The tree species known as Ozark chinquapin (Castanea ozarkensis Ashe) is centralized in the Interior Highlands with outlying populations in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama (Kartez 2015). Like other members of the chestnut genus, the Ozark chinquapin has been impacted by the invasive chestnut blight (Cryphonectria parasitica). By the 1950s, C. parasitica had spread to the Interior Highlands, infecting Castanea ozarkensis (Paillet and Cerny, 2012). Despite its genetic diversity and ecological importance, little is known at a fine ecological scale about the status of Castanea ozarkensis on the Ozark Plateau and in Missouri, where it is classified as a state imperiled species (Missouri Natural Heritage Program, 2021). During the summer of 2021, Roaring River State Park was surveyed using the intelligent meandering technique and the locations of 987 chinquapin trees were recorded and the trees flagged. These coordinates, along with variables of elevation, slope, and aspect, are being analyzed to more fully document in detail its demography in Roaring River State Park. During the next field season, the effect and spread of chestnut blight will be evaluated throughout the park. This project will update conservation agencies on its habitat, health, and population numbers and will contribute to future conservation efforts of the Ozark chinquapin.
Evilsizor, Danielle, "Preliminary Insights into the Demography of Ozark Chinquapin in Roaring River State Park" (2022). Posters. 9.