VTechWorks staff will be away for the Thanksgiving holiday starting Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 25, through Sunday Nov. 29, and will not be replying to requests during this time. Thank you for your patience.

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorMcManamay, Rachel Harrisen_US
dc.date.accessioned2014-03-14T21:36:29Z
dc.date.available2014-03-14T21:36:29Z
dc.date.issued2009-05-06en_US
dc.identifier.otheretd-05202009-144133en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/42759
dc.description.abstractOver the past several decades, naturally occurring populations of Fraser fir (Abies fraseri) in the Black Mountains of North Carolina have been heavily impacted by both direct and indirect anthropogenic disturbances, including logging and logging- associated fires, and high mortality rates due to the introduction of the exotic insect, balsam woolly adelgid (BWA) (Adelges piceae). The decline in Fraser fir is particularly concern because it serves as a foundation species within the spruce-fir forests of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Our objectives for this research were to 1) use current stand structure to infer whether Fraser fir trees are experiencing a cycle of regeneration-mortality that will lead to eventual decline of the population, 2) determine what role, if any, the site-specific geographic variables of slope, elevation, aspect, and land use history have on stand structure, mortality, and BWA infestation level, and 3) analyze repeat aerial photography to examine broad trends of spruce-fir forest cover change caused by anthropogenic disturbance and the BWA. In order to understand stand structure, mortality, and infestation levels, we conducted detailed field surveys of Fraser fir trees throughout the Black Mountains using 44, fixed-radius circular sampling plots. These plots were placed throughout a series of aspects, elevations, and disturbance types in order to understand geographic variability among these variables. An analysis of 4 repeat aerial photographs and corroborating ground photographs revealed broad spatio-temporal trends of spruce-fir regeneration and mortality from 1954 to 2006. Our results indicate that Fraser fir stands at higher elevations are currently in a state of recovery; whereas stands at lower elevations appear to be more susceptible to BWA-induced mortality. Changes in forest cover area from 1954 to 2006 were influenced greatly by direct and indirect anthropogenic disturbance. Our results call attention to the significant impact that direct and indirect anthropogenic disturbance has had on Fraser fir stand structure, but also provide evidence for the ability of an imperiled ecosystem to recover from high rates of insect caused mortality.en_US
dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.relation.haspartThesis_RHMcManamay_6_03_09.pdfen_US
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.rights.urihttp://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/en
dc.subjectland use historyen_US
dc.subjectrepeat aerial photographyen_US
dc.subjectanthropogenic disturbanceen_US
dc.subjectsouthern Appalachian spruce-fir foresten_US
dc.subjectbalsam woolly adelgiden_US
dc.subjectFraser firen_US
dc.titleAssessing the Impacts of Balsam Woolly Adelgid (Adelges Piceae Ratz.) and Anthropogenic Disturbance on the Stand Structure and Mortality of Fraser Fir (Abies Fraseri (Pursh) Poir.) in the Black Mountains, North Carolinaen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
dc.contributor.departmentGeographyen_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.disciplineGeographyen_US
dc.contributor.committeechairResler, Lynn M.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberCampbell, James B. Jr.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberCopenheaver, Carolyn A.en_US
dc.identifier.sourceurlhttp://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-05202009-144133/en_US
dc.date.sdate2009-05-20en_US
dc.date.rdate2009-06-04
dc.date.adate2009-06-04en_US


Files in this item

Thumbnail

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record