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University of Florida Conservation Area Land Management Plan
Bivens Rim Forest
The Bivens Rim Forest Conservation Area is a 114 acre Conservation Area located on the southern
portion of campus, adjacent to the northern shoreline of Bivens Arm Lake, south of Archer road and
west of US 441. Along with the natural areas around Lake Alice, Hogtwon Creek Woods and the
Natural Areas Teaching Lab, this Conservation Area has the most significant and diverse environmental
resources on the main campus. This determination is based on the relatively large size of the area, mix
of community types, undeveloped shoreline buffer and proximity to a large water body.
Mixed hardwood forest communities dominated the upland portions of the area. Wetlands on site are,
primarily, represented by the bottomland forest associated with Tumbling Creek and with the
hardwoods and marsh vegetation that ring the northern half of the lake. The 2000-2010 Master Plan
recommended preservation for this area (Preservation Areas P5 and P6), due to its proximity to the lake,
diversity and abundance of wildlife, ability to provide watershed protection and biological treatment of
stormwater runoff Additionally, the Master Plan also stated that development activities including, but
not limited to agriculture, earthwork, silviculture and construction, will be limited within these areas in
order to protect the natural resources and habitat benefits they provide.
Natural Areas Inventory
Bivens Arm Lake is the receiving body of Tumbling Creek, which is a creek that runs though the
University's laboratory school, P.K. Yonge, and through the eastern boundary of this Conservation
Area. Other more intermittent tributaries are present to the north of the lake, adjacent to the College
of Veterinary Medicine and to the west by IFAS's facilities, crops and pastures. Most of the
University's properties south of Archer Road drain into Bivens Arm from intermittent streams
during storm events.
According to data from the Florida Department of Environmental (FDEP) protection, Tumbling
Creek's water quality suffers from the following constituents: fecal coliforms, dissolved oxygen, in-
stream erosion and downstream sedimentation. Additionally, the creek is on the FDEP 305 (b) list
for not meeting water quality standards, with a water quality rating of poor and on the 303(d) list as
impaired waters. Bivens Arm Lake is listed by the FDEP as potentially impaired for nutrients and is
listed with a poor water quality rating.
The City of Gainesville and the University are working on cooperative solutions that will help
enhance the creek and improve water quality entering Bivens Arm Lake. The University of Florida's
Wetlands Club has adopted the University property along Tumbling Creek as a trash clean up site
and has committed to doing two cleanup per year.
Tumbling Creek flowing through the University's bottomland hardwood forest.
Bivens Rim Forest is comprised, primarily, of three natural community types. These communities
begin at the lake's edge with a sliver of floodplain marsh that grades up into bottomland hardwoods,
which in turn grades into a mesic mixed-hardwood forest. The marshes associated with this area are
wetlands of herbaceous vegetation and low shrubs. Moving up the slope, the bottomland forest is
characterized as a low-lying, closed-canopy forest of tall, straight trees with a dense shrubby
understory and little ground cover. The upland forested areas are comprised primarily of a mesic /
upland-mixed hardwood forest. Mesic forests typically support significant wildlife and plant
diversity, which result from the nutrient rich nature of hardwood forests and flowering and fruiting
plants. An inventory on mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and plants will be completed for the
final revision of this plan.
The mesic upland canopy is dominated by Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweetgum), Pinus taeda
(Loblolly Pine), Quercus hemisphaerica (Upland Laurel Oak), Quercus laurifolia (Diamond Leaf
Oak), Quercus nigra (Water Oak), and Quercus virginiana (Live Oak). Also present are Carpinus
caroliniana (American Hornbeam), Carya glabra (Pignut Hickory), Celtis laevigata (Hackberry),
Diospyros virginiana (Common Persimmon), Fraxinus americana (White Ash), Magnolia
grandiflora (Southern magnolia), Prunus caroliniana (Carolina Laurelcherry), Prunus serotina
(Black Cherry), Quercus michauxii (Basket Oak), and Sabalpalmetto (Cabbage Palm), Salix
caroliniana (Carolina Willow). The understory is dominated by a variety of native species. Shrubs,
herbaceous plants and vines documented in this natural area include Asplenium platyneuron (Ebony
Spleenwort), Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine), Callicarpa americana (American Beautyberry),
Campsis radicans (Trumpet Creeper), Clematis catesbyana (Satin Curls), Erythrhina herbacea
(Coralbean), Gelsemium sempervirens (Yellow Jessamine), Hypericum hypericoides (St. Andrew's
Cross), Lepidium virginicum (Virginia pepperweed), Lonicera sempervirens (coral honeysuckle),
Mitchella repens (Partridgeberry), Myrica cerifera (Wax Myrtle), Phytolacca americana (American
Pokeweed), Rubus argutus sawtoothh blackberry), Rubus trivialis (Southern Dewberry), Sanicula
candensis (Canadian Blacksnakeroot), several Smilax species (Greenbriar), Stachysfloridana
(Florida betony) Tillandsia recurvata (Ballmoss), Tillandsia usneiodes (Spanish moss), Vitis
aestivalis (Summer Grape), and Vitis rotundifolia (Muscadine Grape). Juncus effusus subsp. solutus
(Soft Rush), Ligustrum lucidum (Glossy Privet), Prunus umbellata (Flatwoods Plum)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia Creeper), Pleopeltispolypodioides (Ressurection Fern),
Rubus argutus sawtoothh blackberry),
The hydric bottomland forest is dominated by Acer negundo (Box Elder), Acer rubrum (red maple),
Cornusfoemina, (Swamp Dogwood), Fraxinus caroliniana (Carolina Ash), Nyssa sylvatica var.
biflora (Swamp Tupelo), Quercus laurifolia (Diamond Leaf Oak), Quercus nigra (Water Oak), and
Sabal palmetto (Cabbage Palm). Itea virginica (Virginia willow), Salix caroliniana (Carolina
Willow), Taxodium distichum (Bald Cypress), Tilia americana var. caroliniana (Carolina
Basswood), and Ulmus alata (Winged Elm) are also present. Understory shrubs, vines and
herbaceous plants include Apios americana (Groundnut), Arundinaria gigantea (Switchcane), Carex
comosa (Longhair Sedge), Carexfissa (Hammock Sedge), Chasmanthium laxum (Slender
woodoats), Cephalanthus occidentalis (Common Buttonbush), Decumaria barbara (Climbing
Hydrangea), Mikania scandens (Climbing hempvine), Myrica cerifera (Wax Myrtle), Osmunda
cinnamomea (Cinnamon Fern), Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis (Royal Fern), Sabal minor
(Bluestem Palm, a characteristic species of floodplains), Sambucus nigra subsp. canadensis
(Elderberry), Saururus cernuus (Lizard's Tail), Smilax species (Greenbriar), Thelypteris kunthii
(Southern Shield Fern), Thelypterispalustris (Marsh Fem),Toxicodendron radicans (Eastern Poison
Ivy) and Woodwardia areolata (Netted Chain Fern).
The small strip of marsh lying just north of the lake is typified by species including Acer rubrum
(Red Maple), Acer negundo (Boxelder, small trees only), Colocasia esculenta (Wild Taro),
Hydrocotyle ranunculiodes (Floating Marshpennywort), Hydrocotyle umbellata (Manyflower
Marshpennywort), Lemna sp. (Duckweed), Myrica cerifera (Wax Myrtle), Nuphar advena
(Spatterdock), Salix caroliniana (Carolina Willow), Sambucus nigra subsp. canadensis (Elderberry),
Typha latifolia (Broadleaf Cattail) and Zizaniopsis miliacea (Southern Wild Rice). Nuphar advena
(Spatterdock), Pontederia cordata (Pickerelweed),
Noteworthy species found in the mesic upland hammock understory include Dioscoreafloridana
(Florida Yam, an uncommon species), the Florida endangered Mateleafloridana (Florida Milkvine)
and Rivina humilis (Rougeplant, at the northern edge of its range). The hydric hammock houses a
number of noteworthy species: Arisaema dracontium (Greendragon, an uncommon species),
Commelina virginica (Virginia Dayflower, near the southern edge of its range), Iris hexagona (Dixie
Iris, one of our most showy natives), Orontium aquaticum (Goldenclub, uncommon and very showy)
and Tillandsia bartramii (Bartram's airplant, uncommon and characteristic of undisturbed hydric
hammocks). Zizaniopsis miliacea (Southern Wild Rice, an uncommon species), occurs along the
Invasive non-native plant species
Future management of the site will need to address invasive plant management. The following
invasive non-native plants have been documented on site: The eastern edge of the property was the
most disturbed, with large populations ofArdisia crenata (Scratchthroat), Macfadyena unguis-cati
(Catclaw Vine), Ruellia tweediana (Britton's Wild Petunia) and Tradescantiafluminensis (Small-leaf
Spiderwort) found just west of Hope Lodge. Also encountered, but in lesser numbers, were
Albiziajulibrissin (Mimosa), Citrus x aurantium (Sour Orange), Disocorea bulbifera (Air Potato),
Elaeagnus pungens (Silverthorn), Eriobotryajaponica (Loquat), Imperata cylindrica (Cogongrass),
Lantana camera (Lantana), Ligustrum lucidum (Glossy Privet), Ligustrum sinense (Chinese Privet),
and Syngonium podophyllum (American Evergreen). Four species that have not been documented
as naturalized in Alachua county were found growing on the east side of the property in the vicinity
of Hope Lodge: Asparagus virgatus (Tiki Fern, may be a new record for the state), which appears to
be persisting and spreading vegetatively from a neighboring property, Ilex cornuta (Chinese Holly),
Ligustrumjaponicum (Japanese Privet), and Viburnum odoratissimum (Sweet Viburnum).
Colocasia esculenta (Wild Taro), Eichhornia crassipes (Common Water-hyacinth) and
Landoltiapunctata (Dotted Duckweed) and Pistia stratiotes (Water Lettuce, native to Florida but
considered an EPPC(I) invasive species) were common in the marsh along the lakeshore.,
Cinnamomum camphora (Camphortree), Ludwigiaperuviana (Peruvian Primrosewillow, along
creek) and Sonchus asper (Spiny Sowthistle, along creek).
A bald eagles nest is present on the northwestern portion of Bivens Arm, adjacent to the university's
Environmental Horticulture building. Other animals that have been identified on site include: Gray
Squirrel, Raccoon, Feral Cat, Armadillo,Gray Fox Pig Frog, Black Racer(l), Anolis carolinensis,
Brown anole, Common Ground Skink, Leopard Frog, Southern Toad, Squirrel Tree Frog(7),
Unidentified Water Snake, Florida Box Turtle, Common Snapping Turtle, American Goldfinch,
American Robin, American Redstart, Anhinga, Baltimore Oriole, Black and White Warbler, Belted
Kingfisher, Blue-Gray gnatcatcher, Brown-headed cowbird, Blue-headed Vireo, Blue Jay, Blackpoll
Warbler, Brown Thrasher, Boat-tailed Grackle, Carolina Chickadee, Carolina Wren, Cedar
Waxwing, Common Grackle, Common Yellowthroat, Double-Crested Cormorant, Downy
Woodpecker, Eastern Bluebird, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Tohee, Eastern Tufted Titmouse, Great
Blue Heron, Great Crested Flycatcher, Gray Catbird, Great Egret, Hermit Thrush,
House Finch, House Wren, Mourning Dove, Northern Cardinal, Northern Flicker, Northern
Mockingbird, Northern Parula, Osprey, Ovenbird, Painted Bunting, Palm Warbler, Pine Warbler,
Pileated Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Red-eyed Vireo, Red-
Shouldered Hawk, Red-winged Blackbird, White-eyed Vireo, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Yellow-
rumped Warbler, Yellow-throated Vireo, Yellow-throated Warbler
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Bivens Rim hardwood forest.
The following soil information for on-site soils was gathered from the Soil Survey of Alachua
Bivans Sand (5-8% slope)
This is a sloping, poorly drained soil on short breaking slopes and along hillsides of uplands.
Typically, the surface layer is dark gray sand about 5 inches thick. The subsurface layer is light
brownish gray sand about 5 inches thick. Permeability is moderate to moderately rapid in the surface
and subsurface layers.
Blichton Sand (2-5% slope)
This gently sloping, poorly drained soil is on gently rolling uplands. Typically the surface layer is
dark grayish brown sand about 6 inches thick. It is about 3 percent nodules of ironstone and
fragments and nodules of phosphatic limestone.
Bonneau Sand (2-5%)
This series consists of deep, nearly level to sloping moderately well drained soils that formed these
beds of loamy marine deposits. They are in broad areas of gently rolling uplands.
Monteocha Loamy Sand
This nearly level, very poorly drained soil is in wet ponds and shallow depressional areas in the flat
woods. Slopes are less than 2 percent. Typically, the surface layer is black loamy sand about 12
inches thick. The subsurface layer is light brownish gray sand to a depth of 18 inches.
Cultural and Passive Recreational Resources
The properties that make up the Bivens Arm Conservation Area are not readily accessible, due in
part to their somewhat remote location from the main campus. Additionally, site access is limited by
fencing for lands within IFAS research areas, while forested areas along the lake are lacking trails
and boardwalks to walk and view the lake. This remote location and limited use has led to use by
homeless people as a periodic encampment location.
Three known archeological sites are present within the Bivens Arm Forest Conservation Area. The
probability of additional Paleo-Indian sites within this area is high, due to the proximity of the lake.
Future improvements to the site will take into account the location of known areas and follow
guidelines by the Department of Historical Resources before sighting any new structures.
Bivens Rim Forest is one of the campus Conservation Areas that can not be pigeon-holed into one
category, because specific areas within the forest fit into one or two classifications of Academic
Preserve or Nature Preserve. The floodplain forest on the eastern side, adjacent to Tumblin Creek,
fits into the Nature Preserve category, due to the wetlands and probability of important nesting
habitat. However, the area immediately around the creek may serve as an important research area for
testing of BMPs and restoration efforts. The lake itself and the ecotone around it certainly offer
opportunities for research by many different disciplines. Thus, specific designations of use will be
addressed and mapped in the next revision of this plan in 2006.
Future improvements to this forest should include: signage and fencing in order to identify the
University's ownership and boundaries, bird and bat nesting boxes to enhance wildlife habitat and
efforts should be made to expand outdoor teaching opportunities. Additionally, the University has
committed to cooperating with the City's restoration efforts at restoring natural floodplain function
of Tumblin Creek within this Conservation Area. The City's preliminary planning is looking at de-
channelizing the Creek in the areas west of U.S. 441. Finally, a major priority will be to secure an
endowment for management and maintenance of the forest in coordination with the University
Maps on the following pages:
1. Aerial Photo
2. Water Resources
3. Natural Communities
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