Fuel loading in the Southern Appalachian Mountains may be a function of site quality and decomposition rates

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  • Authors: Waldrop, Thomas A.; Brudnak, Lucy; Rideout-Hanzak, Sandra
  • Publication Year: 2013
  • Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
  • Source: In: Guldin, James M., ed. 2013. Proceedings of the 15th biennial southern silvicultural research conference. e-Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-GTR-175. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 581-584.

Abstract

Fuel distribution in the Southern Appalachian Mountain region was measured on 1,008 study plots that were stratified by topographic position (aspect and slope position). Few fuel differences occurred among topographic positions indicating that fuel accumulation is no greater on highly productive sites than on less productive sites. Litter was slightly higher on undisturbed upper slopes than on lower slopes but woody fuels showed no significant differences. Rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.) and mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) were less common than expected occurring on 25 and 42 percent of sampled plots, respectively. The lack of significant differences among topographic positions for woody fuels suggests that varying inputs associated with site productivity are balanced by varying decomposition rates.

  • Citation: Waldrop, Thomas A.; Brudnak, Lucy; Rideout-Hanzak, Sandra 2013. Fuel loading in the Southern Appalachian Mountains may be a function of site quality and decomposition rates. In: Guldin, James M., ed. 2013. Proceedings of the 15th biennial southern silvicultural research conference. e-Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-GTR-175. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 581-584.
  • Posted Date: June 19, 2013
  • Modified Date: August 2, 2013
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