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Title: The current status of red spruce in the eastern United States: distribution, population trends, and environmental drivers

Author: Nowacki, Gregory; Carr, Robert; Van Dyck, Michael.;

Date: 2010


Publication Series: Other

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) was affected by an array of direct (logging, fire, and grazing) and indirect human activities (acid deposition) over the past centuries. To adequately assess past impacts on red spruce, thus helping frame its restoration potential, requires a clear understanding of its current status. To achieve this, Forest and Inventory Analysis data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, were analyzed from 2,458 plots having one or more red spruce trees (≥5 in. diameter at breast height). Red spruce was widespread across the Northeast, associating with many tree species. Southward, along the Appalachian Chain, red spruce became increasingly restricted to high elevations and had fewer associates. Red spruce stands in the Southern Appalachians were distinctly different from those in other regions, having higher red spruce density, basal area, and overall importance. No problems were detected with red spruce regeneration and ecruitment under the current climate.

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Nowacki, Gregory; Carr, Robert; Van Dyck, Michael. 2010. The current status of red spruce in the eastern United States: distribution, population trends, and environmental drivers. In: Rentch, James S.; Schuler, Thomas M., eds. 2010. Proceedings from the conference on the ecology and management of high-elevation forests in the central and southern Appalachian Mountains. 2009 May 14-15; Slatyfork, WV. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-64. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 140-162.


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