Reas Run Research Natural Area


The principal feature of the RNA is a series of mature stands of Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana). The pines originated naturally following abandonment of agricultural land in the approximate period 1915-1920. Succession to hardwoods is well underway with red maple (Acer rubrum) generally dominating the sapling stratum. The hardwood stand is without exceptional qualities, but it does provide a buffer zone for the mature pines and could provide useful information on tension zone relationships between the two types.

Ecological Information

Physical and Climatic Conditions

Nearest weather station, with distance and direction from RNA:
The closest station is at Parkersburg, WV, 20 miles (32.2 km) from the RNA.
Annual precipitation (type, seasonal distribution) :
Average annual precipitation is 39 inches (99.06 cm).
Maximum and minimum temperatures:
Minimum average January temperature is 24 °F, and the mean maximum July temperature is 88 °F.
Elevation varies from approximately 800-1200 feet (261.6-392.4 m).
Geology and Soils:
Local topography consists of low, but fairly steep ridges and hills. Predominant soils are Upshur silty clay loams. Bedrock is shale and resistant sandstone. The area has not been glaciated.
Aquatic Features:
Reas Run is an intermittent stream within the RNA that flows into the Ohio River.

Ecological Classification & Inventory

Southern Unglaciated Allegheny Plateau (221E)
Ohio Valley Lowlands (221Ec)
Landtype Association(s):
Dry narrow ridgetops
Dry upper slopes
Dry upper to mid-slopes
Dry-mesic mid to lower slopes
Dry mesic lower slopes
Nearly level to moderately sloping terrain (0-15%)
Moderately to very steeply sloping terrain (>15%)
southwesterly aspects (136-315 °)
northeasterly aspects (316-135 °)
Plant Communities:
Chestnut oak/white oak/Smilax
Chestnut oak/Solidago/Smilax
Chestnut oak/white oak/Desmodium/Solidago
White oak/Viburnum/Vaccinium
White oak/Hedyotis/Anemonella
Mixed oaks/Polystichum
Yellow poplar/sugar maple/Pilea/Osmorhiza
Mixed hardwoods/Lindera/Aster
Mix mesophytes/Aster/Cryptotania
SAF Cover Types (list acres) Kuchler Types (list acres):
52 White oak-black oak-northern red oak (35)  
79 Virginia pine (35)  
Common Shrub Species
Grape (Vitis sp.), downy serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea), arrow-wood (Viburnum acerifolium), Smilax rotundifolia, sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum), spicebush (Lindera benzoin), flowering dogwood (Cornus florida).
Common Herbaceous Species:
Sanicle (Sanicula sp.), avens (Geum sp.), stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata), running five-fingers (Potentilla canadensis), Christmas-fern (Polystichum acrostichoides), southern ground-cedar (Lycopodium digitatum).
Common Mammal Species
White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus).
Common Bird Species
Ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus).

Related Reports and Publications

McClenahan, James and Ortt, Marilyn. 1994. A floristic survey of the Reas Run Research Natural Area. Unpublished report on file with Wayne National Forest RNA Coordinator. 91 p.

Wendell, G.W. and Willard Ralph. 1973. Establishment Record for the Reas Run Research Natural Area within the Wayne-Hoosier National Forest, Washington County, Ohio. (pdf) Unpublished report on file at the Northern Research Station, Rhinelander. 37 pages with appendices.

Last Modified: August 19, 2021