Effect of Land Use Practices on Composition of Woodlot Vegetation in Greene County, Ohio

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Woody vegetation in 17 woodlots in Greene County, OH was sampled and the owners of the woodlots surveyed and interviewed to reveal relationships between present species composition and land-use histories. Altogether, 4,080 stems in three size-classes were sampled using the point-centered quarter method. Land-use histories and direct observations were used to devise a human activity index (HAI) to rank the woodlots according to the intensity of human use. The HAI values correlated (P - 0.0072) with the first DECORANA (detrended correspondence analysis) ordination axis supporting the hypothesis that human land-use practices had an effect on present community structure. Woodlot size, the types of disturbance (e.g., timber harvest, firewood cutting, tree planting, livestock grazing, recreation, and so forth) and time (both duration of the disturbance and subsequent recovery) were key factors influencing the species composition of the present vegetation.


Author Institution: Department of Biological Sciences, Wright State University



The Ohio Journal of Science. v92, n1 (March, 1992), 25-32