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Natural Hazards: Forest Ecosystems



Krauss, K.W., and Duberstein, J.A., 2010, Sapflow and water use of freshwater wetland trees exposed to saltwater incursion in a tidally influenced South Carolina watershed: Canadian Journal of Forest Research, v. 40, n. 3, p. 525-535,

Sea-level rise and anthropogenic activity promote salinity incursion into many tidal freshwater forested wetlands. Interestingly, individual trees can persist for decades after salt impact. To understand why, we documented sapflow, reduction in sapflow with sapwood depth, and water use of baldcypress (Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich.) trees undergoing exposure to salinity.


Krauss, K.W., Doyle, T.W., Doyle, T.J., Swarzenski, C.M., From, A.S., Day, R.H., and Conner, W.H., 2009, Water level observations in mangrove swamps during two hurricanes in Florida: Wetlands, v. 29, n. 1, p. 142-149,

Little is known about the effectiveness of mangroves in suppressing water level heights during landfall of tropical storms and hurricanes. Recent hurricane strikes along the Gulf Coast of the United States have impacted wetland integrity in some areas and hastened the need to understand how and to what degree coastal forested wetlands confer protection by reducing the height of peak water level.


Middleton, B.A., 2009, Effects of Hurricane Katrina on the forest structure of Taxodium distichum swamps of the Gulf Coast, USA: Wetlands, v. 29, n. 1, p. 80-87,

Hurricane Katrina pushed mixed Taxodium distichum forests toward a dominance of Taxodium distichum (baldcypress) and Nyssa aquatica (water tupelo) because these species had lower levels of susceptibility to wind damage than other woody species. This study documents the volume of dead versus live material of woody trees and shrubs of T. distichum swamps following Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and Louisiana.


Drewa, P.B., Platt, W.J., Kwit, C., and Doyle, T.W., 2008, Stand structure and dynamics of sand pine differ between the Florida panhandle and peninsula: Plant Ecology, v. 196, n. 1, p. 15-25, 10.1007/s11258-007-9333-6

Size and age structures of stand populations of numerous tree species exhibit uneven or reverse J-distributions that can persist after non-catastrophic disturbance, especially windstorms. Among disjunct populations of conspecific trees, alternative distributions are also possible and may be attributed to more localized variation in disturbance. Regional differences in structure and demography among disjunct populations of sand pine (Pinus clausa (Chapm. ex Engelm.) Vasey ex Sarg.) in the Florida panhandle and peninsula may result from variation in hurricane regimes associated with each of these populations.


Conner, W.H., Krauss, K.W., and Doyle, T.W., 2007, Ecology of tidal freshwater forests in coastal deltaic Louisiana and northeastern South Carolina, IN, Conner, W.H., Doyle, T.W., and Krauss, K.W., eds., Ecology of Tidal Freshwater Forested Wetlands of the Southeastern United States: Springer, The Netherlands, p. 223-253,

Tidal freshwater swamps in the southeastern United States are subjected to tidal hydroperiods ranging in amplitude from microtidal to mesotidal, both having different susceptibilities to anthropogenic change. Small alterations in flood patterns, for example, can switch historically microtidal swamps to permanently flooded forests, scrub-shrub stands, marsh, or open water but are less likely to convert mesotidal swamps. Changes to hydrological patterns tend to be more noticeable in Louisiana than do those in South Carolina.


Krauss, K.W., Doyle, T.W., Twilley, R.R., Smith, T.J. III, Whelan, K.R.T., and Sullivan, J.K., 2005, Woody debris in the mangrove forests of south Florida: Biotropica, v. 37, n. 1, p. 9-15,

Woody debris is abundant in hurricane-impacted forests. With a major hurricane affecting South Florida mangroves approximately every 20 years, carbon storage and nutrient retention may be influenced greatly by woody debris dynamics. In addition, woody debris can influence seedling regeneration in mangrove swamps by trapping propagules and enhancing seedling growth potential. Here, we report on line-intercept woody debris surveys conducted in mangrove wetlands of South Florida 9 to 10 years after the passage of Hurricane Andrew.

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