Savannah River Ecology Laboratory
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Risher Pond and Expansion


This Set-Aside was selected for the habitat reserve program in the 1960s to represent an abandoned farm pond community. It also historically was considered to be a water source for fire control on the Site. As a research Set-Aside, it represents a permanent aquatic habitat that traditionally has been a source of study organisms for various research projects. This farm pond supports a moderate population of aquatic and semi-aquatic turtles, including yellow-bellied sliders, snapping turtles, mud turtles, chicken turtles, and musk turtles. Mole, tiger, and marbled salamanders use the pond as a breeding site. This Set-Aside has a drift fence for monitoring the movements and habitat use of these animals. The buffer area around Risher Pond was enlarged in the 1980s in part to accomodate the expansion of ecological research into the terrestrial and bottomland habitats surrounding the pond and in part to protect the terrestrial nesting sites of the aquatic turtles that inhabit the pond. The expanded buffer area includes the aquatic-wetland-terrestrial continuum and ensures that the environs immediately around Risher Pond will not be impacted by most Site operations and forest management activites.

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