Community Composition in Canopy Gaps as Influenced by Presence or Absence of Rhododendron maximum

  • Authors: Rivers, Christopher T.; van Lear, David H.; Clinton, Barton D.; Waldrop, Thomas A.
  • Publication Year: 1999
  • Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
  • Source: Paper Presented at the Tenth Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research Conference, Shreveport, LA, February 16-18, 1999.

Abstract

The process of gap formation and recolonization plays an important role in the structure and composition in southern Appalachian forests. The understory composition existing before a disturbance will shape successional patterns of the future stand. Rhododendron maximum is native to the southern Appalachians and exists as a major understory component in cove forests. Its frequency of occurrence has been increasing over the past century due to the demise of the American Chestnut, heavy logging at the turn of the century, and suppression of fire. Increasing densities of R. maximum reduced species richness and coverage in the regeneration layer and reduced recruitment into understory and midstory strata. Woody and herbaceous species regenerated poorly, if at all. under R. maximum's dense canopy. Only shade-tolerant woody species like Tsuga canadensis. and Acer rubrum regenerate in R. maximum thickets, and their densities are markedly decreased.

  • Citation: Rivers, Christopher T.; van Lear, David H.; Clinton, Barton D.; Waldrop, Thomas A. 1999. Community Composition in Canopy Gaps as Influenced by Presence or Absence of Rhododendron maximum. Paper Presented at the Tenth Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research Conference, Shreveport, LA, February 16-18, 1999.
  • Posted Date: April 1, 1980
  • Modified Date: August 22, 2006
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.