Horton, Diana .
GLO Survey Data: A Tool for Assessment of Remnant Natural Areas.
General Land Office (GLO) survey records can be utilized to assess the fidelity of remnant natural areas to the vegetation recorded at the time of European settlement. A case in point is Rochester Cemetery, a pioneer cemetery located in east central Iowa. This 14 acre site harbours an extraordinary diversity of prairie plant species (ca. 360), many of them uncommon, and a spectacular spring flora. The magnificent white oaks that are 48 to 60” DBH and 130 to 150 years old are a hallmark of the site and have been the basis for suggestions that this may be a remnant savanna. Analyses of the data in the 1837 and 1839 GLO surveys for the four townships (144 sq mi) that surround the cemetery reveal that one-third of the uplands were treeless prairies, but the rest, including the cemetery site, had scattered trees or small groves. White, bur and black oaks, respectively, were the most frequent upland tree species; all oak species and hickory had the lowest density among upland tree species; and white oaks were the only species that attained a girth of 30 to 50”. Thus, the present-day vegetation of Rochester Cemetery can be considered representative of the savanna that was present on the time-of-settlement landscape.
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1 - University of Iowa, Biology Department, 143 Biology Building, Iowa City, IA, 52242, U.S.A.
General Land Office (GLO) surveys
remnant sand prairie/savanna
white oaks 4-5' DBH
east central Iowa.
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Location: Exhibit Hall (Northeast, Southwest & Southeast)/Hilton
Date: Sunday, July 8th, 2007
Time: 8:00 AM