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Title: The legacy and continuity of forest disturbance, succession, and species at the MOFEP sites

Author: Guyette, Richard; Kabrick, John M.

Year: 2002

Publication: In: Shifley, S. R.; Kabrick, J. M., eds. Proceedings of the Second Missouri Ozark Forest Ecosystem Project Symposium: Post-treatment Results of the Landscape Experiment. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-227. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 26-44.

Abstract: Information about the scale, frequency, and legacy of disturbance regimes and their relation to the distribution of forest species is sparse in Ozark ecosystems. Knowledge of these relationships is valuable for understanding present-day forest ecosystem species composition and structure and for predicting how Missouri's forests will respond to management. Here, we generate a correlation matrix of diverse variables to evaluate the hypothesis that plant and animal species abundances at MOFEP are closely linked to historic disturbance regimes induced by long-term interactions between humans and topographic roughness. Abrupt ring-width reductions in shortleaf pine, fire frequency, and historical data were used to determine the frequency of disturbance. Disturbance variables are correlated with topographic roughness, forest bird territory density, lizard and skink captures, blueberry fruit abundance, Armillaria spp. abundance, and three indices of forest succession derived from overstory tree species, oak overstory species, and tree species ground flora. Disturbance history, species distributions, and tree species diversity at the MOFEP sites support the argument that long-term disturbance regimes and successional sequences are major factors affecting species and structure in Ozarks forests.

Last Modified: 12/10/2008

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