Canopy Gap Characteristics of an Oak-Beech-Maple Old-Growth Forest in Northeastern Ohio
MetadataShow full item record
Citation:The Ohio Journal of Science. v103, n4 (September, 2003), 111-115
Forests are gap-driven systems as openings within the tree canopy directly influence species composition, structure, and regeneration. Most gap studies have occurred in small, mesic, old-growth remnants. This study sought to further the understanding of gap characteristics by examining gaps in one of Ohio's largest old-growth forests, which has wet-mesic site conditions and high species diversity. A modification of the methodology recommended by Runkle (1992) was used to obtain data on gap characteristics. An important portion (17.7%) of this old-growth forest was in gaps. Most of the gaps sampled were large (100-400 m2), and multiple-tree gaps were significantly larger than single-tree gaps. Tip-up and basal shear of a canopy tree were the primary means by which a gap was created (origin type). These findings differ from some other similar gap studies, and the contrasts may be due to the advanced age and particular species composition of this forest, the poor soil drainage conditions, and the large size and stressed condition of the overstory trees.
Author Institution: School of Natural Resources, The Ohio State University
Items in Knowledge Bank are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.