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Category: Past Research

Biodiversity and Floristics

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is a 1,643 acre property owned by the state of Texas and managed for wildlife and tourism. The land was purchased from private landowner Charles Moss by the Nature Conservancy of Texas in 1978 and was later sold to the state of Texas. The park opened as a state natural area in 1978. Prior to its acquisition by the Nature Conservancy, the property was held by several private landowners and used for cattle ranching and tourism.

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Biodiversity and Floristics

TEARS

Since 2013, BRIT has invested in a program to document plant biodiversity in the Southern Appalachians. In the most recent project of this effort, BRIT research associates Devin Rodgers and Chris Mausert-Mooney, led by BRIT botanical explorer Dwayne Estes, are piloting an effort to provide critical vegetation data so that researchers can investigate the long-term effects of climate change, invasive species, and acid rain on the ecology of high-elevation ecosystems in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This project will monitor high-quality brook trout streams and document the riparian vegetation of four watersheds in east Tennessee. It emphasizes the important connection between vegetation and broader ecosystem conservation.

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Biodiversity and Floristics

Pennyroyal Plain Prairie Restoration Project

Researcher Dwayne Estes is leading efforts to restore the imperiled tallgrass prairies of central and western Kentucky and Tennessee through his Pennyroyal Plain Prairie Restoration Project (PPPRP). Prior to 1800, these prairies covered 3.7 million acres and supported bison and prairie chickens. Today, nearly 99.9% of the prairie has been destoryed; the last remnants can be found at Fort Campbell Army Base near Clarksville, TN. Estes has built a coalition of state and federal agencies, private corporations and businesses, and local and state leaders to help restore the 300 acres of prairie remnants on public land, using seed from the prairie at Fort Campbell, and to search for privately owned prairie remnants and work to secure those prairies from further loss.

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