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An Evaluation of Changes in Tree Crown Characteristics to Assess Forest Health in Two Indiana State Parks

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An evaluation of tree crown characteristics was conducted by means of a Forest Health Monitoring study in Turkey Run and Shades State Parks, Indiana. Crown dieback, foliage transparency, and crown density were summarized for three consecutive measurement years, and the short-term changes in these characteristics were quantified in an effort to identify potential forest health concerns. In both Shades and Turkey Run State Parks, no significant changes were detected in the levels of crown dieback and crown density. Only for Shades hardwoods, and more specifically hickory trees (Carya spp.), was there an unfavorable change in foliage transparency; however, this change did not appear extraordinary given the Forest Health Monitoring measurement quality objectives. This study demonstrated that given the current body of knowledge about the acceptable levels for the crown characteristics, the majority of trees in Shades and Turkey Run State Parks are not exhibiting responses to extreme stress and should be considered healthy.
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Keywords: Forest Health Monitoring; crown density; crown dieback; foliage transparency

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Mathematical Statistician USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis 4700 Old Kingston Pike Knoxville TN 37919 2: Professor of Forest Biometry Department of Forestry and Natural Resources Purdue University West Lafayette IN 47907-1159

Publication date: 2004-03-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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