Committee Chair

Shaw, Joey

Committee Member

Craddock, J. Hill; Chatzimanolis, Stylianos


Dept. of Biological and Environmental Sciences


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


A vascular plant inventory of The Bare Zone of the Copper Hill Basin, Polk County, Tennessee and Fannin County, Georgia was conducted during the growing seasons of 2017 through 2019. The site encompasses 3215 ha in the Blue Ridge ecoregion. A total of 444 species and lesser taxa from 113 families were documented during this survey. There were five rare species (Chelone obliqua ssp. erwinae, Clematis vinacea, Eriophorum virginicum, Lilium philadelphicum, and Lobelia amoena), documented in the Basin. There were 107 non-native species found at the site. A total of 17 ecological systems containing 25 associations were delineated during this study. A comparison of six other Blue Ridge floras show the Copper Hill Basin is most like those that have a history of disturbance, such as the Vascular Flora of Steele Creek. A phytogeographical analysis showed the Bare Zone differs from these floras by having more of a southern affinity.


I would like to thank Dr. Joey Shaw for the exceptional education I have received while at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. His guidance and patience have given me every available opportunity to succeed and grow as a Tennessee botanist. I would like to thank Dr. J Hill Craddock for his optimism and advice in the thesis writing process and Dr. Stylianos Chatzimanolis for his guidance and patience in this process. I want to thank Jack Muncy from the Tennessee Valley Authority for introducing me to the Copper Hill Basin and the staff at the Ducktown Mining Museum for their constant support and ability to answer questions regarding mining in the region. I would also like to thank Zach Irick, a friend and mentor in the field of southeastern taxonomy and Gary Morton who mentored me in the genus Solidago. I would like to thank Caleb Powell for every countless effort that allowed me to collect and organize data in this project. I would like to thank Grace Sarabia for her tireless efforts with editing, figure creation, and overall support. I would like to thank Erica Rylander and Courtney Alley for the late-night editing, conversing about this project and their constant support. I want to recognize the faculty and fellow students in the Department of Biology, Geology, and Environmental Science that have supported me. I would like to thank the many friends and colleagues who have helped me conduct field research through plant collections and learning opportunities. I would like to thank the Department of Biology, Geology, and Environmental Science for their financial support in travel and aid for this project. Finally, I would like to thank the Veteran’s Affairs Office and Folded Flag Foundation who have financially supported me through my master’s education.


M. A.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Arts.






Polk County (Tenn.); Fannin County (Ga.); Blue Ridge Mountains


Blue Ridge; Botany; Copper Hill; Floristics; Species Area Curve; Mining

Document Type

Masters theses




xvi, 96 leaves.