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26 October 2023 A Preliminary Vascular Flora of the Taylor Fork Ecological Area, Madison County, Kentucky
Thomas McFadden, Nicholas Koenig, Brad R. Ruhfel
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Taylor Fork Ecological Area is a 24-ha natural area on the southern edge of the Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) campus with a long history of agricultural use. Purchased by EKU in 2008, the property is now used for teaching, research, and restoration activities. Restoration activities include the planting of seeds and transplants of native species, as well as the removal of invasive species. A floristic survey was conducted between 2014 and 2018 with the goal of documenting all vascular plants. This project documented 256 species from 184 genera in 73 families. In total, sixty-six non-native species (∼26%) were detected including 13 invasive species ranked as severe threats, 12 invasive species ranked as significant threats, and 11 invasive species ranked as moderate threats. Documented species included three ferns, 189 herbs, 11 vines, 16 shrubs, and 37 trees. Two species of conservation concern in Kentucky, Lespedeza capitata (Bush-clover) and Trifolium stoloniferum (Running Buffalo-clover), are present and persist from plantings. Seven plant communities are described at the site, including two wetland types and two forest types. Of the known planted species, 24 of 29 were persisting, including nine planted by seed and 15 that were transplants. Twenty-five additional species are suspected to have been planted during restoration efforts, but documentation is lacking. This flora will serve as a baseline to document the vascular plant diversity of the Taylor Fork Ecological Area, while also measuring the success of native species plantings.

Thomas McFadden, Nicholas Koenig, and Brad R. Ruhfel "A Preliminary Vascular Flora of the Taylor Fork Ecological Area, Madison County, Kentucky," Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Science 84(1), 1-14, (26 October 2023).
Published: 26 October 2023
Madison County
Taylor Fork Ecological Area
vascular flora
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