Home Publications The Ecology and Management of Atlantic white-cedar Species Composition and Hurricane Damage in an Atlantic White Cedar Stand Near the Mississippi/Alabama Border

Species Composition and Hurricane Damage in an Atlantic White Cedar Stand Near the Mississippi/Alabama Border

Atlantic white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides; cedar) can be found growing naturally as individual trees or small stands in 5 coastal or near coastal counties in Mississippi. The majority of cedar stands in the state are located along river and stream channels in Jackson County, near the Alabama border. One of the larger stands is located along Interstate 10, near the Mississippi Welcome Center, on the Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge. This area was heavily impacted by flooding and wind damage from Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, with many trees snapped or uprooted. We conducted a study on Grand Bay NWR to determine the composition and structure of the cedar stand and to examine the level of hurricane damage on the site. The living cedars (usually less than 30 em but up to 64.8 em dbh) were restricted to sandy soils along a narrow slope, swamp, natural levee, and river edge. Tree species found on the site, in order of relative importance, include swamp titi (Cyrilla racemiflora), water tupelo (Nyssa aquatica), swamp tupelo (N. biflora), sweetbay (Magnolia virginiana), loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), red maple (Acer rubrum), cedar, bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), water oak (Quercus nigra), American holly (Rex opaca), buckwheat tree (Cliftonia monophylla), southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), and swamp bay (Persea palustris). High winds associated with Hurricane Katrina affected at least 32% of the cedar trees on the site. Eight percent were snapped, 5 % were uprooted, and 19 % were leaning. Most of the damaged cedar trees were in the larger diameter classes. Periodic burning in an adjacent pine stand occasionally affects cedar trees along the border between the two stands.


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Author(s): John W. McCoy, Bobby D. Keeland

Publication: The Ecology and Management of Atlantic white-cedar

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