This 30–year study reports on the changes in the structure and composition of an old-growth forest damaged by a tornadic windstorm in 1974. Tree density, basal area and species composition were measured at Dinsmore Woods State Nature Preserve, Boone County, Kentucky in 1973, in 1974 at the time of the tornado, and in 1985, 1994 and 2004 to document and assess community change in response to this disturbance. There was an initial decline in both density (N/ha) and basal area (m2/ha), followed by gradual increases, and by 2004 the forest community composition was similar to that of the pre-tornado community. Acer saccharum had experienced increases in both the overstory and understory strata while Quercus spp. and Fraxinus americana were the major overstory subdominants. These two species showed a decline in density in the understory.
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Vol. 67 • No. 2