A comparison of witness tree and contemporary compositions for old-growth forests at Savage Mountain, Maryland, and secondary forests of the northern Allegheny Mountains
We used historical and contemporary survey data to assess the dynamics in two old-growth forests at Savage Mountain, Maryland, versus secondary forests from the surrounding landscape of the northern Allegheny Mountain Plateau (AMP). This is the first published compilation of witness trees from western Maryland. The old-growth forests on Savage Mountain, Maryland, are presently dominated by mixed oak (Quercus spp. L.; 42%), red maple (Acer rubrum L.), and black birch (Betula lenta L.). Witness trees (1620-1825) from Savage Mountain were dominated by mixed oak (55%), hickory (Carya spp.; 18%), and chestnut (Castanea dentata (Marsh.) Borkh.; 10%), and lacked red maple and black birch. The witness trees of the AMP in Pennsylvania were dominated by mixed oak (41%), pine (Pinus spp. L.; 12%), maple (11%), chestnut (10%), and hickory (6%). Currently the AMP is dominated by mixed oak (25%), red maple (25%), and black cherry (Prunus serotina Ehrh.; 11%). The old-growth stands on Savage Mountain are similar to its witness trees in regard to oak species and have greater oak dominance than the AMP secondary forests. This suggests that old-growth retains more oak compared with cut-over forests. However, old-growth on Savage Mountain has a higher density of red maple and black birch when compared to the AMP. Our research illustrates differences in forest dynamics and oak dominance between old-growth and second-growth forests that have important implications for the sustainability of native forests.
|Work Title||A comparison of witness tree and contemporary compositions for old-growth forests at Savage Mountain, Maryland, and secondary forests of the northern Allegheny Mountains|
|License||In Copyright (Rights Reserved)|
|Publication Date||April 1, 2022|
|Publisher Identifier (DOI)||
|Deposited||September 19, 2022|
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