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dc.contributor.authorRodrigue, Jason Adamen_US
dc.date.accessioned2014-03-14T20:47:36Z
dc.date.available2014-03-14T20:47:36Z
dc.date.issued2001-10-18en_US
dc.identifier.otheretd-11082001-081511en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/35629
dc.description.abstractThe present state of forestry post mining land uses has prompted concern among researchers, landowners, and the public. Surface mines reclaimed to forests under the provision of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) may not achieve site productivity levels required by the law. Anecdotal evidence suggests that many pre-law reforested mined sites are growing productive forests. The purpose of this study was to characterize these forests and the mine soils in which they are growing, and use them to benchmark forest development on mined land. Using 14 mined and 8 non-mined sites in the midwestern and eastern coalfields research to address the following objectives was undertaken: (i) characterize the development, composition, and diversity of woody species on pre-SMCRA, forested surface mined land; (ii) estimate forest and site productivity on surface mined land and determine the soil and site properties most influencing forest growth; (iii) estimate projected rotation-age timber product value; (iv) quantify current carbon sequestration pools associated with the developing woody plant biomass, the forest floor, and developing soil medium; (v) compare the diversity, forest and site productivity, commercial value, and carbon capture of reclaimed mined sites to that of regional non-mined forest systems. Species richness between non-mined and mined sites was about the same within each region with 14 to 15 tree species in the canopy. Canopy richness of eastern mined sites was less than that on midwestern mined sites (12 species compared to 17 species, respectively). Species richness of the understory and woody ground layer were similar between sites planted to pines versus hardwoods. White pine (Pinus strobus) monocultures, planted on many sites in the eastern region, caused species unevenness throughout all forest strata. Midwestern mined sites and eastern sites planted to hardwoods closely approximated non-mined sites in commercial species composition. Planted species represented the majority of canopy layer dominance and abundance (82% relative dominance and 56% relative abundance). Site productivity between non-mined sites and 12 of the 14 mined sites was similar. Regression analysis identified the five most influential soil properties affecting site quality, which included soil profile base saturation, total coarse fragments, total available water, C horizon total porosity, and soil profile electrical conductivity. These five properties explained 52 % of the variation in tree growth. Forest productivity of these mined sites was equal to or greater than that of non-mined forests, ranging between 3.3 m3ha-1yr-1 and 12.1 m3ha-1yr-1. Management activities such as planting pine and valuable hardwood species increased the stumpage value of forests on reclaimed mine sites. Rotation-age stumpage values on mined study sites ranged between $3,064 ha-1 and $19,528 ha-1 and were commonly greater than stumpage values on non-mined reference sites. After 20 to 55 years, total site carbon levels on mined study sites averaged 217 Mg ha-1, while total carbon amounts on natural sites averaged 285 Mg ha-1. The amounts of carbon captured within the plant biomass and litter layer were the same on mined and natural sites. However, the soil carbon content of mined sites averaged 39 % lower than natural soils. The amount of carbon captured across mined sites was largely a function of forest stand age. Pre-SMCRA forests growing on mined sites with productivity levels similar to non-mined sites are capable of developing forest attributes comparable to or greater than those found on non-mined land within a period of 60 years, the length of a commercial hardwood rotation. These mature forests can serve as benchmarks for forest development on mined lands being reclaimed under current state and federal regulations.en_US
dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.relation.haspartThesis.pdfen_US
dc.rightsI hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to Virginia Tech or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report.en_US
dc.subjectCarbon Captureen_US
dc.subjectSite Qualityen_US
dc.subjectCommercial Valueen_US
dc.subjectSurface Mined Land Reclamationen_US
dc.subjectSpecies Richness and Evennessen_US
dc.subjectStrip Mine Reforestationen_US
dc.titleWoody Species Diversity, Forest and Site Productivity, Stumpage Value, and Carbon Sequestration of Forests on Mined Lands Reclaimed Prior to the Passage of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977en_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
dc.contributor.departmentForestryen_US
dc.description.degreeMaster of Scienceen_US
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Scienceen_US
thesis.degree.levelmastersen_US
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineForestryen_US
dc.contributor.committeechairBurger, James A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberOderwald, Richard G.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberZedaker, Shepard M.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberZipper, Carl E.en_US
dc.identifier.sourceurlhttp://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-11082001-081511/en_US
dc.date.sdate2001-11-08en_US
dc.date.rdate2002-11-26
dc.date.adate2001-11-26en_US


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