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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Kollar , Leslie Marie [1], Morrissey, Caitlin A.  [2], Beavers, Beverly [3], Dolan, Benjamin J [4], Kilgore , Jason S [5].

Shade-tolerant tree species may become more important in ash dominant forests after EAB infestation.

Removal of an overstory tree species has the potential to change forest composition depending on the species’ dominance in the community. Infestations affecting canopy tree species in the past century include hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae), chestnut blight (Cryphonectria parasitica), and Dutch elm disease (Ophiostoma ulmi). Currently, in northeastern United States, ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) are being infested with the invasive, exotic emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis), which has resulted in the loss of millions of ash trees. Our objective was to predict what will take the place of ash in 2 forested sites that differ in the levels of overstory ash. We expect that the gaps created by loss of ash will be replaced by shade-tolerant species such as sugar maple (Acer saccharum) because these species are already dominant in the canopy and well established in the understory. In this study, we established 6 400-m2 forested plots in each of 2 sites (Washington Co., PA and Hancock Co., OH) as a part of the Permanent Forest Plot Project (PFPP) sponsored by the Ecological Research as Education Network (EREN). In each plot, we calculated importance values (IVs) based on with ash and without ash for each inventoried species. IVs significantly varied across species at Abernathy Field Station (AFS; p<0.001) and Rieck Field Station (RFC; p=0.001), but IVs did not significantly change across species after ash was removed from the calculations at AFS (p=0.62) and RFC (p=0.358). Although our data were not statistically significant when ash was removed from IV calculations, we predict that sugar maple (AFS and RFC) and wild black cherry (AFS) will be the likely species to fill canopy gaps because these species are shade-tolerant, dominant in the forest canopy, and well-established in the understory.

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Related Links:
EREN PFPP: EAB Impacts Study

1 - Washington & Jefferson College, Biology Department, 60 South Lincoln Street , Washington , PA, 15301, USA
2 - Temple University, School of Environmental Design, 1114 West Berks Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19122, USA
3 - University of Findlay, Biology Department, 1000 North Main Street, Findlay, PA, 45840, USA
4 - University of Findlay, Biology Department, 1000 North Main Street, Findlay , OH, 45840, USA
5 - Washington & Jefferson College, Biology, 60 South Lincoln Street, Washington, PA, 15301, USA

emerald ash borer
forest succession
canopy species
shade-tolerant species.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Eyrie/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PEC008
Abstract ID:845
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Undergraduate Presentation Award

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