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Technical Note—Amounts of Down Woody Materials for Mixed-Oak Forests in Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina

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Fallen or down dead wood is a key element in healthy forest ecosystems. Although the amount of down wood and shrubs can provide critical information to forest resource managers for assessing fire fuel build up, data on biomass of down woody materials (DWM) are not readily accessible using existing databases. We summarized data collected by the USDA Forest Service's Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program into biomass for mixed-oak forest types in Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina to obtain a baseline average for Appalachian mixed-oak forests. We sampled a subset of 76 plots from 16 oak forest types and computed biomass for each DWM component, using slightly different equations for each. Biomass of DWM components was summarized using simple statistics. The mean of all DWM components combined was 32 Mg/ha, and the median was 29 Mg/ha. Over half the mean DWM was duff and litter (18 Mg/ha combined); coarse woody material (CWM) was less than 15% of mean DWM; and fine woody material (FWM) (7 Mg/ha) was almost twice CWM. The range of mass for individual components was quite large. These estimates compare favorably to those found in studies for other forest types. South. J. Appl. For. 28(2):113–117.

Keywords: Deadwood; carbon; coarse woody debris; duff; environmental management; fine woody debris; forest; forest floor; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; litter; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Technical Note

Affiliations: 1: 1115-VMPR USDA Forest Service 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington DC 20250-1115 Phone: (703) 605-5262;, Fax: (703) 605-5133, Email: 2: Northeastern Research Station USDA Forest Service Parsons WV 26287

Publication date: May 1, 2004

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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 Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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