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An Old-Growth Definition for Southern Mixed Hardwood ForestsAuthor(s): William B. Batista; William J. Platt
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-9. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 15 p.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Southern Research Station
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DescriptionThis report provides an old-growth definition for the southern mixed hardwood forests based on five exemplary stands that show no evidence of having undergone any natural catastrophe or clearcutting for at least 200 years. This forest type occurs in the U.S. southeastern Coastal Plain from the Carolinas to eastern Texas. The exemplary old-growth stands were restricted to slopes or slightly elevated terraces between uplands and river- or lake-margin floodplains. They had a diverse overstory, typically dominated by Fagus grandifolia, Magnolia grandiflora, and Pinus spp., and a particularly diverse woody understory. Observed rates of tree recruitment, growth, and death were rather high. These processes would occur in pulses, associated with the frequent but nondevastating effect of hurricanes, that may result in fluctuations of species composition. We suggest that under this disturbance regime, old-growth southern mixed hardwood forests would not undergo a directional succession.
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CitationBatista, William B.; Platt, William J. 1997. An Old-Growth Definition for Southern Mixed Hardwood Forests. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-9. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 15 p.
KeywordsCoastal Plain, conservation, disturbance, Fagus grandifolia, hurricane, Magnolia grandiflora, old growth, restoration, southern mixed hardwood forests, temperate forest.
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