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American Chestnut Restoration in Eastern Hemlock-Dominated Forests of Southeast Ohio

2012, Master of Science (MS), Ohio University, Environmental Studies (Arts and Sciences).
Restoration of American chestnut (Castanea dentata (Marsh.) Borkh.) is currently underway in eastern North American forests. American chestnut and eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carr.) trees historically co-occurred in these forests. Today, hemlock-dominated forests are in decline due to hemlock wooly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand) infestation, and as such, may serve as appropriate habitat for chestnut reestablishment. To investigate this notion, I evaluated the performance of American chestnut seedlings planted under healthy eastern hemlock-dominated canopies. Two process-oriented greenhouse experiments were also performed to study the response of American chestnut to drought stress and to test the competitive performance of chestnut against red maple (Acer rubrum (L.)), the most abundant hardwood found in the understory of regional hemlock-dominated forests. After two growing seasons, mean chestnut seedling survival in the field experiment was 6.6%. Seedling survival was significantly higher among trees that lacked a protective tree tube, suggesting low light levels played a major role in seedling mortality. In the drought stress experiment, American chestnut exhibited significantly higher mortality under a severe drought treatment compared to the control group. The moderate stress treatment also responded poorly to drought; however, results did not differ significantly with the control group. In the competition experiment, American chestnut grew significantly taller than red maple. The results of this study caution against the underplanting of bare-root chestnut seedlings in low light conditions or where moisture may be limiting to establishing seedlings.
Brian McCarthy, PhD (Advisor)
James Dyer, PhD (Advisor)
Jared DeForest, PhD (Committee Member)
51 p.

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Daniel, N. (2012). American Chestnut Restoration in Eastern Hemlock-Dominated Forests of Southeast Ohio. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Daniel, Nathan. "American Chestnut Restoration in Eastern Hemlock-Dominated Forests of Southeast Ohio." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio University, 2012. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 04 Aug 2015.

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Daniel, Nathan "American Chestnut Restoration in Eastern Hemlock-Dominated Forests of Southeast Ohio." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio University, 2012. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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