A Comparison of Vegetation Within and Outside Riparian Areas Bordering Ephemeral Streams in the Ouachita MountainsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Abstract - Ephemeral streams frequently occur in shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata Mill.) hardwood stands that grow on the upper and mid-slopes of the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas. Stream management zones are established around these ephemeral streams in the Ouachita National Forest to minimize impacts of adjacent forest management activities. To better understand the vegetation communities in these riparian areas, we quantified composition, density and diversity of the woody vegetation within these riparian areas and upland areas outside these zones. Overstory density outside riparian areas was significantly greater than inside (p < 0.001) but seedling density was significantly higher inside than outside the riparian area (p = 0.07). The overstory was more diverse within the riparian areas than outside. However, midstory, sapling, nor seedling diversity significantly differed between the two areas. Pines dominated the overstory in riparian and nonriparian areas alike. The midstory, sapling, and seedling size classes contained a greater species richness and were not dominated by any one single species as was the overstory.
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