is distinct from the Arkansas Valley (37). Upland soils are mostly
Ultisols that developed under oak-hickory and oak-hickory-pine forests.
Today, forests are still widespread; northern red oak, southern red
oak, white oak, and hickories usually dominate the uplands, but shortleaf
pine grows on drier, south- and west-facing slopes underlain by sandstone.
Pastureland or hayland occur on nearly level ridgetops, benches, and
valley floors. Population density is low; recreation, logging, and
livestock farming are the primary land uses.
Water quality in streams is generally exceptional; biochemical, nutrient, and mineral water quality parameter concentrations all tend to be very low. Fish communities are mostly composed of sensitive species; a diverse, often darter-dominated community occurs along with nearly equal proportions of minnows and sunfishes. During low flows, streams in both Ecoregions 38 and 36 usually run clear but, during high flow conditions, turbidity in Ecoregion 38 tends to be greater than in Ecoregion 36. Summer flow in many small streams is limited or non-existent but isolated, enduring pools may occur.
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