Defense Date

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Edward Crawford

Abstract

Tidal freshwater forest restoration after dam removal has been unexplored to date. This study elucidated pre-dam forest composition, as well as post-dam edaphic and microtopographical attributes and woody species recruiting along a narrow ecotone of a 29.3-ha tidal freshwater wetland. The ≈65-year-old historical forest (15 species, 200 stems ha-1) and ≈7-year-old contemporary forest (40 species and 11,009 stems ha-) community dominants were dissimilar (Fraxinus spp. vs. Liquidambar styraciflua, respectively). Pre-dam environmental conditions were unknown. Post-dam edaphic water content, organic matter, redox potential and microtopography differed significantly across tidal sites but were less variable in non-tidal sites. Shifts in the contemporary woody community composition and the concomitant increase in stem density and seedling:sapling ratios with elevation likely owed to significant changes in microtopography and edaphic attributes. Developing ecotones that contain variable microtopography may be extremely important for successful natural woody recruitment after dam removal from a tidal freshwater system.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

8-19-2014

Available for download on Sunday, August 18, 2019

Included in

Biology Commons

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