About Field Sites
The Lenoir Landing site (LENO) is a terrestrial field site located located in southwest Alabama near Butler, AL in Choctaw county. The 58 km2 (14,349 acre) site is colocated with the 17 km2 (4218 acre) Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge and Lenoir Landing Park. Lenoir Landing Park hosts the flux tower and tower plots and is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The distributed plots are located 5 km (3 mi.) south of the tower shed on the Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The site is characterized by hardwood bottomland with seasonal flooding and is located along the Tombigbee River. This site is part of NEON's Ozarks Complex Domain (D08). D08 includes two other terrestrial field sites and three aquatic field sites. LENO is colocated with the Lower Tombigbee River aquatic site (TOMB).   
Alabama has a subtropical climate with hot summers, mild winters, and year-round precipitation. Summers are hot and humid, dominated by maritime tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic. This warm, moist air contributes to the formation of convection storms and thunderstorms in the region, causing major precipitation pulses in the Tombigbee River Basin. The area is subject to tornadoes and hurricanes. The mean average annual temperature is 18.1°C (64.6°F) and the region averages about 1385 mm (55 in.) of precipitation annually.   
The parent materials at LENO are primarily Holocene-aged alluvial deposits, with the upstream source of the alluvium mainly Eocene-aged materials from the Wilcox and Claiborne groups. Coastal and terrace deposits are also found on the site.  
Soils at LENO are in the soil subgroup Vertic Epiaquepts, which are characterized as fine, mixed, active, acid, and thermic. The major soil series on the site include Urbo, Mooreville, and Una, with minor extents of Riverview and Mantachie on higher positions. 
LENO is located within the Tombigbee River basin, which is encompassed within the Mobile River Basin. The 35656 km2 (8.8 million acre) basin straddles the border between Alabama and Mississippi. The Tombigbee River gathers the flow from four major rivers: the Buttahatchee, Noxubee, and Sucarnoochee from the west, and the Sipsey from the northeast. The main branch of the river flows from northeastern Mississippi to western Alabama, where it joins with the Black Warrior River, then eventually drains into the Mobile River. The flow in the Tombigbee River is generally regulated by locks and dams. The Tombigbee River Basin is subject to major precipitation pulses from tropical storms and hurricanes. These major events affect nutrient and organic matter flux, sediment transport, and biota along the gradient as they propagate downstream. 
The vegetation around LENO is dominated by closed-canopy pine-oak mixed forest, and also includes meadows and wetlands. Pine trees are typically found in higher, relatively less flooded areas, while oaks are distributed throughout the whole area, including the lower land with standing water. Some common species found in the canopy include a broad mix of cypress (Taxodium spp.), black gum (Nyssa sylvatica), shagbark hickory (Carya ovata), oaks, and green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica). Ground cover includes bamboo, grass, smilax and poison ivy (Toxicodendrom radicans).  
Alabama hosts many different species due to its diverse ecosystems. These include 62 native mammal species, over 400 bird species, 73 amphibian species, and a plethora of invertebrate species. NEON collects data on birds, ground beetles, mosquitoes, small mammals, and ticks at the LENO site. 
Past Land Management and Use
The Tombigbee River Basin was primarily settled by the Choctaws when European explorers and settlers arrived in the 1600s. The Choctaws and Chickasaws surrendered their claims to all territory on the eastern side of the Tombigbee in 1816 and the Choctaws later ceded their lands west of the Tombigbee in 1830. Following the 1830 Indian Removal Act, the U.S. government used forced treaties to relocate the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Creek off the land. The Corps of Engineers first surveyed the river in 1870 to implement a series of locks and dams. The Coffeeville Lock and Dam in Choctaw County was completed in the early 1960s. In 1964, the Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge was established; it is bordered on the east by the Tombigbee River, which is a part of the property obtained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Coffeeville Lock and Dam project. The refuge is still maintained today to provide habitat for breeding waterfowl.    
Current Land Management and Use
Currently the Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge, which hosts the LENO site, is managed with the goal of increasing production of migratory waterfowl, particularly wood duck (Aix sponsa). The refuge has seven moist soil impoundments that are drained in the summer to allow the growth of food plants for the waterfowl. Crops such as millet and winter wheat also add to the foraging opportunities for wildlife. The refuge also hosts over 400 artificial wood duck nesting boxes to supplement natural nesting locations. It is estimated that 2500 wood ducks are hatched in these boxes each year. The refuge also uses selective timber harvesting to encourage growth of new hardwood and herbaceous growth. Lenoir Landing Park is managed as a recreational area by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and provides recreational activities such as boating, camping, and fishing.   
NEON Site Establishment
NEON began plot establishment of the LENO site in November 2015. Construction of the 45 m (148 ft.) instrumentation tower was completed in August 2016 and began streaming data at that time. Terrestrial sampling and observations were fully launched in late September 2016. 
 Choctaw: About the Refuge (2018, April 16) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved April 30, 2020, from https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Choctaw/about.html
 Choctaw: Resource Management (April 16, 2018). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved May 5, 2020, from https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Choctaw/what_we_do/resource_management.html
 NEON Site-Level Plot Summary, Lenoir Landing (LENO), August 2018. https://data.neonscience.org/documents/10179/2361410/LENO_Soil_SiteSumm…
 Terrestrial Observation System (TOS) Site Characterization Report: Domain 08. NEON.DOC.003892vB
 Aquatic Instrument System (AIS) Site Characterization Report: Domain 08. NEON.DOC.001370vB
 U.S. Geological Survey, 2005, Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia. https://mrdata.usgs.gov/mrds/
 Outdoor Alabama: Watchable Wildlife. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved May 5, 2020, from https://www.outdooralabama.com/watchable-wildlife
 PRISM Climate Group., Oregon State University, http://prism.oregonstate.edu, created 4 Feb 2004.
 National Park Service: https://www.nps.gov/articles/the-trail-of-tears-and-the-forced-relocati…
 Doster, J. F., & Weaver, D. C. (1981). Historic Settlement in the Upper Tombigbee Valley. Alabama University in Birmingham Center for the Study of Southern History and Culture.
Remote sensing surveys of this field site collect lidar, spectrometer and high-resolution RGB camera data.
This site has a flux/meteorological tower that is 47 m (154 ft) tall with six measurement levels. The tower top extends above the vegetation canopy to allow sensors mounted at the top and along the tower to capture the full profile of atmospheric conditions from the top of the vegetation canopy to the ground. The tower collects physical and chemical properties of atmosphere-related processes, such as humidity, wind, and net ecosystem gas exchange. Precipitation data are collected by a tipping bucket at the top of the tower and a series of throughfalls located in the soil array.
Soil Sensor Measurements
This site has five soil plots placed in an array within the airshed of the flux tower. Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) at soil surface, soil heat flux, solar radiation, and throughfall are measured at the soil surface in each soil plot. Soil moisture, soil temperature, and CO2 concentration are measured at multiple depths in each soil plot.
At terrestrial sites, field ecologists observe birds and plants, and sample ground beetles, mosquitoes, small mammals, soil microbes, and ticks. Lab analyses are carried out to provide further data on DNA sequences, pathogens, soils, sediments, and biogeochemistry. Learn more about terrestrial observations or explore this site's data products.
Field Site Data
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Site Access Allowed
Site Access Details
The primary purpose of the refuge is to provide wood duck brood habitat and serve as a protected wintering area for waterfowl. Researchers should coordinate directly with site manager.
NEON Field Operations Office
NEON Field Operations Address
6050 Mimosa Circle, Suite C
Tuscaloosa, AL 35405
NEON Field Operations Phone
Mean Annual Temperature
Mean Annual Precipitation
Dominant Wind Direction
Mean Canopy Height
Dominant NLCD Classes
Deciduous Forest, Woody Wetlands
Average number of green days
Average first greenness increase date
Average peak green date
Average first greenness decrease date
Average minimum greenness date
Number of Tower Levels
USGS Geology Unit
USGS Geology Name
Alluvial, coastal and low terrace deposits
USGS Lithologic Constituents
Beach sand and alluvium
USGS Geology Age
Megapit Soil Family
Fine, mixed, active, acid, thermic. Vertic Epiaquepts.
Other Domain D08 Field Sites
Other Field Sites in AL