Year of Publication

2011

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Thesis

College

Agriculture

Department

Forestry

First Advisor

Dr. Songlin Fei

Abstract

The responses of invasive exotic plant species (IES) to silvicultural treatments one growing season after timber harvesting were examined in the Cumberland Plateau region of Southeastern Kentucky. Treatments included a commercial deferment harvest and unharvested control applied to five watersheds within University of Kentucky’s Robinson Forest. The effects of harvesting were compared between treatments and between preharvest and postharvest samplings. The spatial distribution and abundance of targeted IES throughout forest sites and trail systems were calculated from several sampling schemes. Additional analyses were performed to quantify forest disturbances derived from harvest activities to determine the relationships between soil, light levels, and other environmental characteristics and IES cover. Logistic and multivariate analysis techniques were used to analyze differences in IES distribution between pre-harvest and post-harvest units to relate post-harvest IES to microsite conditions. Microsite conditions within the forest and along the trail system proved important for explaining the presence and distribution of IES. Timber harvesting caused a significant increase in both Ailanthus altissima and Microstegium vimineum within harvested areas. However, many other identified IES did not initially respond to disturbances. Throughout the treatment units, species were influenced by disturbance type and intensity, as well as proximity to reclaimed surface mined land.

Share

COinS