Home Publications Tree Improvement and Genetics Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference 29th Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference (2007) Effects of the Decline of the American Chestnut and Harvesting on Genetic Diversity of Northern Red Oak in Western North Carolina

Effects of the Decline of the American Chestnut and Harvesting on Genetic Diversity of Northern Red Oak in Western North Carolina

This study used nine microsatellite markers to determine if NRO populations in western North Carolina have experienced a change in genetic diversity following two different ecosystem changes; 1) after harvesting, and 2) after the disappearance of the American chestnut (Castanea dentata L.) overstory from the southern Appalachian forests. Cambial samples were collected from approximately 250 northern red oak individuals located in four sites that have been harvested and four sites that have not been harvested since the demise of the American chestnut in the Nantahala National Forest. All of the sites used in this study were historically American chestnut dominated, and each harvested site was located within a mile of an unharvested site of similar forest type. Sampled NRO trees include those that were established when American chestnut was still the dominant overstory species, individuals that have established since the loss of the American chestnut, and individuals established pre- and postharvest of a stand. The hypotheses tested in this study were; 1) genetic diversity of prechestnut blight northern red oak trees does not differ from that of trees established after the decline of the chestnut; 2) genetic diversity of northern red oak stands before and after harvesting does not differ.


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Author(s): Laura E. DeWald, S. Q. Grant

Publication: Tree Improvement and Genetics - Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference - 2007

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