The density and volume of riparian and in-stream large woody debris (LWD) is hypothesized to be a function of forest disturbance and developmental processes. However, these relationships are poorly understood for many forest types, including hardwood forests of the southern Appalachian Highlands. We analyzed patterns of riparian and in-stream LWD in hardwood stands across three establishment classes (pre-1900s, 1930s, and 1950s) on the Cumberland Plateau to elucidate the relationships between forest development and LWD patterns. The stands were dominated by Fagus grandifolia, Quercus alba, and Lirodendron tulipifera. Density and volume of riparian LWD did not differ across the chronosequence. Density of riparian LWD ranged from 367 (1950s) to 407 (1930s) pieces ha-1 and volume ranged from 142.0 (pre-1900s) to 187.1 (1930s) m3 ha-1. Likewise, mean density and volume of in-stream LWD did not differ across the chronosequence. Density of in-stream LWD ranged from 20 pieces 100 m-1 (pre-1900s and 1950s) to 28 pieces 100 m-1 (1930s) and volume ranged from 4.8 m3 (1950s) to 8.3 m3 100 m-1 (1930s). We documented significantly greater volume of in-stream LWD in the stabilizing or armoring banks function class in the 1950s establishment class, but no other systematic differences. Based on species composition and size, we speculate that riparian LWD largely originated from trees that grew outside the riparian zone and were transported down slope. In contrast, in-stream LWD inputs were linked directly to the adjacent riparian zones.
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Vol. 34 • No. 1