Taxonomy of Abies in the Southern Appalachians: Variation in Balsam Monoterpenes and Wood Properties
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.
Document Type: Journal Article
Affiliations: Botanist, TVA Division of Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife Development, Norris, Tennessee
Publication date: 1974-03-01
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