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The Cross Timbers: Botany, History, and Current Issues

Shirakura, Fumiko [1], Sasaki, Kiyoshi [1], Arévalo, José Ramón [2], Palmer, Michael W. [1].

Tornado damage of a Quercus stellata - Quercus marilandica forest, Oklahoma, USA.

Cross timber forests are embedded in a tall grass prairie matrix in patches and they increase or decrease their size depending on disturbance and environmental conditions, with climate being the most important factor determining the position of the forest-prairie boundary. We examined the immediate effects of a severe May 8, 2003 tornado on Quercus marilandica and Q. stellata in a crosstimbers forest in Oklahoma, USA. We established a permanent plot following the tornado event and tagged all trees. We examined whether (i) damage and mortality patterns differ between species and (ii) tree size affects damage and mortality patterns in each species. We found that a substantially greater proportion of Q. marilandica was damaged or killed than Q. stellata.  Stem diameter was positively related to the probability of damage for both species.  However, only Quercus stellata had a significant positive relationship between diameter and mortality. This is the first study to examine tornado effects in crosstimbers forests and provides a first step in the understanding the role of disturbance in the dynamics of crosstimbers.

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1 - Oklahoma State University, Department of Botany, College of Arts and Sciences, 104 Life Sciences East, Stillwater, Oklahoma, 74078, USA
2 - Universidad de La Laguna, Departamento de Ecología, Facultad de Biología, La Laguna, Tenerife, 38206, Spain

crosstimbers forests

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: 23-8
Location: Salon J - Austin Grand Ballroom/Hilton
Date: Tuesday, August 16th, 2005
Time: 11:30 AM
Abstract ID:174

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