Publication Details

Long-term changes in tree composition in a mesic old-growth upland forest in southern Illinois

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Zaczek, James J.; Groninger, John W.; Van Sambeek, J.W.

Year Published

1999

Publication

In: Stringer, Jeffrey W.; Loftis, David L., eds. 1999. Proceedings, 12th central hardwood forest conference; 1999 February 28-March 1-2; Lexington, KY. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-24. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station: 274-275.

Abstract

The Kaskaskia Woods (Lat. 37.5 N, Long. 88.3 W), an old-growth hardwood forest in southern Illinois, has one of the oldest and best documented set of permanent plots with individual tree measurements in the Central Hardwood Region. In 1935, eight 0.101-ha plots were installed in a 7.4 ha upland area consisting of xeric oak-hickory and mesic mixed hardwoods communities. The soils are cherty silt loams of the Alford and Baxter soil series in which productivity depends largely on moisture availability. The Kaskaskia Woods has never been cleared; however, increment coring in 1965 revealed a majority of the trees were either more than 160 years old or 80 to 100 years old. The area was apparently heavily cut for railroad ties in the 1880s which left most of the yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera L.), hickory, and oaks less than 30 cm in DBH. An abrupt change in diameter growth rates suggests a partial cut took place in the 1910's when it was likely that white oak and hickory were cut for stave wood and handle stock. The area has not been subjected to fire, grazing, cutting, or silvicultural treatments since 1933 following purchase by the USDA Forest Service.

Citation

Zaczek, James J.; Groninger, John W.; Van Sambeek, J.W. 1999. Long-term changes in tree composition in a mesic old-growth upland forest in southern Illinois. In: Stringer, Jeffrey W.; Loftis, David L., eds. 1999. Proceedings, 12th central hardwood forest conference; 1999 February 28-March 1-2; Lexington, KY. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-24. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station: 274-275.

Last updated on: August 31, 2009