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): Jonatha L. Horton; Barton D. Clinton; John F. Walker; Colin M. Beir; Erik T. Nilsen
    Date: 2009
    Source: Castanea 74(4):340-352
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (207.19 KB)


    Ericaceous shrubs can influence soil properties in many ecosystems. In this study, we examined how soil and forest floor properties vary among sites with different ericaceous evergreen shrub basal area in the southern Appalachian mountains. We randomly located plots along transects that included open understories and understories with varying amounts of Rhododendron maximum (rosebay rhododendron) and Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) at three sites. The three sites were a mid-elevation ridge, a low-elevation cove, and a high-elevation southwest-facing slope. Basal area of R. maximum was more correlated with soil properties of the forest floor than was K. latifolia. Increasing R. maximum basal area was correlated with increasing mass of lower quality litter and humus as indicated by higher C N ratios. Moreover, this correlation supports our prediction that understory evergreen shrubs may have considerable effect on forest floor resource heterogeneity in mature stands.

    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.


    Horton, Jonatha L.; Clinton, Barton D.; Walker, John F.; Beir, Colin M.; Nilsen, Erik T. 2009. Variation in soil and forest floor characteristics along gradients of ericaceous, evergreen shrub cover in the southern Appalachians. Castanea 74(4):340-352.


    Google Scholar

    Related Search

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