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Short-Term Impacts of Laurel Wilt on Redbay (Persea borbonia [L.] Spreng.) in a Mixed Evergreen‐Deciduous Forest in Northern Florida

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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.

Keywords: Etoniah Creek State Forest; Raffaelea lauricola; Xyleborus glabratus; exotic species; hardwood hammocks; nonnative species; redbay ambrosia beetle; southern mixed hardwoods

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-03-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

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