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1 March 2004 Forest Communities of Natchez Trace State Forest, Western Tennessee Coastal Plain
Scott B. Franklin, John A. Kupfer
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In an effort to clarify vegetation gradients in a Mississippi Embayment Coastal Plain forest, we classified sixty-one forest stands in Natchez Trace State Forest (NTSF). Ten dominance types were delineated from cluster analysis that matched seven alliances of The Nature Conservancy's (TNC) National Vegetation Classification System. Ordination analysis clearly separated upland and lowland (floodplain and bottoms) dominance types, but differences among upland dominance types were more subtle and related to a topographic gradient involving slope position and aspect. NTSF is still recovering from severe anthropogenic disturbances (early in the 1900s), so a variety of early and mid-successional species are found throughout, e.g., Liquidambar styraciflua and Quercus alba. This successional component weakens vegetation-environment relationships and complicates interpretation of stand composition. Upland forests are succeeding to mesophytic dominance, especially by Fagus grandifolia. Vegetation was a mix between typical Coastal Plain forests, with Ilex opaca common, and typical Central Hardwood forests.

Scott B. Franklin and John A. Kupfer "Forest Communities of Natchez Trace State Forest, Western Tennessee Coastal Plain," Castanea 69(1), 15-29, (1 March 2004).<0015:FCONTS>2.0.CO;2
Received: 1 May 2002; Accepted: 1 February 2003; Published: 1 March 2004
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