Savannah River Ecology Laboratory
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Dry Bay


The 91.4-acre (37 ha) Dry Bay Set-Aside is comprised of the largely open-water Dry Bay and a partial 200-m buffer area of both relatively undisturbed and recently reforested pine plantations. Also within the buffer area are small inclusions of upland and bottomland hardwood communities. The Dry Bay Set-Aside represents a semi-permanent, herbaceous bay wetland with an extended hydroperiod. It is recognized by research ecologists at SREL as an important refuge for many aquatic and semi-aquatic organisms. Similar to some other herbaceous bays in the Set-Aside Program (e.g., Area #17 and Area #25), this Area also represents a bay community which has adjacent buffer areas that recently have been disturbed by clearcutting and reforestation activities. Ecologically, it is one of the most diverse wetlands on the SRS. Fifty-five different species of amphibians and reptiles use this wetland, including the largest known population of the chicken turtle (Deirochelys reticularia). This Area is one of the few places on the SRS where both species of cricket frogs (Acris gryllus and A. crepitans) are known to co-occur and it is the only Set-Aside bay where the secretive pine woods snake (Rhadinaea flavilata) has been collected; this snake also has been collected at one other location on the SRS. Many of the amphibian and reptile species documented from this Area are considered rare or uncommon by researchers. Fish were documented in Dry Bay prior to a drought in 1986 but no fish species currently are known to inhabit this bay. SRELís Outreach Program often uses this Set-Aside for interpretive nature talks when conducting field tours of the SRS.

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