Thesis Title

Initial Revegetation Of Small But Severely Disturbed Areas In The Oak-Hickory Forest Of Southwest Missouri

Date of Graduation

Fall 1978


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Paul Redfearn


Five landing decks which were disturbed by bulldozers during logging operations were observed in order to study the initial stages of plant community development in an Oak-Hickory forest. The soil was disarranged to a ten centimeter depth, destroying roots and above ground vegetation. The areas differed primarily in one year increments since disturbance, through five years. Community development was observed, as characterized by 1) increasing number of species, 2) increasing ratio of woody species to total species, 3) increasing coverage, 4) increasing species diversity and 5) change in life forms. A possible dominant species sequence began with Gnaphalium obtusifolium, which gave way to Andropogon virginicus, that in turn gave way to a community that included several dominants: A. virginicus and Vaccinium vacillans. Quercus velutina was a late invader. A possible explanation of the revegetation process included relay floristics and intitial floristic composition. The role of random seed dispersal in the revegetation process is indicated.

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© James Theodore Sheldon