Biomass and Production of Southern Appalachian Cove Forests Reexamined

  • Busing R
  • Clebsch E
  • White P
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Abstract

Aboveground biomass and aboveground net primary production (ANPP) were determined for leaf, branch, and bole compartments of cove forests in the Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee. The sample plots included young stands (42-63 years following agricultural abandonment) and old stands with no history of logging or catastrophic fire. Tree species, diameter at breast height (DBH), and 10-year radial growth increment data were collected on plots of 0.4-1.0 ha. Biomass was estimated with species-specific allometric equations for the Great Smoky Mountains and eastern Tennessee. ANPP was estimated using diameter growth measurements to determine biomass accumulation over the preceding 10-year interval. Biomass estimates for the predominantly deciduous old-growth stands ranged from 326 to 394 Mg . ha-2 on plots greater-than-or-equal-to 0.4 ha. These were consistently greater than the corresponding estimates of 216-277 Mg.ha-I for young stands. The old Tsuga-dominated stands had the highest biomass estimates of 415- 471 Mg . ha-1 for 1.0-ha plots. Annual ANPP estimates were high (I 1.7-13. 1 Mg . ha-1) among the young stands. These stands had particularly high bolewood production. ANPP of the old-growth plots greater-than-or-equal-to 0.4 ha ranged from 6.3 to 8.6 Mg.ha-1.year-1 for the deciduous stands and 8.0-10.1 Mg-ha-1 - year-I for die coniferous-deciduous stands. Previous biomass estimates for primeval cove forests were well above temperate forest means of 300-350 Mg . ha-1. Our estimates based on larger plots were lower than previous estimates of 500-610 Mg.ha-1, but they stilt exceeded temperate forest means. Our deciduous values were 26-94 Mg . ha-1 above the temperate deciduous forest mean of 300 Mg . ha-1, and our Tsuga-deciduous values were 65-121 Mg . ha-1 above the temperate coniferous forest mean of 350 Mg . ha-1.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Disturbance
  • Locust Robinia-Pseudoacacia
  • Succession

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Authors

  • R T Busing

  • E E C Clebsch

  • P S White

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