Table Lu02: Descriptions of land type association within the Spring River Tributaries Watershed

Table Lu02. Descriptions of land type association (LTAs) groups as well as a condensed description of the two LTAs within the Spring River Tributaries Watershed, Missouri. Descriptions are quoted in part or whole from MDC (1997).

Oak Woodland Dissected Plains and Hills Group

Landform: Distinguished by rolling to moderately dissected topography. Local relief is 75-150 feet. Very broad, flat ridges give way to gentle sideslopes and broad stream valleys. Karst plains with frequent shallow sinkhole depressions are common. Broad stream valleys most often occupied by losing streams, however occasional seeps do occur and can spread across substantial portions of a valley.

Geology: Commonly underlain by Jefferson City-Cotter dolomites with a common loess cap. Some minor areas underlain by Roubidoux sandstones.

Soils: Soils are variable, ranging from shallow to bedrock and fragipan soils, to deep, cherty and well-drained loams. Tree root growth is often restricted by bedrock, pans or clay mineralogy, especially high in the landscape.

HistoricVegetation: Open woodlands with occasional prairie and savanna openings was the principal vegetation type. Post oak and black oak were the principal woodland tree species. Historic fire likely played an important role in maintaining an open canopy, sparse understory and a dense herbaceous ground flora. More dissected lands likely contained mixed oak woodland and forest. Unique sinkhole ponds, wet prairies and seeps were scattered in the broad valleys and depressions.

Current Conditions: Currently a mosaic of fescue pasture (35-65% cover) and dense, often grazed oak forest. The transition from open grassland to closed forest is abrupt and the patch work blocky. Very few native grasslands or savannas are known, and the dense second growth woodlands have very little ground flora. Most sinkholes, wet prairies and seeps have been drained and heavily grazed. Many roads, towns, cities and businesses are located in these LTAs.

  • Howell-Oregon Oak Woodland Dissected Plain: Dissected Plain in southern Howell and Oregon Counties. More dissection, better soils, and more existing timber than most other LTAs in this group.

Oak Savanna/Woodland Plains Group

Landform: Very broad flat uplands slope gently to very broad flat drains or solution (karst) depressions. Local relief is less than 75 feet.

Geology: Underlain mainly by Jefferson City-Cotter dolomites with a common loess cap. Minor areas of the Roubidoux formation occur. Headwater streams are nearly all losing.

Soils: Fragipan soils or soils with shallow restrictive clays or bedrock are common, inhibiting tree root growth.

HistoricVegetation: Oak savannas and woodlands with common prairie openings were the predominant historic vegetation. While few prairies were named by original land surveyors, early descriptions portray an open, "oak prairie" landscape. Fire likely played a principal role in maintaining a grassland-open woodland structure. Some sinkhole depressions would have had unique ponds and seeps.

Current Conditions: The largest blocks and greatest acres of grassland (45-65% cover) are currently associated with these LTAs; grasslands are mainly fescue pasture. Less than 40% of these LTAs are timbered, mainly in dense, second growth oak forest (post and black oaks) with common grazing pressure. Very few quality native prairies, savannas, woodlands, sinkhole ponds or seeps are known. Many of the regions roads, towns, and businesses are associated with these LTAs.

  • West Plains Oak Savanna/Woodland Plain: Very extensive, flat upland in the center of Howell County.

Key Messages: 

Conservation pays by enriching our economy and quality of life.

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