Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): T.T. Baker; David H. van Lear
    Date: 1998
    Source: Forest Ecology and Management 109 (1998) 21-32
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (235 KB)


    Rosebay rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum L.) is increasing its range and abundance in understories of southern Appalachian forests, reducing species richness, and altering patterns of succession. This study characterized the density andbiomass attributes of R. maximum thicket sand examined their effects on plant species richness, percentcover, andregeneration patterns within a southern Appalachian riparian ecosystem. R. maximum reached densities exceeding 17,000 stems ha-1 with biomass reaching 34 Mg ha-1. Species richness and percent cover in the regeneration layer were inversely related to R. maximum thicket density in both Spring and Fall samplings. On average, 6 plant species were found on plots with high R. maximum stem density as compared to 26 species found on plots with lower stem density. The regeneration layer was dominated by R. maximum with only low numbers of tree species present. Both woody and herbaceous species regenerated poorly under the dense canopy of these thickets. Based on the age of cut stems, R. maximum became increasingly dominant in the understory of Wine Spring Creek over the last three decades. Its proliferation is altering the richness of riparian forests and changing historical patterns of community succession.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Baker, T.T.; van Lear, David H. 1998. Relations Between Denisty of Rhododendron Thickets and Diversity of Riparian Forests. Forest Ecology and Management 109 (1998) 21-32


    Succession, Vegetation, Competition, Rhododendron maximum, Regeneration, Species richeness, Riparian

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page