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An Analysis of Forest Dynamics in the Northern Georgia Piedmont

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An analytical approach to the study of regional forest dynamics is described and applied to the northern Piedmont of Georgia. The technique utilizes U.S. Forest Service Continuous Forest Inventory (CFI) remeasurement data. Results show that if conditions remain similar to those during the survey period (1961-72), the areal extent of the loblolly pine forest type will markedly increase while shortleaf pine will decrease rapidly. Urbanization is a major factor causing the dramatic decline in shortleaf pine during the survey period. The other forest types show lesser shifts in area. However, by concomitantly reducing the rate of old-field abandonment and increasing harvest intensity, the long-term trend of increasing loblolly pine in the region will be reversed, and the decline in shortleaf pine accentuated. Increasing harvest rates uniformly across all types leads to a reduction in the area of the pine types suggesting that stand treatment and planting after harvest are not sufficiently ubiquitous or intense to discourage hardwood conversion. With decreasing reversions and an increase in harvesting, the 1961-72 trend of increasing area of loblolly pine can only be continued by markedly increasing management intensity. Patterns and rates of succession calculated from a set of undisturbed plots resemble those found by other workers using different methodologies. Although compositional dynamics are heavily dominated by man, the projected areas of most forest types follow the trends of natural succession. Forest Sci. 22:307-322.

Keywords: Resource management; impact; land use; simulation; succession

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Geographer, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901

Publication date: September 1, 1976

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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