Wetland Plants and Animals
“Wetlands are among the most important ecosystems on Earth.”
-William J. Mitsch and James Gosselink Natural resource and environmental ecologist
Bottomland Hardwood Forest
The wetlands at Oaklands are characterized as bottomland hardwood forest. This type of wetland is common to the Southeast and exits next to rivers and streams. Bottomland hardwood forests are occasionally flooded and are dry at other times. The plants found in these wetlands vary depending upon how often they flood.
Productive Wildlife Community
The shallow water and abundant plants founds in wetlands provide a perfect place for mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians to bear and raise their young. Duck, blackbirds, warblers and other birds raise their young near springs like Maney Spring.
The wildlife seen in the Oaklands area consists primarily of birds and common mammals such as the gray squirrel and eastern cottontail rabbit.
The yellow-crowned night heron, a bird approximately two-feet tall with a wingspan just under four feet, has been found nesting at Oaklands. This heron has a long yellow to orange legs, a black bill and a short neck. It has a grey body, a black head with white streaks on the side of it’s face and yellow plumes on its head.
The United States Fish and Wildlife
The aquatic habitat at Oaklands is limited to the spring, the spring’s tributary, and the Sinking Creek channel. The habitat is productive for some amphibian life such as salamanders. Salamanders cane be found in rotting logs, mud, or hiding under rocks and leaf litter.
While the spring channel does flow year-round, it is wide and shallow and the level and speed of its flow changes rapidly as does that of Sinking Creek. In addition, the creek often flows quickly and fully, keeping it clear os snags and logs that would usually provide a home for more fish and other aquatic species. These factors combined mean that minnows are one of the few fish found here.
Although we tend to call all small fish “minnows,”: the term correctly refers to one diverse family of fish, Cyprinidae. This family includes goldfish, chubs, shiners, carp and other species.
Insects commonly found at wetlands include water-spiders on the water surface, dragonflies and damselflies flying above the water, and shallow water dwellers, like beetles, nearby.
Notice how each type of dragonfly hovers at a different height above the water while other dragonflies seem to patrol a specific territory.
Like much of Middle Tennessee, invasive exotic species are prevalent in this area. Theses species spread rapidly and tend to crowd out native plants. Exotic species found here include Eurasian bush-honeysuckle, common privet, climbing euonymus, English ivy and periwinkle or vinca.
Because of the damage these plants do, landowners are encouraged to remove them when they occur and replace them with native species.
Aquatic and Water-tolerant Plants
Aquatic plants found at Oaklands consist primarily of water-starwort, common watercress and water primrose.
The small wetlands adjacent to the spring are also home to lizard’s tail, false-nettle, frog-fruit, peppermint, mist flower and arrowhead. The dominant shrub is swamp dogwood.
A state endangered plant, Veronia catenate or water-speedwell, has been found at Oaklands. This plant is known to occur in only two other sites in Tennessee. No other Tennessee site where it occur is under any kind of public ownership or management. Water-speedwell’s habitat is flowing water or marshes in limestone regions. Ti is found more frequently to the north and also is found in Europe as well as the parts of North America.
The Tennessee Coneflower, or Echinacea tennesseeosis,
The Upland Hardwood Forest
In addition to the wetlands, the Oaklands area is home to an upland hardwood forest that includes Southern Red Oak, Sugarberry, or Hackberry, White Ash, Black Walnut, Black Cherry and American Elm.
The understory contains Sugar Maple and Butternut Hickory and the exotic species mentioned above.
Further downstream past the footbridge to Sinking Creek is an extensive younger forest. It is dominated by Green Ash, Sugarberry or Hackberry. The canopy also contains Honey Locust. The subcanopy contains Silver Maple, Sugarberry or Hackberry, and Box-elder.
Location. 35° 51.327′ N, 86° 23.024′ W. Marker is in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in Rutherford County. Marker can be reached from North Maney Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is located along the walking trail near the spring at the Oakland Mansion Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 900 North Maney Avenue, Murfreesboro TN 37130, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of
Categories. • Environment •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 17, 2015, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 265 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on November 17, 2015, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.