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Taxonomy of Abies in the Southern Appalachians: Variation in Balsam Monoterpenes and Wood Properties

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Abstract:

Gas-liquid chromatographic analysis of terpenes taken directly from bark blisters was used to determine variation in Southern Appalachian Abies. The monoterpene analysis indicates a clinal variation pattern among balsam fir, intermediate fir, and Fraser fir. A similar variation pattern was observed for wood extractives, which increased gradually from south to north. No regional variation pattern was evident for wood specific gravity or tracheid length and no evidence was found to support the hypothesis of hybrid origin of the intermediate fir in West Virginia and Virginia. The scattered fir stands in the Southern Appalachians are probably remnants of a continuous fir forest, and the authors propose that only one species with three varieties be recognized: Abies balsamea (L.) Mill. var. balsamea in Pennsylvania and southern New York; A. balsamea (L.) Mill. var. phanerolepis Fern. in West Virginia and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia; and A. balsamea (L.) Mill. var.fraseri Spach. in the southern part of the species range. Forest Sci. 20:32-40.

Keywords: Abies balsamea var; balsamea, Abies balsamea var; phanerolepis, Abies balsamea var. fraseri

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Botanist, TVA Division of Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife Development, Norris, Tennessee

Publication date: 1974-03-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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