The Tawawa Woods Natural Landmark: II. Plant Species Composition and Recovery from Disturbance
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Citation:The Ohio Journal of Science. v103, n2 (April, 2003), 12-18
Portions of Tawawa Woods, an oak-maple-beech forest community adjacent to Wilberforce (Greene Co.), OH, was granted landmark status in 1990 on the basis of its biodiversity, historic and cultural significance, and its potential as a site for studies of forest recovery from disturbance. Earlier, in 1974, Tawawa Woods was partially destroyed by a tornado that swept through nearby Xenia and vicinity. In 1988 and in 1999, we conducted studies of the plant species composition of Tawawa Woods with emphasis on tree species abundance, age, spatial distribution, and relative dominance. We used both plot sampling and point-centered quarter sampling methods. Although a total of 27 tree species were included in the samples, in 1988, 80% of the relative density was contributed by only eight species; notably, Acer saccharum, Prunus serotina, Liriodendron tulipifera, Fagus grandifolia, Sassafras albidum, Fraxinus americana, Quercus rubra, and Quercus alba. Comparisons of tree species abundance, distribution, and dominance as a function of sampling date and tree age class are discussed with regard to forest recovery from disturbance during the past 11 years, with emphasis upon the increasing importance of Acer saccharum. A case is made for elevating the Tawawa Woods Natural Landmark to Natural Area status based upon its strategic location in the Massies Creek corridor, and its ecological and historical significance.
Author Institution: Department of Science and Mathematics, Cedarville University ; Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Central State University
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