Publication Details

Influence of Markets on the Composition of Central Appalachian Forests

Publication Toolbox

  • Download PDF (299922)
  • This publication is available only online.

Year Published

2005

Publication

In: Alavalapati, Janaki R.R.; Carter, Douglas R., eds. Competitiveness of southern forest products markets in a global economy: trends and predictions, proceedings of the Southern Forest Economics Workshop 2004; 2004 March 14-16; St. Augustine, FL. School of Forest Resources Conservation, University of Florida: 113-122.

Abstract

Timber harvesting has been disturbing Central Appalachian hardwood forests since colonial times, but its most profound influence on forest composition has occurred during the last 130 years. Between the end of the Civil War and the Great Depression, the lumber industry went from state to state harvesting relatively large portions of the timber resource. This disturbance and the slash fires that occurred after harvesting frequently resulted in even-aged timber stands and an increase in northern red oak. During the Depression, harvesting decreased and marginal farm lands were abandoned. Mill size declined because of a scarcity of timber, and selective cutting based on diameter and species became common. While shade intolerant and mid tolerant species regenerated on abandoned farmlands, the implementation of selective cutting after 1929 generally favored the regeneration of shade-tolerant species. In 1973, the adoption of floating exchange rates ushered in an era of international trade. During this period, timber that regenerated during and after the era of heavy cutting grew into commercial size, and consumption by baby boomers resulted in an increase in demand for hardwood products. The markets that resulted further emphasized selective cutting based on timber quality and species. Today, the composition of hardwood forests reflects the history of harvesting disturbances and the changing market structures that promoted them.

Citation

Luppold, William G.; Miller, Gary W. 2005. Influence of Markets on the Composition of Central Appalachian Forests. In: Alavalapati, Janaki R.R.; Carter, Douglas R., eds. Competitiveness of southern forest products markets in a global economy: trends and predictions, proceedings of the Southern Forest Economics Workshop 2004; 2004 March 14-16; St. Augustine, FL. School of Forest Resources Conservation, University of Florida: 113-122.

Last updated on: October 18, 2007