Assessment of species for landscape management of archaeological sites in middle Tennessee

L. Welch, Jeffrey Walck, K.E. Blum

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    The establishment of grasslands or wildflower meadows using native grasses and forbs is a possible management option on archaeological sites that are dominated by fescue. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of several species of grasses and forbs as replacements at archaeological sites. The investigation was set up in an old field containing lithic material (Gossette Tract, Cheatham County, Tennessee). Approximately 1.3 ha of ground was plowed during the winter 1999-2000, seeds of five forbs and four grasses were sown in 8 to 24 0.04-ha plots during winter 2000, and growth and reproduction of the planted species were evaluated during the 2000 and 2001 growing seasons. Growth of native and nonnative species (volunteers) associated with the planted ones was recorded during both growing seasons as well. The grasses Schizachyrium scoparium and Tridens flavus and the forbs Rudbeckia amplexicaulis, R. hirta, and Vernonia gigantea established well during the first year of planting. The number of Echinacea purpurea plants increased between 2000 and 2001, but none flowered until 2002. Asclepias tuberosa was not recorded in 2000, but two plants flowered in the study plots and several were noted outside the study plots during 2001. The grasses Tripsacum dactyloides and Elymus virginicus were unsuccessful for establishment. Neither the planted species nor the volunteer species responded positively to fertilizer addition. Limited use of herbicides and fertilizer is recommended for the restoration of archaeological sites.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13-17
    JournalJournal of the Tennessee Academy of Science
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


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