Forest regeneration was examined 5 and 11 yr after a clear-cut in a central hardwood forest in Kentucky. Prior evidence suggested that regeneration following clear-cutting in the central hardwood forest region was dominated by stump sprouts, resulting in rapid regeneration of stands which closely resemble the original forest in species composition. Five yr after clear-cut. During the same 6 yr. relative density of root sprouts increased from 17 to 42% and seedling decreased from 34 to 8% of all stems. These changes in relative density likely reflect competitive advantages of sprouts over seedlings as well as competition among sprouts on the same root. Despite low numbers, seedlings are an important source of regeneration for some species. Regeneration of overstory species increased in importance relative to understory species during the 6-yr interval between samples. This shift results from higher net loss among stump sprouts of understory than overstory species, and resulted in species composition similar to that of the predisturbance forest except for a much larger component of red maple (Acer rubrum) and lower component of hickories (Carya spp.).
|Number of pages
|American Midland Naturalist
|Published - Apr 1997
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics