Short-Term Impacts of Laurel Wilt on Redbay (Persea borbonia [L.] Spreng.) in a Mixed Evergreen‐Deciduous Forest in Northern Florida
Abstract:We examined the immediate effects of laurel wilt on redbay (Persea borbonia [L.] Spreng.) and stand-level characteristics in a mixed evergreen-deciduous forest at Etoniah Creek State Forest in Florida. Percent mortality of redbay in the overstory, sapling, and seedling layers were 100%, 30.2%, and 1.8%, respectively, in the year after the first signs of infection were observed. The diameter distribution of redbay shifted from a reverse “J” pattern to a distribution where the only remaining living stems were <4-in. dbh. Mortality of redbay also resulted in significant reductions in overstory redbay importance values and stand-level density and basal area. Our results suggest that (1) laurel wilt has a more pronounced effect on overstory redbays than smaller stems and (2) redbay mortality caused by laurel wilt can result in modest but significant changes in stand structure.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2011-03-01
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