John Beck, The Vascular Flora Of Prentice Cooper State Forest And Wildlife Management Area, Tennessee
Faculty Chair: Dr. Gene Van Horn
The vascular plants of Tennessee's Prentice Cooper State Forest and Wildlife Management Area were gathered from 112 collection trips made during the growing seasons of 1998 and 1999. Prentice Cooper has an interesting and a rich flora. I collected 2,313 specimens and examined 110 herbarium specimens. The flora is comprised of 139 families, 512 genera, and 1,038 species and lesser taxa. The four largest families are Asteraceae (128 species-12% of the flora), Poaceae (106 species-10%), Cyperaceae (64 species-6%), and Fabaceae (57 species-5%). These four families represent approximately 34% of the total flora. Numerous county extensions, as well as rare, threatened, or endangered species occur in the 10,800 hectare tract of eastern deciduous forest. Five hundred and forty-two new county records were documented as well as ten state records. The taxa new to Tennessee are: Allium fistulosum, Euonomyus alatus, Galium uniflorum, Glycine max, Mahonia bealei, Phlox drummundii ssp. drummundii, Prunus nigra, Spiraea thunbergii, Thelypteris torresiana, and Vicia sativa ssp. sativa. The federally listed endangered (LE) Scutellaria montana and federal candidate (C5) Platanthera integrilabia also occur in the study area. Twenty-one taxa are listed as Endangered (E), Threatened (T), or of Special Concern (S) in Tennessee: Amelanchier spicata (S), Aureolaria patula (T), Cardamine clematitis (T), Cladrastis kentukea (T), Cypripedium acaule (E), Danthonia epilis (S), Diervilla lonicera (T), Fothergilla major (T), Gelsemium sempervirens (S), Glyceria acutiflora (S), Juglans cinerea (T), Lysimachia fraseri (E), Panax quinquefolius (S), Platanthera integrilabia (E), Polymnia laevigata (S), Sabatia capitata (E), Saxifraga careyana (S), Scutellaria montana (E), Talinum teretifolium (T), Viola tripartita ssp. glaberrima (S), and Woodwardia areolata (S). Prentice Cooper has 179 exotic species, comprising 17% of the total flora and constituting 45% of Tennessee's listed invasive exotic pest species. This study currently places Marion as the most species rich county in Tennessee. Association coefficients of seven southeastern Appalachian floras were compared to the State Forest elucidating several floristic similarities and dissimilarities. Voucher specimens were deposited in the herbarium of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UCHT).