Oak Mortality Trends on the Interior Highlands of ArkansasThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Using data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis program, I studied mortality trends of oak (Quercus spp.) across four physiographic sections of the Interior Highlands in Arkansas. Surveys for 1978, 1988, and 1995 showed oak mortality levels of 3.9, 8.9, and 5.5 percent, respectively. Increases in mortality were strongly correlated with a major drought event in 1980 (reflected in the 1988 survey). The highest recorded mortality (1988 survey) was in the Arkansas Valley section. Other strata examined included ownership and stand-size classes. The highest mortality by ownership was on forest industry lands; by stand-size class, it was highest where diameters averaged ¡Ý12.0 inches. Six oak species accounted for 95 percent of mortality. A high population resilience rate was evidenced by the rapid increase and decrease in oak mortality before and after the 1980 drought event.