Publication Details

Composition and abundance of tree regeneration

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Hutchinson, Todd F.; Sutherland, Elaine Kennedy; Scott, Charles T.

Year Published

2003

Publication

In: Sutherland, Elaine K.; Hutchinson, Todd F., eds. Characteristics of mixed oak forest ecosystems in southern Ohio prior to the reintroduction of fire. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-299. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 85-98

Abstract

The composition and abundance of tree seedlings and saplings in the four study areas in southern Ohio were related to soil moisture via a GIS-derived integrated moisture index and to soil texture and fertility. For seedlings, the total abundance of small stems (less than 30 cm tall) was significantly greater on xeric plots (81,987/ha) than on intermediate (54,531/ha) and mesic (42,222/ha) plots. There were 28 species in the seedling layer, the most abundant of which were red maple, sassafras, white ash, and flowering dogwood. Oak seedlings were most abundant on xeric plots (7,195/ha) and least abundant on mesic plots (2,121/ha). Thirty-six species were recorded in the sapling layer; the most abundant were dogwood, red maple, sugar maple, blackgum, and beech. More than 90 percent of the stems in the sapling layer were species classified as shade tolerant or very tolerant. Detrended correspondence analysis indicated that sugar maple, beech, and witch-hazel were associated with fertile, moist sites, red maple and blackgum with less fertile, xeric sites, and dogwood, redbud, and white ash with intermediate sites. Historical data suggest that the current abundance of shade-tolerant species in the sapling layer is a new condition for these forests. The results presented here provide baseline data to test whether the reintroduction of fire can facilitate a shift in the trajectory of succession toward an understory with a higher relative abundance of oak and hickory.

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Citation

Hutchinson, Todd F.; Sutherland, Elaine Kennedy; Scott, Charles T. 2003. Composition and abundance of tree regeneration. In: Sutherland, Elaine K.; Hutchinson, Todd F., eds. Characteristics of mixed oak forest ecosystems in southern Ohio prior to the reintroduction of fire. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-299. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 85-98

Last updated on: June 4, 2007