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Plant Succession and Hydrologic Recovery on a Deforested and Herbicided Watershed

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The recovery of a 60-acre watershed that had been maintained nearly barren of vegetation for several years with herbicides was monitored. Increases in water yield returned rapidly to pretreatment levels. Aboveground biomass increased as the woody vegetation became dominant, averaging 14.7 ovendry tons/acre at the end of 10 growing seasons. There was a close relationship between biomass, height, percent ground cover, and increases in growing-season streamflow, Specific conductance of streamflow increased from a pretreatment level of 19 mho/cm to 57 mho/cm when the treatment was terminated. As the vegetation regrew, specific conductance decreased to about 24 mho/cm 10 years later. Considering the drastic treatment of this watershed, the area has become well stocked with 3,800 stems/acre of commercial tree species. Forest Sci. 29:545-558.

Keywords: Biomass; ground cover; specific conductance; tree reproduction; water yields

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Research Forester, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station Timber and Watershed Laboratory, P.O. Box 445, Parsons, West Virginia 26278

Publication date: September 1, 1983

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