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1 January 2011 Landscape Scale Forest Community Classification in the Horseblock Mountain Region of the Talladega National Forest, Alabama
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Abstract

The objective of this study was to identify landscape scale forested communities based on vegetation, soil, and landform variables on the Shoal Creek Ranger District, Talladega National Forest, Alabama. Data from 43 plots were analyzed with ordination, cluster analysis, and discriminant analysis to yield five communities. The communities were strongly related to the percent slope, A-horizon Ca (kg/ha), B-horizon Mg (kg/ha), B-horizon P (kg/ha), and B-horizon pH. Hardwood dominated communities included Quercus prinus L. -Acer rubrum L. - Solidago erecta Pursh and Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh. - Liriodendron tulipifera L. - Arisaema triphyllum (L.) Schott. Hardwood communities were located on lower slope positions and stream bottoms. Pine dominated communities included Pinus palustris Mill. - Sassafras albidum (Nutt.) Nees-Gaylussacia dumosa (Andrews) Torr. & A. Gray, Pinus palustris - P. echinata Mill. - Vitis rotundifolia Michx., and P. echinata - Prunus serotina Ehrh. - Chamaecrista nictitans (L.) Moench ssp. nictitans var. nictitans. Mountain longleaf pine stands occupied the ridges and upper slopes while shortleaf pine dominated on lower slopes and rolling terrain. This classification system can be used to stratify the landscape into communities with similar vegetation, soil, and landform characteristics so that management plans can be developed based upon ecological units rather than stand boundaries. The current management regime appears to be maintaining the forest in a condition similar to pre-European forests.

Brent Womack and Robert Carter "Landscape Scale Forest Community Classification in the Horseblock Mountain Region of the Talladega National Forest, Alabama," Natural Areas Journal 31(1), 51-64, (1 January 2011). https://doi.org/10.3375/043.031.0107
Published: 1 January 2011
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