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Indigenous vegetation in a Southern Arkansas pine-hardwood forest after a half century without catastrophic disturbancesAuthor(s): Michael D. Cain; Michael G. Shelton
Source: Natural Areas Journal 14:165-174
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionIn 1992 we analyzed the composition of a 32-ha pine-hardwood forest that originated from the partial cutting of the existing virgin forest around 1915. The area has been reserved from timber management since 1935. Pines >9 cm in diameter at a height of 1.37 m accounted for 61% of overstory and midstory basal area but only 21% of density. Of those trees that had attained overstory status, loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) had the highest importance value based on relative density, relative basal area, and relative frequency. Following loblolly pine in importance were: white oak (Quercus alba), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) and shortleaf pine (P. echninata), respectively. Basal area of overstory and midstory trees (17 species) totaled 38 m2/ha. Dominant trees ranged in age from 80 to 140 years. After 57 years without catastrophic disturbances, this forest was characterized by a multilayered, closed canopy. Canopy stratification generally reflected the shade tolerance of the represented species. Species intolerant of shade dominated the overstory, while shade-tolerant species dominated the midstory and understory. Without recruitment from the understory and in the absence of disturbance, data suggest that hardwood species will eventually replace the overstory pines as the dominant vegetative component.
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CitationCain, Michael D.; Shelton, Michael G. 1994. Indigenous vegetation in a Southern Arkansas pine-hardwood forest after a half century without catastrophic disturbances. Natural Areas Journal 14:165-174
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