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Title: Species composition, size structure, and disturbance: History of an old growth bottomland hardwood loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) forest in Arkansas, USA

Author: Heitzman, Eric; Shelton, Michael G.; Grell, Adrian;

Date: 2004

Source: Natural Areas Journal 24:177-187

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: The Lost Forty is a 16-ha old-growth bottomland hardwood-lobtolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) forest iocated in south-central Arkansas that has had little human disturbance. We established plots in the Lost Forty and collected data on species composition, tree size, age structure, and radial stem growth patterns. The overstory was dominated by species that were shade intolerant or intermediate in tolerance such as sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.), oak/hickory (Quercus/Carya spp.), and lobiolly pine. Some pines were 36 m tall and 1.2 m in diameter. Trees in the midstory and understory were primarily shade tolerant species including eastern hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana (Mill.) K. Koch), American holly (Ilex opaca Alt.), hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana Walt.), and blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica Marsh.). Tree ring analysis indicated that the oldest cohort of oak/hickory and pine were recruited during the 1860s and 1870s. This period was characterized by a pulse of tree recruitment and rapid radial stem growth rates, suggesting the occurrence of a major, stand-level disturbance in the study area. Additional disturbance(s) will be needed for the successful regeneration of shade-intolerant species.

Keywords: bottomland hardwoods, disturbance, loblolly pine, old-growth, tree ring analysis

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Heitzman, Eric; Shelton, Michael G.; Grell, Adrian 2004. Species composition, size structure, and disturbance: History of an old growth bottomland hardwood loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) forest in Arkansas, USA. Natural Areas Journal 24:177-187


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