About Field Sites
Pringle Creek (PRIN) is an aquatic NEON field site located in Wise County, Texas, about 3.8 km (2.4 mi.) west of Alvord, TX. The site is hosted by the U.S. Forest Service. The stream is deeply incised and is mostly pool and run, with one riffle section. It drains a watershed of 48.9 km2 (12,000 acres) of mixed oak forest, savanna, and riparian woodland with portions protected by the Caddo-LBJ National Grassland. PRIN is part of NEON's Southern Plains Domain (D11), which stretches over the central sections of Texas and Oklahoma and includes portions of southern Kansas and southern New Mexico. D11 has three other NEON field sites, including one additional aquatic and two terrestrial sites, located in Texas and Oklahoma. PRIN is colocated with the NEON LBJ National Grassland (CLBJ) terrestrial field site.  
The climate of PRIN is typical of Northeast Texas, with hot, humid summers and cool, windy winters. The mean annual precipitation is 898 mm (35.4 in.) and the mean annual temperature for this area is 17.5°C (63.5°F). Violent thunderstorms over the southern plains - some of which produce high winds, hail and tornados - provide much of the region’s spring rainfall. The major source of moisture for this region comes from the Gulf of Mexico, with the majority of precipitation occurring in the spring and summer, and falling over the eastern part of the state.  
Pringle Creek is part of the Antlers Sand Unit which is composed of sand, mud, and clay. 
Pringle Creek is a low-gradient sandy-bottomed stream. Due to this sandy substrate, the stream banks are highly erodible. The primary soils of the Wise County area surrounding Pringle Creek are comprised of gently sloping neutral to slightly acidic soils formed from weathered sandstones and shales on upland and terrace savannahs. The Truce-Cona and Windthorst-Chaney-Seldon series soils of the Pringle Creek watershed are deep, loamy, and sandy moderately well-drained to well-drained soils underlain by shaley clay, mud, or sandstone material from the early Cretaceous.  
Pringle Creek drains a watershed of 48.9 km2 (18.9 sq. mi.). The surface water flow regime of Pringle Creek has similar attributes to semi-arid waterways. Stream discharge exhibits strong seasonal patterns, with the greatest base and pulse flows observed in mid- to late-spring (May through June). Throughout the rest of the year, base flows remain low but episodic high flow events associated with storms may occur at any point. Areas of the stream dry up significantly during the summer, leaving behind disconnected standing pools. This seasonal drying may be exacerbated by nearby ground and surface water withdrawals for irrigation. 
The dense riparian canopy surrounding Pringle Creek is a mixed oak forest. Dominant species of the mixed oak forest area include post oak and black-jack oak. However, the savannah portions of the watershed are dominated by little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) co-associated with big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi) and Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans).The stream banks are covered in grasses, hardwood, and evergreen vegetation. The stream is mostly an open-canopy stream, but does have several areas of shading by riparian vegetation.  
Common species of fish collected through NEON's electrofishing, gill netting, and fyke netting protocols at PRIN are black bullhead catfish (Ameiurus melas), central stoneroller (Campostoma anomalum) and common carp (Cyprinus carpio). PRIN is home to three state-protected, threatened freshwater mussels: Louisiana pigtoe (Pleurobema riddellii), Texas heelsplitter (Potamilus amphichaenus) and sandbank pocketbook (Lampsilis satura).  
Past Land Management and Use
Historically, the Caddo – LBJ National Grasslands were a large woodland area bordered by open prairie to the east and west. European settlers moved into the area in the 1800s under a variety of "Homestead Acts." The settlers fragmented and cleared the land for agricultural activities including grazing, ranching and growing crops. After a prolonged period of drought in the 1920s and 1930s, the U.S. government purchased homesteads experiencing soil erosion problems and returned them to public land status. In the 1950s, these lands were assigned to the U.S. Forest Service, which was tasked with managing and restoring the lands. To prevent further erosion, the U.S. Forest service built water retention levees and dams, creating many small ponds throughout the landscape. Originally, the grasslands were called the "Cross Timbers National Grassland," however, the grasslands were renamed the "Lyndon B. Johnson National Grasslands" in 1974 after the former president. Since that time, the U.S. Forest Service has a focused on "promoting better utilization of the land, providing work in the depressed area, and developing water-oriented recreation facilities.  
Current Land Management and Use
This land is currently managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The CLBJ is a popular recreation area for hiking, hunting, fishing, and horseback riding. Cattle are grazed on parts of the site. Current management of CLBJ and the surrounding area uses prescribed burn to encourage the growth of natural plant communities and manage the composition of forest stands. Timber harvesting is limited to encourage regeneration; the Forest Service’s current management plan adds approximately 3 km2 (700 acres) of regeneration per year.  
NEON Site Establishment
The making of the PRIN site started in the beginning of 2016 and within that very same year, AOS operations were able to begin. AIS followed the next year. The nearby tower started collecting information in March 2017.
 Aquatic Instrument System (AIS) Site Characterization Report: Domain 11. NEON.DOC.002416vB
 U.S. Geological Survey, 2005, Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia. https://mrdata.usgs.gov/mrds/
 PRISM Climate Group., Oregon State University, http://prism.oregonstate.edu, created 4 Feb 2004.
 NEON RTE permits.
 (NEON (National Ecological Observatory Network). 2020. Data Product DP1.20107.001, http://data.neonscience.org on May 11, 2020.)
 USDA. Soil Conservation Service. and Texas Agricultural Experiment Station. General Soil Map, Wise County, Texas, Map, 1989; (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth130330/ : accessed December 17, 2015), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department, Denton, Texas.
 Ressel, Dennis D., United States. Soil Conservation Service., and Texas Agricultural Experiment Station. Soil Survey of Wise County, Texas, Book, 1989; (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth130257/ : accessed December 17, 2015), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department, Denton, Texas.
 USDA Forest Service. 2009. 2007 Five-Year Review and Recommendations: National Forests and Grasslands in Texas Revised Forest Land and Resource Management Plan.
 TPWD (Texas Parks and Wildlife Department). 2013. “Cross Timbers and Prairies Ecological Region.” Texas Parks and Wildlife. Accessed April 3, 2013. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/landwater/land/habitats/cross_timbers/ecore….
 Drenner, Matthew S., Stanley I. Dodson, Ray W. Drenner, and John E. Pinder III. 2009. “Crustacean Zooplankton Community Structure in Temporary and Permanent Grassland Ponds.” Hydrobiologia 632: 225-233.
 Dow, Fred, and Suzanne Dow. (2005). U. S. National Forest Campground Guide: Southern Region (pp. 323-330). Moon Canyon Publishing. http://books.google.com/books/about/U_S_National_Forest_Campground_Guid…
Remote sensing surveys of this field site collect lidar, spectrometer and high-resolution RGB camera data.
This site has one meteorological station located in the riparian area. The met station is outfitted with a subset of the same sensors used at terrestrial sites. Measurements include wind speed and direction, air temperature, barometric pressure, relative humidity, shortwave radiation, and PAR.
Field Site Data
US Forest Service
Site Access Allowed
Site Access Details
Researchers should coordinate directly with the US Forest Service for permitting and approval. Site host is very limited to external research requests.
NEON Field Operations Office
NEON Field Operations Address
1200 South Woodrow, Suite 100
Denton, TX 76205
NEON Field Operations Phone
Mean Annual Temperature
Mean Annual Precipitation
Dominant NLCD Classes
Deciduous Forest, Grassland/Herbaceous
Upper West Fork Trinity
USGS Geology Unit
USGS Geology Name
USGS Lithologic Constituents
Sand, clay, and conglomerate
USGS Geology Age
Other Domain D11 Field Sites
Other Field Sites in TX