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


Sept 2010


Adam W. Rollins

Additional Authors

Harold S. Adams, Steven L. Stephenson

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.