Skip to Main Content
Composition, structure, and intra-stand spatial patterns along a disturbance severity gradient in a Quercus standAuthor(s): Lauren E. Cox; Justin L. Hart; Daniel C. Dey; Callie J. Schweitzer
Source: Forest Ecology and Management. 381: 305-317.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
Download Publication (1.0 MB)
DescriptionNatural forest disturbances, which drive succession and development, differ in extent, severity, and return interval and range from frequent, gap-scale disturbances, to infrequent stand-replacing events. Most studies have focused on natural disturbances near the ends of the disturbance severity gradient and relatively little quantitative information is available on intermediate-severity disturbance. On 20 April 2011, an EF1 tornado tracked 5 km through the Sipsey Wilderness in Alabama and resulted in a patchwork mosaic of disturbed areas. To analyze the effects of the intermediate-severity wind event on composition, structure, and intra-stand spatial patterns, we established a 100 × 200 m (2 ha) rectangular plot perpendicular to the path of the storm within an affected Quercus alba stand. Based on the basal area removed (i.e. basal area of snags, snapped stems, or uprooted stems in decay class 1) by the wind event, we divided the plot into disturbance classes (minimal, light, and moderate) to compare compositional and structural attributes along a disturbance severity gradient. Composition varied little across the disturbance gradient, but diversity was highest in the moderately disturbed neighborhoods. Stems were relatively intermingled by species (i.e. each tree neighbored by trees of different species) in each disturbance severity class. However, some species, such as Fagus grandifolia and Ostrya virginiana exhibited less intermingling than Quercus spp. and stems classed in the "other spp." taxonomic group. Large stems were disproportionately removed by the storm in the light and moderate disturbance categories. In the light disturbance class, O. virginiana was significantly less likely to experience mortality from the storm, which may in part explain the relatively high density of O. virginiana stems in the plot.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- 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.
CitationCox, Lauren E.; Hart, Justin L.; Dey, Daniel C.; Schweitzer, Callie J. 2016. Composition, structure, and intra-stand spatial patterns along a disturbance severity gradient in a Quercus stand. Forest Ecology and Management. 381: 305-317.
KeywordsCanopy disturbance, Quercus (oak), Stand development, Succession
- Three-dimensional light structure of an upland Quercus stand post-tornado disturbance
- Effects of intermediate-scale wind disturbance on composition, structure, and succession in Quercus stands: Implications for natural disturbance-based silviculture
- Influence of gap-scale disturbance on developmental and successional pathways in Quercus-Pinus stands
XML: View XML