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      Biosphere Reserve Information

United States of America


Photo: Land Between the Lakes
  General Description   Situated between western Kentucky and Tennessee, the Land Between the Lakes Biosphere Reserve is bounded on the east by Lake Barkley, an impoundment of the Cumberland River, and on the west by Kentucky Lake, an impoundment of the Tennessee River.
The majority of the land is forested; however the area also represents a variety of open land types such as row cropped fields, hay fields and managed prairie areas. The area is intensively used for hunting, fishing, trapping, tree-cutting, berry and mushroom picking, and nut gathering. Off-highway vehicle use is permitted in a designated area. The primary challenge of this multiple use area is to achieve sustainable development while conserving the cultural and economic values and traditions of the area.
The economy of the region is built upon tourism, light industry and agriculture. It is visited by more than 2,2 million visitors annually (1994) that benefit from a wide variety of recreational opportunities, including camping, hunting, fishing, swimming, hiking, bicycling, and sightseeing. Other attractions are a living history farm, an enclosure with American bison and the Woodlands Nature Center. The area has a long history of research, primarily by local universities.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate broadleaf forest
  Major habitats & land cover types   Stable white oak community dominated by white oak is the most important overstory component. Black oak is of secondary importance; Successional white oak community dominated by white oak. Associated species include northern red oak, black oak, and sugar maple. This community occurs on stream terraces and on lower to midslopes having north, east, and southeast aspects and lower northwest slopes and hollows; Stable post oak community dominated by post oak, with associated species of southern red oak, blackjack oak, white oak, scarlet oak, and pignut hickory. A xeric community that occurs on south to southwest aspect slopes and ridgetops; Stable sugar maple/American beech community dominated by sugar maple and American beech with white oak being an associated species. This community occurs on scattered locations near the shores of Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, in narrow drainages and north-facing slopes; Successional old field communities comprised of old fields in various stages of reversion to forest. Typical species found in these communities include weed species (e.g., ragweed, goldenrod), grass species (e.g., broomsedge), shrub species (e.g., blackberry briars, sumac), and tree species (e.g., winged elm, eastern redcedar, loblolly or shortleaf pine, persimmon, sweetgum, boxelder, green ash, sycamore, oak, hickory, yellow-poplar); Stable chestnut oak forest with associated species of black oak, blackjack oak, scarlet oak, southern red oak, pignut hickory, and sourwood. This community is found on dry ridges and slopes with southerly aspects; Successional planted pine community established for erosion control and wildlife winter cover. Loblolly pine and Virginia pine were usually planted. In a few locations, white pine and shortleaf pine were also planted; Stable sugar maple/Mesophytic community dominated by sugar maple with associated species being primarily white oak, mockernut hickory, pignut hickory, sweetgum, yellow-poplar, and elm. This mesic community appears on stream terraces; Successional bottomland hardwoods with species such as boxelder, sweetgum, cherrybark oak, sycamore, river birch, overcup oak, and swamp chestnut oak. This community is confined to the backs of bays, stream terraces of perennial streams, and shoreline areas; Successional chestnut oak - a xeric community presently dominated by chestnut oak and with a significant white oak component. Pignut hickory, persimmon, black gum, and ash are present in small numbers. This community occurs on better sites (e.g., upper north slopes with fine-textured soils) than the stable chestnut oak community; Successional shortleaf pine/oak. Understory species are predominantly black gum, pignut hickory, and sourwood. Midstory species include chestnut oak, shortleaf pine, and white oak.
  Location   3647'N; 8803'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   68,800
  Core area(s)  
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +108 to +201
  Year designated   1991
  Administrative authorities   Land Between The Lakes USDA - Forest Service
  Brief description   Wildlife population dynamics
Biological survey and collections
Limnology, hydrobiology
Forest research/silviculture
Atmospheric pollutants
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Acidic deposition/Acid rain, hydrology, pollution, pollutants.
  Biodiversity   Biology, forest systems, population genetics/population dynamics, wildlife.
  Socio-economic   Forestry.
  Integrated monitoring   n.a.
  Contact address   Judy Hallisey
Land Between The Lakes
100 Van Morgan Drive
42211 Golden Pond, Kentucky
United States of America
  Telephone   (1.502) 924 2000
  Fax   (1.502) 924 2060
  Web site

Last updated: 30/03/2005

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