 19 wooded) sites had more wooded points than grass-dominated points. Low Stony Hill/Rocky Upland (n = 38, 22 grass-dominated), Steep Adobe/Steep Rocky (n = 63, 36 grass-dominated), and Valley (n = 29, 17 grass-dominated) sites had more grass-dominated points than wooded points. However, differences in these two general categories of vegetative vegetative /veg·e·ta·tive/ (vej?e-ta?tiv)
1. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of plants.
2. concerned with growth and nutrition, as opposed to reproduction.
3. cover among range sites/site groups were insignificant ([X.sup.2] = 3.05, df = 3, n.s.). Much of the grassland (56.5% of all grassland points) was within the Steep Adobe/Steep Rocky site group. Woodland was the predominant community type in Redland (53.1% of its points) and Steep Adobe/Steep Rocky (41.3% of its points). The most common community type in the Valley site was savanna (55.2% of Valley points). Formation of mottes (small stands of trees in a grassy matrix) appears to have been uncommon in savanna. Only four of 59 savanna points (6.8%) had two Plateau oaks with similar distances and bearings from the survey corner stake, suggesting they were part of a tree cluster. These four points were all in the general vicinity of the confluence of Salado and Lewis Valley creeks.
Direct evidence of landscape disturbance is rare in the survey field notes, but there is some pertinent data. By 1860, three Plateau oaks in the vicinity of Salado Creek and the Pinta Trail were reported to have been killed. One 46-cm diameter tree had been reduced to a stump. Two others (diameters 13 and 25 cm) had been destroyed, one of them (13 cm) by fire.
The species composition of historic plant communities on the study area varied from that reported by Weniger (1984) for the Edwards Plateau as a whole. He found that 54% of the trees were oaks, about 7% were elms, 5% were baldcypress (Taxodium distichum), <1% were pecan, and about 33% other (the percentage of Ashe juniper was not given). Of the oak species, he reported that 40% were Plateau (live) oak, 33% were post oak, 9% were blackjack oak, 6% were Texas (Spanish) oak, and 12% other. While the rank order of these oaks was found to be the same in this paper, their relative abundances are quite different. These differences can be attributed partly to dissimilarities in methodology. Many of the surveys used by Weniger had two of their corners on a permanent stream, thus accounting for the presence of riparian species such as baldcypress and pecan. The high relative abundance of Plateau oak and low numbers of post oak, blackjack oak, and Texas oak on the study area is striking. It seems clear that Plateau oak dominated many Edwards Plateau uplands, and the high proportions of other oaks reported by Weniger are likely a reflection both of the larger scope of his study (13 counties) and differences in methods. Most of the surveys used in his study were concentrated along valleys where post oak and blackjack oak were more common (Weniger 1984). Points used in the present study are fairly well distributed between valley and upland areas, and apparently none fall in riparian corridors. On the other hand, the plant community results of this study are in close agreement with Weniger (1988), who found that there were historically about equal proportions of grass-dominated landscapes and wooded landscapes in the Edwards Plateau as a whole and in the Balcones Canyonlands subregion that includes Camp Bullis/Camp Stanley.
The apparent absence of Ashe juniper in the historic landscape has four possible explanations: (1) Surveyors considered Ashe juniper to be a poor witness tree and ignored it, (2) Ashe juniper was completely missing from the region, (3) Ashe juniper was too small to make a good witness tree, or (4) Ashe juniper was fairly rare. The first two reasons can probably be rejected; this species has been recorded in survey notes in other parts of the Edwards Plateau and it was the second most common species on a site in Kerr County (Wills 2005). Whitney & DeCant (2001:155) believe "it is unlikely that [surveyor bias] obscured real differences in the relative abundances of the species." The third alternative appears somewhat more likely (Inglis 1964). However, small junipers are very sensitive to hot fires and would have been consumed quickly unless they occupied refuges, including rocky outcrops and. The fourth alternative, which appears to agree with the narrative description of Riddell (Breeden 1994), might be the best one. At the time of the surveys, this fire-sensitive species apparently had not expanded from those refugia In the most basic biological sense refugia (singular: refugium) are locations of isolated or relict populations of once widespread animal or plant species. This isolation (allopatry) can be due to climatic changes or human activities such as deforestation and over-hunting. due to recurrent fire at intervals of 13-25 yr (Frost 1998). Thus it covered a relatively small proportion of the landscape. Juniper fence post harvest and charcoal burning became major industries only after 1878 (Toepperwein 1950; Cartwright 1966), and their effect on the abundance of Ashe juniper was probably minimal prior to that time. The geographic proximity of disturbance to a travel corridor and places of early settlement suggests causality. However, considering the brief period of settlement ([less than or equal to]15 yr) and what appear to be fairly low numbers of livestock, it seems improbable that major changes in tree cover had occurred before 1862. Such changes likely began around the early 1880s with the advent of barbed wire barbed wire, wire composed of two zinc-coated steel strands twisted together and having barbs spaced regularly along them. The need for barbed wire arose in the 19th cent. fencing (Wills 2005).
Comparison of contemporary vegetative cover with the historic prevalence of plant communities suggests that juniper woodland (including forest) has increased (Van Auken 1993) on the study area over time at the expense of savanna (woodland/forest: 47.1% increasing to 62.7%; savanna: 34.3% decreasing to 11.9%). The true extent of this increase is somewhat speculative due to the different methodologies employed (land survey versus remote sensing). Land use change, primarily decreased fire frequency after 1947 and possibly lower levels of juniper harvest, is the likely cause of juniper population expansion. Climatic change is a possible mechanism for juniper increase (Smeins & Fuhlendorf 1997), but this has not been conclusively demonstrated. The 1950s drought of record caused 90% mortality in some Edwards Plateau populations of mature Ashe juniper and a 56% reduction in total woody canopy cover, including a loss of 30% of scalybark oak (Quercus sinuata) and 54% of Plateau oak on some sites. Junipers <2 m tall survived this bottleneck and might have been able to occupy the space vacated by the dead oaks. However, there was little change in community composition evident at the end of the drought (Young 1956; Merrill & Young 1959). Some features of historic vegetation patterns on the study area have apparently persisted over time, including savanna in the valleys and grassland on steep hills. The amount of grassland (including single tree points) does not appear to have decreased from 1862-2000. Indeed, a modest increase in the grassland percentage during that period is suggested when rosette Rosette
D’Albert’s pliable, versatile, talented, acknowledged bedmate. [Fr. Lit.: Mademoiselle de Maupin. Magill I, 542–543]
See : Courtesanship
(language) Rosette - A concurrent object-oriented language from MCC. plant patches are considered part of the grassland category. Expansion of grassland is likely due to clearing for agriculture, for flood control structures, and for military use.
Weniger (1988:22) argued that the "historic [Edwards] Plateau was thus a blend zone [(ecotone e·co·tone
A transitional zone between two communities containing the characteristic species of each.
[eco- + Greek tonos, tension, tone; see tone. )]...." As such, it constituted an inviting region for nineteenth century settlers. There were woods for construction, fuel, posts, and shade, and abundant pasturage for grazing animals. Historical ecology and restoration ecology in the southeastern Edwards Plateau can benefit by taking into consideration that the region was not mainly grassland or savanna during the mid-nineteenth century settlement period, though these communities collectively accounted for [greater than or equal to]50% of the landscape.
I thank David Diamond, Lee Elliott, Robert Lonard, Peter Pagoulatos, and an anonymous reviewer for their timely comments on versions of the manuscript. Steven Gilbert and Justin Spelbrink performed the GIS analysis. The Nature Conservancy of Texas made possible access to digital soils data and staff support. Personnel of the Texas General Land Office Archives & Records Division provided copies of land surveys and Alfred Rodriguez assisted in finding legible duplicates of some of them in the Bexar County Archives.
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OGA Ontwikkelingsbedrijf (Dutch)
OGA Office of the General Assembly
OGA Other Government Agency
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Frederick H. Wills
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Table 1. Witness trees (1839-1862) and their diameters (nearest cm) on the study area. Range Mean Species n (Percent) (cm) (cm) Quercus marilandica 16 (5.4%) 13-30 20 Quercus fusiformis 249*(84.7%) 8-61 27 Quercus stellata 23 (7.8%) 23-71 38 Quercus buckleyi 2 (0.7%) 10-25 18 Ulmus crassifolia 4 (1.4%) 13-30 22 *no diameter available on one tree Table 2. Plant communities at survey corners on the study area, 1839-1862. Distance units are meters. Mean Mean Mean Distance Distance Density Community n Percent (range) (grand mean) (trees/ha) Grassland 23 13.4 -- -- Savanna 59 34.3 21.7-85.6 38.3 6.8 Woodland 74 43.0 7.4-20.5 13.6 54.1 Forest 7 4.1 2.6- 6.9 5.7 307.8 Single Tree 9 5.2 -- -- --