Changes in Forest Composition and Structure across the Red Spruce-Hardwood Ecotone in the Central Appalachians


Adam W. Rollins

Additional Authors:

Harold S. Adams, Steven L. Stephenson


Sept 2010


ABSTRACT During the period of 1992 to 1994, ten belt transects, each consisting of a series of contiguous 10 3 10 m (100 m2) quadrats, were established and sampled at seven study sites in southwestern Virginia and eastern central West Virginia. Each transect extended from a red spruce-dominated community through the ecotone and into the adjacent hardwood community. In 2004 and 2005, these same transects were resampled in order to assess changes that had occurred. As a general trend, red spruce either maintained its ecological status or increased in number in all size classes, with noticeable expansion into the hardwood community at some study sites.