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1 January 2016 Old Field Communities and Restoration Potential at Mammoth Cave National Park, USA
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Abstract

Old fields (at least 67 years since abandonment) within Mammoth Cave National Park, USA are dominated by coniferous species (Juniperus virginiana L. and Pinus virginiana) instead of the desired deciduous species (Carya glabra, Quercus alba, Q. muehlenbergii, Q. prinus, and Q. velutina) that dominate much of the rest of the park. Species composition above ground and in the seedbank of old fields and adjacent desired future condition areas, (identified by the United States National Park Service (NPS) as oak and hickory-dominated) were evaluated and compared. Species composition and dominance have shifted from oak species toward conifer-dominated stands due to previous land conversion to agriculture and the exclusion of fire. Management practices that can be implemented by the NPS to alter the condition of the old fields to achieve the desired future condition include thinning treatments and reintroduction of the historic fire regime.

Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Science
Brian P. Oswald, Nathan T. Woodward, Kenneth W. Farrish, Daniel R. Unger, and I-Kuai Hung "Old Field Communities and Restoration Potential at Mammoth Cave National Park, USA," Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Science 77(1), 25-35, (1 January 2016). https://doi.org/10.3101/1098-7096-77.1.25
Published: 1 January 2016
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