What is a Bottomland Hardwood Forest?
A Hardwood Bottomland Forest is made up of Oak, Elm, Hickory, Maple, Hackberry, Cypress, and Sweetgum; situated in organic peat soils, usually deposited through rise and fall of rivers. The Mississippi River has deposited thousands of layers of organic soil creating the substrate for Louisiana Hardwood Bottomland Forest. A bottomland is an area which floods on a regular bases and holds a percentage of that water, creating a saturated environment. This saturated environment is the limiting factor that affects the species capable of being present. Ecosystems of this nature are special for their diversity, tree density, foraging area for animals, and hurricane protection.
For 35 years, Joe and Lucianne Carmichael have stewarded 7.66 acres this bottomland hardwood forest directly adjoining 900 acres of government owned forest. These woods were clear-cut in the 1700′s to make way for a sugar cane plantation, but since 1920 have lain fallow. If A Studio in the Woods’ present land stewardship continues, ecologists expect that this forest will regain its primary state within 50-75 years.