Vascular Flora of the Yew Mountain Center, Pocahontas County, West Virginia
Keywords:Yew Mountain Center, Pocahontas County, floristics
AbstractA baseline floristic study was conducted on the 500 acre Yew Mountain Center (YMC) in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. The YMC is a non-profit educational center providing programs emphasizing Appalachian ecology, culture, and arts, with one of its goals being the development of field research and study opportunities for outside researchers and students. Fieldwork conducted in 2019-2021 resulted in 383 recorded vascular plant taxa, with 25 new additions to the known Pocahontas County flora (possibly as many as 83 total new taxa have been found by the author in the county). The majority of the new additions were not unexpected. Two taxa (Juglans cinerea and Prunus alleghaniensis var. alleghaniensis) are significant occurrences tracked by the West Virginia Natural Heritage Program. Approximately 85% of the taxa are historical natives, as compared to 75% native flora for West Virginia as a whole. The primarily forested YMC harbors a diverse assemblage of Mixed Mesophytic, Mixed Hardwood and Appalachian Oak forest communities that is relatively free of exotic invasive and noxious weed infestations. The study demonstrates how a moderately-intensive examination of a small area can result in a significant increase in floristic knowledge of a region.
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