Bottomland Forests in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley associated with the endangered Lindera melissifolia
Forest canopy and subcanopy data were collected from and compared among
five disjunct bottomland hardwood forests in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley, each with
known occurrence of a population of the federally endangered shrub Lindera melissifolia. All
study sites are cut-over forests, underlain by hydric soils, and have a seasonal high water table.
Canopy and subcanopy species are similar among sites, but species differ in relative
importance, and flood tolerant tree species exceed that of flood intolerant species. Distribution
of L. melissifolia colonies within each study site was not associated with mean tree density or
d.b.h. Forest composition and structure at each study site reflect hydrologic regime,
topography, historical disturbance, and an absence of recent disturbance. Results of this study
provide a quantitative description of bottomland forests that currently sustain L. melissifolia
populations. This information may be utilized for development of forest management plans
aimed at ensuring continued sustainability of existing L. melissifolia populations and assessing
other bottomland hardwood forests for potential reintroduction of this endangered species.
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