Publication Details

Fifty years of watershed research on the Fernow Experimental Forest, WV: effects of forest management and air pollution on hardwood forests

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Year Published

2004

Publication

In: Renard, Kenneth G.; McElroy, Stephen A.; Gburek, William J.; Canfield, H. Evan; Scott, Russell L., eds. First interagency conference on research in the watersheds; 2003 October 27-30; Benson, AZ. Tucson, AZ: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Southwest Watershed Research Center: 391-396.

Abstract

In 1951, stream gaging was begun on five small headwater catchments on the Fernow Experimental Forest in West Virginia, to study the effects of forest management activities, particularly timber harvesting, on water yield and quality. Results from these watersheds, and others gaged more recently, have shown that annual water yields increase in proportion to the basal area cut, and that conversion of hardwood stands to conifers significantly decreases water yield. Accelerated nutrient leaching did not occur after heavy cutting, but did follow when herbiciding sustained barren conditions after clearcutting. Results from Fernow studies have shown that sediment increases in in-stream exports are minor and short-lived and mostly from roads when best management practices (BMPs) are conscientiously employed. Research on forest access roads and BMPs has provided important management guidelines for forest landowners. More recently work has focused on air pollution effects on hardwood forests. Ongoing research is evaluating the role of forest management on channel stability, nutrient cycling in polluted environments, and the interaction of forest management and air pollution on forest ecosystems.

Citation

Adams, M.B.; Edwards, P.J.; Kochenderfer, J.N.; Wood, F. 2004. Fifty years of watershed research on the Fernow Experimental Forest, WV: effects of forest management and air pollution on hardwood forests. In: Renard, Kenneth G.; McElroy, Stephen A.; Gburek, William J.; Canfield, H. Evan; Scott, Russell L., eds. First interagency conference on research in the watersheds; 2003 October 27-30; Benson, AZ. Tucson, AZ: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Southwest Watershed Research Center: 391-396.

Last updated on: November 19, 2008