A majority of Monocacy’s 1,647 acres of land are being used for agriculture, thus leaving a small portion left over for forest cover. The mixed-oak deciduous forest that is common to the eastern United States makes up most of Monocacy’s woodlots. Much of the forest at Monocacy can best be described as floodplain forest type with the underlying parent material being made up of a fertile limestone base.
There are a few concerns that we have for our forests at Monocacy. These concerns include Gypsy moth infestation and defoliation, high white-tailed deer populations, and invasive plants. When the Gypsy moth invades a particular location and begins to defoliate the forest canopy, serious risks are posed to the health and sustainability of our forest community. Oaks are most severely affected by Gypsy moth infestation. This is a concern for natural resources staff because oaks contribute a large portion to the food supply for much of the wildlife that resides within the park.
High white-tailed deer populations are also of great concern because a high deer population leads to over browsing of our forests. Because deer focus on highly nutritious buds and saplings, forests sometimes have a problem with regeneration. The pressure of over browsing, coupled with the competitive pressure of invasive plants poses a major problem for the future of our forests.
Did You Know?
White-tailed deer are found in abundance on the battlefield. The rising population of deer has an intense affect on the herbaceous and woody plants found within the park, and several studies have recently been conducted on the effects of the overpopulation of deer. More...