Three Decades of Overstory and Species Change in a Mixed Mesophytic Forest in Eastern Kentucky
The objectives of this study were to document changes, between 1971 and 1999, in overstory vegetation structure and composition at Lilley Cornett Woods (LCW), an old-growth mixed mesophytic forest in eastern Kentucky. Similar to other old-growth forests, overstory density (284 to 347 trees/ha) and basal area (26.4 to 29.9 m2/ha) have significantly increased during this time. The increase in density was primarily due to recruitment into the smallest overstory diameter-class (12.5-30.0 cm). Six species have comprised over 60% of total overstory importance since 1971; Fagus grandifolia has remained the most important species. The overstory composition in 1999 was not similar to 1971 (C = 63.4%) as several changes have occurred during the 28-year period, including increases in the importance of maples and eastern hemlock and decreases in oaks. These trends are consistent with other reports in the eastern United States.
Galbraith, S. L., & Martin, W. H. (2005). Three Decades of Overstory and Species Change in a Mixed Mesophytic Forest in Eastern Kentucky. Castanea, 70(2), 115-128. doi:10.2179/0008-7475(2005)070[0115:tdooas]2.0.co;2