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Replacement of native oak and hickory tree species by the introduced American chestnut (Castanea dentata) in southwestern Wisconsin

Canadian Journal of Botany

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Abstract

American chestnut was introduced at West Salem, Wisconsin, about 1880 and had begun to replace native tree species in adjacent oak-hickory woodland before 1930. Chestnut is now an important canopy species over c20 ha of forested ridge extending N and S of the original plantation. A smaller area of <5 ha is dominated by chestnut in both canopy and understory. Chestnut seedlings and small saplings are more numerous along woodland edges and in recently disturbed soil, they are rare in the interior of ungrazed pasture and entirely absent from intensively grazed areas adjacent to chestnut-dominated woodland. Random sampling of recently established seedlings indicates that 1-5 seedlings/(yr.ha) became established in undisturbed woodland between 1986-1988. The general pattern of chestnut distribution indicates the importance of woodland edges in chestnut propagation and the effects of livestock grazing in excluding chestnut. Replacement of native species by chestnut appears to have occurred in 2 steps: isolated groups of trees become established at favorable locations, after which many additional chestnut stems became established in the understory. The West Salem site may not be available for study of blight-free chestnut in the future. -from Authors

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Replacement of native oak and hickory tree species by the introduced American chestnut (Castanea dentata) in southwestern Wisconsin
Series title:
Canadian Journal of Botany
Volume
67
Issue:
12
Year Published:
1989
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Canadian Journal of Botany
First page:
3457
Last page:
3469