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): Katherine J. Elliott; Stephanie L. Hitchcock; Lisa Krueger
    Date: 2002
    Source: J. Torrey Bot. Sot. 129: 48-59.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (445 KB)

    Description

    Disturbance such as catastrophic windthrow can play a major role in the structure and composition of southern Appalachian forests. We report effects of Hurricane Opal followed by salvage logging on vegetation dynamics (regeneration, composition, and diversity) the first three years after disturbance at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory in western North Carolina. The objective of this study was to compare species composition and diversity of understory and groundlayer species in a hurricane + salvage logged (H+S) forest to an adjacent undisturbed forest. Abundance of groundlayer species was much higher in the H+S forest than in the undisturbed forest, and abundance increased over time. Percent cover, density, and species richness were significantly higher in the H+S forest than in the undisturbed forest. In addition, percent cover increased by approximately 85% between 1997 and 1999 in the H+S plots.

    Shannon's index of diversity (H') based on percent cover was significantly higher in the H+S forest than the undisturbed forest by the third year after disturbance. However, there was no significant difference in H' based on density between H+S forest and the undisturbed forest in either year. In the undisturbed forest, 59 species and 50 genera represented 30 families. By 1999 (the third year after disturbance), the H+S forest retained 93 species. 72 genera and 42 families. The Asteraceae and Liliaceae had the highest number of species in both sampled forests, with more species of Liliaceae in the H+S plots. Micro-relief created from pit and mound topography from uprooting of windthrown trees, shade from the slash-debris left on site from the salvage logging, and shade from the remaining overstory trees created a mosaic of environmental conditions. This environmental heterogeneity could be responsible for the mix of early (shade intolerant) and late (shade tolerant) successional herbaceous species, and a higher species richness and diversity than the undisturbed forest.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to pubrequest@fs.fed.us 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.

    Citation

    Elliott, Katherine J.; Hitchcock, Stephanie L.; Krueger, Lisa. 2002. Vegetation response to large scale disturbance in a southern Appalachian forest: Hurricane Opal and salvage logging. J. Torrey Bot. Sot. 129: 48-59.

    Keywords

    hurricane, windthrow, treefall, regeneration, herbaceous species

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/3150