Regeneration response to tornado and salvage harvesting in a bottomland forestThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
A direct hit from an F4 tornado on May 2003, followed by a partial salvage logging operation at Mermet Lake State Conservation Area on the Ohio River bottoms of southern IL have provided a rare opportunity to assess the responses of a bottomland hardwood forest to severe wind and soil disturbances. The study area encompasses 700 acres and is representative of many bottomland forests within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley in the influence of past agricultural clearing and present hydrologic management for waterfowl habitat on forest composition. Assessment of regeneration recovery was conducted during the first three growing seasons following salvage logging across a range of wind and logging-related soil disturbances. Regeneration density and percent stocking increased with wind disturbance intensity. No differences were found in stem densities between areas severely disturbed by wind, with and without harvesting.