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    Author(s): Paul A. Gellerstedt; W. Michael Aust
    Date: 2004
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–71. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 524-527
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (109 KB)


    A variety of concerns have been expressed regarding harvesting in forested wetlands. These concerns usually revolve around such issues as potential losses in site productivity, altered wetland functional processes, and development of appropriate best management practices. In 1985 a long-term study was established to evaluate harvest disturbance effects on water quality, soil properties, hydrology, and site productivity in a water tupelo (Nyssa aquatica) -baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) swamp. The study site is a deltaic red river bottomland within the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta in southwestern Alabama. After 1 year of baseline data collection, three disturbance treatments were installed in 1986: Clearcutting with helicopter removal, clearcutting with rubber-tired skidder trafficking, and clearcutting followed by complete vegetation control via glyphosate application. The three disturbance treatments were installed as three 3 X 3 Latin squares. Data were also collected from adjacent non-disturbed reference areas for comparison with disturbance treatments. Measurements of soil, water, and vegetation have been conducted at treatment ages 0-2, 7-8, 10, 12, and 16. The skidder and helicopter treatment plots have recovered since harvest due to frequent flooding, shrink-sell soils, and sediment accumulation on the site. Sediment accumulation on treatment plots increased after harvest and has returned to near pre-harvest levels at age 16. The skidder treatment has shown somewhat better recovery than the helicopter treatment, although the differences between the helicopter and skidder treatments are becoming less pronounced. As the treatment plots mature, the species composition is becoming similar to that of the reference area, and the treatment areas are expected to fully recover from disturbance.

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    Gellerstedt, Paul A.; Aust, W. Michael. 2004. Timber Harvesting Effects After 16 Years in a Tupelo-Cypress Swamp. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–71. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 524-527

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