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Hurricane Hugo effects on old-growth floodplain forest communities at Four Holes Swamp, South CarolinaAuthor(s): Michael J. Duever; Jean M. McCollom
Source: Proceedings of the Seventh Biennial Silvicultural Research Conference
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Southern Research Station
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DescriptionWe assessed hurricane damage and mortality of 1233 canopy trees( ≥6 in dbh) in sixteen plots within the old growth floodplain forest in Four Hole Swamp. Sixty percent of the trees sustained major damage, and 22 % had died within two growing seasons as a result of the hurricane. Higher elevation Ridge Bottom forest plots sustained the greatest damage (81 %) and highest mortality (47%), while the lower Cypressffupelo forest plots had the least (43% and 4%, respectively), and mid-elevation Hardwood Bottomland forests were intermediate (64% and 24%, respectively). Among the more common species in our plots, water oak (Quercus nigra L.) and spruce pine (Pima glabra Walt.) had the largest percentage of individuals damaged (≥93%), and baldcypress (Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich), blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica var. bijlora (Walt.) Sarg.), water tupelo (Nyssa aquatica L.), and Carolina ash (Fraxinus caroliniana Mill.) had the smallest (≤47%). After two growing seasons, spruce pine had by far the greatest percent mortality (91 %) of individuals alive at the time of the hurricane, and water tupelo and blackgum the lowest (1 % and 3%, respectively). The dominant type of damage was main stem break (50% of affected trees). However, of the different types of damage, 70% of uprooted trees died and only 35% of the main stem broken trees died. Mortality among trees with major branch loss and bent stems has been less than 10%. Hurricane Hugo effects were not randomly distributed through the forest. While other factors may be involved, species present, and possibly community type, influence the kinds and degree of effects.
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CitationDuever, Michael J.; McCollum, Jean M. 1992. Hurricane Hugo effects on old-growth floodplain forest communities at Four Holes Swamp, South Carolina. In: Proceedings of the Seventh Biennial Silvicultural Research Conference. 1992 Nov. 17-19; Mobile, AL: 197-202.
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