Tree damage risk factors associated with large, infrequent wind disturbances of Carolina forests
Authors: Xi, Weimin; Peet, Robert K.; Decoster, James K.; Urban, Dean L.
Source: Forestry, Volume 81, Number 3, 19 July 2008 , pp. 317-334(18)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:Past studies of large, infrequent wind disturbances have shown that meteorological, topographic and biological factors interact to generate complex damage patterns, but have left open the extent to which these limited past findings are representative and can be used to predict future damage. We present a multi-scale, comparative analysis to examine how risk factors change over spatial scales and to evaluate the consistency in risk factors associated with three major wind events: a North Carolina Piedmont tornado of 1988, Hurricane Hugo of 1989 and Hurricane Fran of 1996. Our results reveal that the risk factors that best explain variation in damage vary with scale of observation. Tree size and species explain damage variation at the stand scale; topographic, site and stand factors explain damage variation at the landscape scale and wind speed and precipitation explain damage variation at the regional scale. However, it is possible to integrate these factors by incorporating factors from the finer scales into coarser-scale studies. We also found distinct differences in the damage caused by the hurricanes relative to the tornado, and to some extent consistency between hurricanes.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2008-07-19
- Forestry publishes refereed papers on all aspects of research, practice and policy that promote the sustainable development of forests, woodlands and trees. In considering suitability for publication attention is given to both the originality of contributions and their practical application. Preference is usually given to work undertaken in the temperate and/or boreal zones; only articles of exceptional merit from tropical zones will also be considered.