3 years ago

Woody Vegetation in the Black Belt Prairie of Montgomery County, Alabama, in 1845-46.

Rankin, Davis
The presence of prairies in Alabama's Black Belt as reported by early explorers is further substantiated here by using the field notes and plats of the original land survey of Montgomery County (1845-46). One-third of the approximately 200,000 acres of Black Belt in the county was depicted as prairie on the field plats. A strong correlation was found between rates of low tree density (10 trees or less per acre) as given in the field notes and areas shown as prairies on the plants (one tree per acre equals 2.47 per hectare). Areas of low tree density and prairies, when located on recent soil maps (1957), occurred primarily on upland alkaline soils. Apparently these upland alkaline sites composed the true prairie and were those described as savannahs," plains native fields, and prairies by the early explorers. High tree densities (120 trees or more per acre) were associated primarily with areas outside prairies and were mostly on acid soils. In the field notes examined, oaks, pine, hickory, gum, and ash were recorded as the dominant tree species.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.2307/1934163

DOI: 10.2307/1934163

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