Reforestation of bottomland hardwoods and the issue of woody species diversity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

57 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bottomland hardwood forests in the southcentral United States have been cleared extensively for agriculture, and many of the remaining forests are fragmented and degraded. During the last decade, however, approximately 75 000 ha of land - mainly agricultural fields - have been replanted or contracted for replanting, with many more acres likely to be reforested in the near future. The approach used in most reforestation projects to date has been to plant one to three overstory tree species, usually Quercus spp. (oaks), and to rely on natural dispersal for the establishment of other woody species. I critique this practice by two means. First, a brief literature review demonstrates that moderately high woody species diversity occurs in natural bottomland hardwood forests in the region. Second, I reevaluate data on the invasion of woody species from an earlier study of 10 reforestation projects in Mississippi, with the goal of assessing the likelihood that stands with high woody species diversity will develop. I show that natural invasion cannot always be counted on to produce a diverse stand, particularly on sites more than about 60 m from an existing forest edge. I then make several recommendations for altering current reforestation practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRestoration Ecology
Pages125-134
Number of pages10
Volume5
Edition2
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

reforestation
species diversity
forest edge
overstory
literature review
agricultural land
agriculture
project

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Ecology

Cite this

Allen, J. A. (1997). Reforestation of bottomland hardwoods and the issue of woody species diversity. In Restoration Ecology (2 ed., Vol. 5, pp. 125-134)

Reforestation of bottomland hardwoods and the issue of woody species diversity. / Allen, James A.

Restoration Ecology. Vol. 5 2. ed. 1997. p. 125-134.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Allen, JA 1997, Reforestation of bottomland hardwoods and the issue of woody species diversity. in Restoration Ecology. 2 edn, vol. 5, pp. 125-134.
Allen JA. Reforestation of bottomland hardwoods and the issue of woody species diversity. In Restoration Ecology. 2 ed. Vol. 5. 1997. p. 125-134
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