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Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
Ellington Agricultural Center
440 Hogan Road
Nashville, TN 37220
(615) 781-6500
Plant habitat management of the Central Basin's Cedar Glades and Barrens

The Central Basin of Tennessee is one of the most unique physiographic provinces in the state, with habitats ranging from oak-hickory forest to cedar glades and barrens. Characterized by thin soil and exposed limestone bedrock, cedar glades and barrens can seem inhospitable; however, they are home to several glade endemic and endangered plant species. The rare Limestone Fame-flower (Phemeranthus calcaricus), Tennessee Milk-vetch (Astragalus tennesseensis), and Missouri Primrose (Oenothera missouriensis) are just a few glade endemic species that occur in this habitat, along with the federally listed Leafy Prairie Clover (Dalea foliosa) and Pyne’s Ground-plum (Astragalus bibullatus).

Tennessee’s glades offer a concentration of endemic and endangered species packed into a small area. Unfortunately, without management many of these glades and barrens are shrinking. Thus, the Department of Environment and Conservation’s Division of Natural Areas has acquired and protected 21 State Natural Areas that occur in Tennessee’s Central Basin, several of which are glades and barrens. The Division of Natural Areas manages some of these State Natural Areas such as Flat Rock, Couchville, and the Duck River Complex using fire, manual thinning, herbicide, and gyro-tracking. This multifaceted approach helps to ensure that the habitat remains open.

Read or download this Cedar Glades habitat management case study in full.

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