Mature Hardwood Forest
The Mature Hardwood Forest Set-Aside is an excellent example of a relatively undisturbed, maturing hardwood forest containing both seasonally flooded bottomland and transitional upland habitats associated with a stream floodplain. This Set-Aside contains some of the best examples of stands of maturing hardwoods which represent the range of ecological variation in hardwood forest types on the SRS. While the vegetation on the xeric and mesic slopes of this Set-Aside is similar to the upstream Oak-Hickory Set-Asides (Area #5 and Area #12), the floodplain forest type of this site is not represented elsewhere in a Set-Aside on the SRS. Thus, this site represents a subset of the stream continuum from upper, to middle, to lower reaches of Upper Three Runs Creek on the SRS, with the research on this site emphasizing the floral and faunal characteristics of the lower portion of Upper Three Runs Creek. Preservation of this Set-Aside is important because seasonally flooded hardwood forests are becoming increasingly rare habitats. These areas are particularly vulnerable to habitat destruction and/or alterations resulting from water control projects, industrial or urban waste discharge, or discharge of power plant cooling effluents.