Old-growth forests are declining throughout eastern North America, especially toward the northern limit of the deciduous formation where gently undulating topography and milder climate especially encourage human activity. Remnants exist, but do they retain the defining characteristics of the original vegetation? The objective was tomarshal information required to answer this question, and toward this objective we assessed vegetation in a small 1 ha remnant of maple-beech forest with no history of past logging and compared it to well known and larger old-growth areas in the region. We used Curtis. s (1959) Point Quarter method to provide full quantitative data for trees, saplings, shrub and herbs. Size class distribution of trees and successional status of the stand were assessed. As a general conclusion, we found that tree species richness of our remnant was higher than most recognized large old-growth forests and, while the herbaceous understorey was poorer in species than larger tracts, it exhibited three provincially rare species. Furthermore, the successional status and structural complexity of the remnant were typical of old-growth forests. In overall comparative terms, the remnant was found not be an outlier when ordinated with larger forests. It thus is safe to conclude that this remnant constitutes an ecological benchmark well worth protection, despite its limited size.
Curtis, J.T. 1959. The Vegetation of Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin Press. Madison, Wisconsin.
Dreimanis, A., C.G. Winder, and R.A. Altonen. 1998. London, Ontario: Geology. Geomorphology. Geodata. In: P.F. Karrow and O.L. White (eds), Urban Geology of Canadian Cities. Geological Association of Canada Special Paper 42. pp. 237-260.
Fernald, M.L. 1950. Gray's Manual of Botany. D. Van Nostrand Company, New York.
Honnay, O., P. Endels, H. Vereecken, and M. Hermy. 1999. The role of patch area and habitat diversity in explaining native plant species richness in disturbed suburban forest patches in Northern Belgium. Biodiversity Research 5:129-141.
'The role of patch area and habitat diversity in explaining native plant species richness in disturbed suburban forest patches in Northern Belgium' () 5Biodiversity Research: 129-141.
The role of patch area and habitat diversity in explaining native plant species richness in disturbed suburban forest patches in Northern BelgiumBiodiversity Research5129141)| false
Tyrrell, L.E., G.L. Nowacki, T.R. Crow, D.S. Buckley, E.A. Navertz, J.N. Niese, J.L. Rollinger, and J.C. Zasada. 1998. Information about old growth for selected forest type groups in the eastern United States. USDA Forest Service Tech. Rep. NC-197.
Wells, R.W, K.P. Lertzman and S.C. Saunders. 1998. Old-growth definitions for the forests of British Columbia, Canada. Nat. Areas J. 18:279-292.
'Old-growth definitions for the forests of British Columbia, Canada' () 18Nat. Areas J.: 279-292.
Old-growth definitions for the forests of British Columbia, CanadaNat. Areas J.18279292)| false