Skip to main content

The response of herbaceous-layer vegetation to anthropogenic disturbance in intermittent stream bottomland forests of southern Indiana, USA

Abstract

Between 1993 and 1995 we sampled herbaceous layer vegetation on 84 plots in Platanus/Asarum Wet-Mesic Bottomland forests to determine how these forests have responded to human disturbance. Four different disturbance types were sampled (abandoned agricultural are as, clearcuts, group-selection openings, and single-tree selection openings), and uncut 80–100 year-old reference stands were sampled for comparison. Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA), distance analyses (chord distance and normalized Euclidean distance) and similarity analysis (Bray-Curtis similarity coefficient) suggest that agricultural use has shifted herbaceous-layer vegetation composition away from that typical of the reference forests, but that clearcutting, group-selection harvest, and single-tree selection harvest have not greatly shifted herbaceous composition. This shift in vegetation on abandoned agricultural land resulted from a loss of indicator species, such as Cardamine concatenata (Michx.) Sw., Stellaria pubera Michx., and Laportea canadensis (L.) Weddell and an influx of disturbance, exotic, and nonforest species (e.g., Lycopodium complanatum L., Lonicera japonica Thunb. and Senecio aureus L.). However, only two species found in reference stands, Erigenia bulbosa (Michx.) Nutt. and Sphenopholis obtusata (Michx.) Scribn., were missing from clearcuts, group-selection openings, and single-tree selection openings. The species richness values of abandoned agriculture, clearcut, and group-selection plots were generally greater than those of single-tree selection and reference plots. Abandoned agricultural areas had much greater total species richness because of the influx of dry-site, exotic, disturbance, and non-forest species.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Abrams, M. D. & Scott, M. L. 1989. Disturbance-mediated accelerated succession in two Michigan forest types. Forest Sci. 35: 42–49.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Allen, R. B. & Peet, R. K. 1990. Gradient analysis of the Sangre de Cristo Range, Colorado. Can. J. Forest Res. 68: 193–201.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Barnes, B. V, Pregitzer, K. S., Spies, T. A. & Spooner, V. H. 1982. Ecological forest site classification. J. Forestry 80: 493–498.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Beals, E. W. 1984. Bray-Curtis ordination: An effective strategy for the analysis of multivariate ecological data sets. Adv. Ecol. Res. 14: 1–55.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Britton, N. L. & Brown, B. 1970. An illustrated flora of the northern United States and Canada, Vol. 1- 3. Dover Publications, Inc., New York.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Conde, L. F., Swindel, B. F. & Smith, J. E. 1983. Plant species cover, frequency, and biomass: Early responses to clearcutting, burning, windrowing, disking, and bedding in Pinus elliottii flatwoods. Forest Ecol. Manag. 6: 319–331.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Crow, T. R., Mroz, G. D. & Gale, M. R. 1991. Regrowth and nutrient accumulations following whole-tree harvesting of a maple-oak forest. Can. J. Forest Res. 21: 1305–1315.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Duffy, D. C. & Meier, A. J. 1992. Do Appalachian herbaceous understories ever recover from clearcutting? Cons. Biol. 6: 196–201.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Elliot, K. J. & Loftis, D. L. 1993. Vegetation after logging in the southern Appalachians. Cons. Biol. 7: 220–221.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Elliot, K. J., Vose, J. M., Swank, W. T. & Bolstad, P. V. 1999. Long-term patterns in vegetation-site relationships in a southern Appalachian forest. J. Torrey Bot. 126: 320–334.

    Google Scholar 

  11. George, D. W. & Fischer, B. C. 1991. The occurrence of oak reproduction after clearcut harvest on the Hoosier National Forest. Northern J. Appl. Forestry 8: 144–146.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Gilliam, F. S., Turrill, N. L. & Adams, M. B. 1995. Herbaceouslayer and overstory species in clearcut and mature central Appalachian hardwood forests. Ecol. Appl. 5: 947–955.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Glitzenstein, J. S., Canham, C. D., McDonnell, M. J. & Streng, D. R. 1990. Effects of environment and land-use history on upland forests of The Cary Arboretum, Hudson Valley, New York. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 117: 106–122.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Goldblum, D. & Beatty, S. W. 1999. Influence of an old field/forest edge on a northeastern United States deciduous forest understory community. J. Torrey Bot. Soc. 126: 335–343.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Goldsmith, R. B., Harrison, C. M. & Morton, A. J. 1986. Description and analysis of vegetation. Pp. 437–524. In: Moore, P. D. & Chapman, S. B. (eds), Methods in plant ecology. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Hamburg, S. P. 1984. Effects of forest growth on soil nitrogen and organic matter pools following release from subsistence agriculture. Pp. 145–158. In. Stone, E. L. (ed.), Forest soils and treatment impacts, Proceedings of the Sixth North American Forest Soils Conference, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, June 1983.

  17. Hill, M. O. 1979. DECORANA-A FORTAN program for detrended correspondence analysis and reciprocal averaging. Cornell Ecology Series, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Hix, D. M. 1988. Multifactor classification and analysis of upland hardwood forest ecosystems of the Kickapoo River watershed, southwestern Wisconsin. Can. J. Forest Res. 18: 1405–1415.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Homoya, M. A., Abrwel, D. B., Aldrich, J. R. & Post, T. R. 1984. The natural regions of Indiana. Proc. Indiana Acad. Sci. 94: 245–268.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Horn, J. C. 1980. Short-term changes in vegetation after clearcutting in the southern Appalachians. Castanea 45: 88–96.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Indiana Department of Natural Resources 1984. Indiana forest soils handbook. Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry.

  22. Jenkins, M. A. 1998. The response of plant communities to human disturbance in southern Indiana forests. Ph. D. Dissertation, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 280 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Jenkins, M. A & Parker, G. R. 1998. Composition and diversity of woody vegetation in silvicultural openings of southern Indiana forests. Forest Ecol. Manag. 109: 57–74.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Jenkins, M. A. & Parker, G. R. 1999. Composition and diversity of ground-layer vegetation in silvicultural openings of southern Indiana forests. Am. Midland Nat. 142: 1–16.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Jenkins, M. A. & Parker, G. R. 2000. Changes in the forest landscape of the Charles C. Deam Wilderness, southern Indiana: 1939-1990. Natural Areas J. 20: 46–55

    Google Scholar 

  26. Johnson, A. S., Ford, W. M. & Hale, P. E. 1993. The effects of clearcutting on herbaceous understories are still not fully known. Cons. Biol. 7: 433–435.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Kalisz, P. J. 1986. Soil properties of steep Appalachian old fields. Ecology 67: 1011–1023.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Kartesz, J. T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland, Vols 1 and 2. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Kent M. & Coker, P. 1992. Vegetation description and analysis: a practical approach. John Wiley and Sons, New York, 384 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Kovach, W. L. 1993. MVSP -a multivariate statistical package for IBM PC's, ver. 2.1. Kovach Computing Services, Pentraeth, Wales, UK.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Ludwig, J. A. & Reynolds, J. F. 1988. Statistical ecology. John Wiley and Sons, New York, 329 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  32. McCune, B. & Mefford, M. J. 1995. PC-ORD: multivariate analysis of ecological data, version 2.0. MjM Software Design, Gleneden Beach, Oregon, USA.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Minchin, P. R. 1987. An evaluation of the relative robustness of techniques for ecological ordination. Vegetatio 69: 89–107.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Motzkin, G., Foster, D. Allen, A., Harrod, J. & Boone, R. 1996. Controlling site to evaluate history: vegetation patterns of a New England sand plain. Ecol. Monog. 66: 345–365.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Myster, R. W. & Pickett, S. T. A. 1990. Initial conditions, history, and successional pathways in ten contrasting old fields. Am. Midland Nat. 124: 231–238.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Myster, R. W. & Pickett, S. T. A. 1992. Dynamics of associations between plants in ten old fields during 31 years of succession. J. Ecol. 80: 291–302.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Myster, R. W. & Pickett, S. T. A. 1994. A comparison of rate of succession over 18 yr in 10 contrasting old fields. Ecology 75: 387–392.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Niering, W. A. 1953. The past and present vegetation of High Point State Park, New Jersey. Ecol. Monog. 23: 127–148.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Nowacki, G. J. & Abrams, M. D. 1992. Community and edaphic analysis of mixed oak forests the ridge and valley province of central Pennsylvania. Can. J. Forest Res. 22: 790–800.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Oliver, C. D. & Larson, B. C. 1996. Forest stand dynamics, update edition. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 520 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  41. Parker, G. R. & Merritt, C. 1994. The central region. Pp. 129–172 In: Barren, J.W. (ed.), Regional silviculture of the United States. John Wiley and Sons, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  42. Peet, R. K., Knox, R. G., Case, J. S. & Allen, R. B. 1988. Putting things in order: the advantanges of detrended correspondence analysis. Am. Nat. 131: 924–934.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Peroni, P. A. 1994. Invasion of red maple (Acer rubrum L.) during old field succession in the North Carolina Piedmont: Age structure of red maple in young pine stands. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 121: 357–359.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Pickett, S. T. A. & White, P. S. 1985. Patch dynamics: a synthesis. Pp. 31–384. In: Pickett, S. T. A. & White, P. S. (eds), The ecology of natural disturbance and patch dynamics. Academic Press, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  45. Reiners, W. A. 1992. Twenty years of ecosystem reorganization following experimental deforestation and regrowth suppression. Ecol. Monog. 62: 503–523.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Roberts, M. R. & Gilliam, F. S. 1995. Patterns and mechanisms of plant diversity in forested ecosystems: implications for forest management. Ecol. Appl. 5: 969–977

    Google Scholar 

  47. Shannon, C. E. & Weiner, W. 1963. The mathematical theory of communication. University of Illinois Press, Urbana, IL.

    Google Scholar 

  48. Sieber, E. & Munson, C. A. 1994. Looking at history, Indiana's Hoosier National Forest Region, 1600 to 1950. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN, 131 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  49. Skvortsova, Y. E., Baranova, O. Y. & Numerov, G. B. 1987. Change in the microstructure of soils during overgrowth of forests on plowland. Soviet Soil Sci. 19: 23–31.

    Google Scholar 

  50. Spetich, M. A. 1995. Characteristics and spatial pattern of oldgrowth forests in the mid-west Ph. D. Dissertation, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, 275 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Spies, T. A. & Barnes, B. V. 1985. A multifactor classification of the northern hardwood and conifer ecosystems of the Sylvania Recreation Area, Upper Peninsula, Michigan. Can. J. Forest Res. 15: 949–960.

    Google Scholar 

  52. ter Braak, C. J. F. 1987. CANOCO-a FORTRAN program for canonical community ordination Microcomputer Power, Ithaca, New York, USA.

  53. Van Kley, J. E., Parker, G. R., Franzmeier, D. P. & Randolph, J. C. 1994. Field guide: ecological classification of the Hoosier National Forest and surrounding areas of Indiana. United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Hoosier National Forest.

  54. Wartenberg, D., Ferson, S. & Rohlf, F. J. 1987. Putting things in order: a critique of detrended correspondence analysis. Am. Nat. 129: 434–448.

    Google Scholar 

  55. Whitney, G. G. & Foster, D. R. 1996. Overstory composition and age as determinants of the understory flora of woods of central New England. J. Ecol. 76: 867–876.

    Google Scholar 

  56. Whittaker, R. H. 1956. Vegetation of the Great Smoky Mountains. Ecol. Monog. 25: 1–80.

    Google Scholar 

  57. Zar, J. H. Biostatistical analysis, third edition. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 662 pp.

Download references

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Jenkins, M.A., Parker, G.R. The response of herbaceous-layer vegetation to anthropogenic disturbance in intermittent stream bottomland forests of southern Indiana, USA. Plant Ecology 151, 223–237 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1026575219518

Download citation

  • Deciduous hardwood forest
  • Detrended correspondence analysis
  • Disturbance
  • Forest management
  • Herbaceous-layer vegetation
  • Old fields
  • Species composition
  • Species richness