MACMILLAN, PAUL C.* AND LINDSAY M. BETZ. Department of Biology, Hanover College, Hanover, IN 47243. - Twenty-five years of forest succession in southeastern Indiana.
In April 1974, a major tornado traveled across Jefferson County in
southeastern Indiana and caused extensive damage to the Happy Valley
forest adjacent to Hanover College. Nearly all canopy trees were
destroyed, thus creating a natural experiment in forest succession.
The pre-tornado forest was an Acer saccharum-Aesculus glabra
community with a stem density of 512 trees/ha. In the fall of 1974,
the forest was surveyed on three transects across the valley; the
northern and central transects were in the most damaged area, the
southern transect was in the less-damaged area. Following the
tornado, the most common trees were Acer saccharum, Quercus
sp., and Fraxinus americana. The forest was resurveyed along
the same transects 7, 15, 20, and 25 years after the tornado. Changes
in stem density and basal area will be reported.
Key words: Acer saccharum, hardwood forest, Indiana, succession