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  • Author or Editor: D. L. Creech x
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Texas is botanically diverse with approximately 5500 native plants identified: east Texas contains about 40% of the total. While most species are stable, many are classified as rare, threatened, vulnerable, or endangered. Databases for east Texas plant communities and vegetative analyses are numerous. However, they are not yet integrated into easy-to-sort-and-query computer files. Computer-Assisted Drafting (CAD) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology offers powerful applications to the storage, management, and spatial analysis of species inventories, plant community dynamics, and long-term habitat monitoring. At SFASU, the College of Forestry's GIS Center is being utilized to develop comprehensive east Texas resource inventories on a ten-station HP Apollo/ArcInfo platform. In the horticulture program, a twenty-station PC/AutoCad teaching laboratory is being used to create layered maps of the SFASU Arboretum, the on-campus landscape and off-campus plant communities. The integration of CAD and GIS projects through a DXF format takes advantage of the attributes of both technologies.

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Stephen F. Austin State University is known as the ``University Among the Pines.” The campus is located along the banks of LnNana creek in the center of Nacogdocha, the oldest town in Texas. Rich with history, the community and the university are now recognizing that cultural. historical and landscape treasure deserve greater protection and conservation. This project involves: 1) collecting a data set of each tree on campus including quadrant identifier, plant ID #, species, dbh, tree health, location, crow diameter, tree height and tree value, 2) placing all trees on a campus map in ArcCAD®, a Geographic Information System (GIS) developed for the PC, 3) linking map entities (trees, polygons, themes) with specific rows in a database, and 4) developing a query strategy to ask questions of the landscape. Database queries are powerful analytical tools which can generate resultant maps that answer specific landscape questions. These maps can then be queried again for further analysis. Examples of typical queries might include: 1) illustrate only those pines with a dbh greater than 24″, 2) identify all oak trees within thirty feet of a building, or 3) illustrate all trees over sixty feet with poor tree health. ArcCAD® links the easy drafting capabilities of AutoCAD® with much of the functionality of a true GIS workstation. Map files can be linked to a database(s), text, and visual images (TIF files). We have scanned and are currently archiving old photographs of the campus for future linkages. By understanding the history of the university landscape and documenting the current status of campus vegetation, decision-makers can have at strategies that lessen the impact of development.

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Horticultural enrollments have fallen since the late 1970's and faculties are scrambling to find new ways to creatively finance educational and outreach programs. The Stephen F. Austin State University Arboretum was sanctioned by the administration in March, 1987. Eight acres of land that lie on LaNana creek are directly associated with the Agriculture building and horticultural facility. Gardens that feature a wide range of rare, unusual, and untested landscape plants are being developed by students, volunteers, and a mix of outside monies. The history of a City/SFASU project to develop a three mile LaNana Creek trail will be described. A cooperative effort with the Herb Society of Deep East Texas, a 121-acre conservancy easement project, and Asian vegetable studies are currently under the arboretum umbrella.

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The Stephen F. Austin State University Arboretum occupies ten acres of campus property on the banks of LaNana creek, the stream that bisects the campus and the city of Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas. The mission statement of the Arboretum is to promote the conservation, selection and use of the native plants of east Texas. There are 19 species in east Texas that are either federally endangered, state endangered, or in danger of extirpation from the state. Many others face a serious decline in numbers as appropriate habitats diminish. A long-term project of ex situ and in situ conservation was initiated in 1992. Goals include: 1) acquire global position and vegetative analyses of endangered plant communities, 2) utilize ArcCAD® (a PC-GIS software) to archive a collection of maps, photographs, plant community data, and text, 3) maintain an ex situ collection of endangered plants from known provenances in the arboretum, and 4) reintroduction of species into appropriate protected habitats. The project involves the cooperation of several state and federal agencies and integrates the resources of a university horticulture program with the needs of endangered plant conservation.

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Abstract

‘Pennfresh ADX’ is a high-sugar sweet corn hybrid (Zea mays L.) based on the recessive endosperm gene combination amylose-extender (ae) dull (du) waxy (wx). The effects of this gene interaction on starch and sugar properties were reported by Creech (1). This hybrid can be harvested over a longer period than traditional sweet corns which are homozygous for the sugary (su) gene, and it retains its quality much longer following harvest. The symbol ADX is derived from these 3 gene names and is used to delineate this new class of sweet corn hybrids.

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In Texas, 5,500 native species are distributed over an area comprised of ten regional habitat types. In the Piney Woods region of east Texas, 2,300 plant species occupy 15 million acres. In east Texas, the USFWS has identified 4 species that are federally endangered and 15 that are candidates for that listing. Interest in protecting rare plant habitats and reintroducing those species into similar and appropriate ecosystem types has led to new tools in research and development. Remote sensing is one; this technology is used to derive information about the earth's land and water areas from images acquired at a distance Multispectral and spatial techniques are applied to process and interpret remote sensing imagery for the purpose of producing conventional maps, thematic maps, reource surveys, etc., in the fields of agriculture, botany, archeology, forestry, geography, geology. and others. Remote sensing is used to classify vegetation, interpret forest photogrammetry, estimate timber production, and identify crops, individual plants and leaf structure. This specific project was initiated to determine the potential of remote sensing as a tool to locate known and new rare plant communities in east Texas. To develop benchmark data, a Daedalus scanner image of a previously surveyed and AutoCAD® mapped area, the Vista forest on the SFASU campus, was utilized to develop correlations between imagery, vegetation types and species. By inserting various scan images under the Vista forest AutoCAD® map, known tree species were analyzed through their specific spectral emission characteristics across nine bands. This pilot project has indicated that it is simple to separate pines from hardwoods and illustrate major land use features. However, separation at the species level or groups of species has not been achieved. This paper will trace the history of this project, describe problems and obstacles encountered, and make recommendations for future strategies.

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This project tested rates of lignite-activated water (LAW) for its influence on seed germination, cutting propagation, and plant performance. LAW is a product of CAW Industries, Rapid City, S.D. LAW is water-activated by lignite in a process that includes the addition of sulfated castor oil, calcium chloride, magnesium sulfate, sodium meta silicate, and fossilized organics from refined lignite. LAW is reported to improve many plant performance traits. Four rates were used in this study. Seed germination trials indicated no significant differences in germination percentage with LAW applications with the two species tested, Echinacea purpurea and Hibiscus dasycalyx. In a “closed” system, LAW enhanced cutting propagation success of Aster caroliniana, Cuphea micropetala, and Verbena `Homestead Purple', as measured by percent rooting and dry weight of roots produced. Cutting propagation of two woody species, Illicium henryi and Rosa banksiae, was not improved with LAW additions. In the SFASU Arboretum, pansy performance, as measured by plant dry weight, was improved one month after establishment.

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Brightwell and Climax plants were established in March, 1987, under the following above-ground treatments: 1) polyfabric weed barrier, 2) a 6 cm deep, 1-meter wide strip of continuous bark, and 3) zero. Below-ground treatments included, 1) 19 liters peatmoss, 2) 19 liters pine bark, 3) a continuous bark strip, tilled in, and 4) zero. A randomized complete block design was utilized with above-ground treatments as main plots and in-ground. treatments as split plots. After three years, plants under polyfabric had higher above-ground dry weights, growth indexes, plant height, root dry weights and root lengths than plants under continuous bark or zero. In the deep, coarse, easily-leached sand, all roots were very shallow (0-20cms) and concentrated along the drip line and in organic matter fractions. There were no significant differences between in-ground treatments.

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Highbush (Vaccinium corvmbosum L.) rabbiteye (V. ashei Reade) and southern highbush (Vaccinium spp.) blueberries grown at seven locations in six southern states were sampled in 1988 and 1989 to determine foliar elemental levels among blueberry cultivars and types. Across locations, elemental levels of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu and Al were similar for highbush and southern highbush types. Rabbiteye elemental levels were different from highbush and southern highbush for N, P, K, Ca, S, Mn, Cu and Al. The findings indicate that similar standard foliar levels can be used for highbush and southern highbush blueberries in determining nutritional status of plantings by foliar analysis. Rabbiteye blueberries appear to have different foliar levels, and may require species-specific standards for nutritional monitoring of plantings.

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