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Characterization of the Vegetational Communities Associated with Ancient Juniperus Virginiana L. Stands in the Obed Wild and Scenic River Gorge

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Bal Krishna Nepal (Creator)
Institution
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: http://www.library.appstate.edu/
Advisor
Gary Galker

Abstract: A vegetational survey of ancient red cedar (Juniperus virginiana L.) stands in the talus areas of the Obed Wall and North Clear Creek (NCC) in the Obed Wild and Scenic River Gorge was conducted. The diversity and abundance of vascular plants were found to be higher at the Obed Wall site than that at the NCC site, while the reverse was true for lichens and bryophytes. Statistical analysis of percent coverage and frequency of vascular plants from systematic sampling revealed significant variations in species composition between the Obed and NCC sites. Also, species accumulation curves were determined for vascular plants, lichens and bryophytes found in association with red cedars. Asymptotes were observed for lichens and bryophytes but an asymptote was not observed for vascular plant diversity. The age-class structure of red cedars showed an inverse J-shaped curve, which represents continuous, balanced recruitment and mortality of these stands. Of the 36 living trees cored, the oldest-living red cedar was found to be 767 years old. A general climatic history of the Obed area was reconstructed back to 1246 A.D. but this is not a precise reconstruction because of the prevalence of false rings.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
Nepal, B.K. (2010). Characterization of the Vegetational Communities Associated with Ancient Juniperus Virginiana L. Stands in the Obed Wild and Scenic River Gorge. Unpublished master’s thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2010
Keywords
Juniperus virginiana, cliff, dendrochronology, age-class structure