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Forests of the Catskill Mountains, New York

Robert P. McIntosh
Ecological Monographs
Vol. 42, No. 2 (Spring, 1972), pp. 143-161
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/1942261
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1942261
Page Count: 19
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Forests of the Catskill Mountains, New York
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Abstract

The modern forest of the Catskill Mountain region, New York, particularly the area within the New York State Forest Preserve, was studied and compared with the presettlement forest as determined from surveyors' records. The most notable changes were a marked drop in the proportion of beech (Fagus grandiflora) and hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and increases in sugar maple (Acer saccharum), red oak (Quercus borealis), and chestnut oak (Quercus prinus). Reproduction and size-class data suggest that in old-growth hemlock stands hemlock is replaced by hardwoods and is not a part of a homogeneous climax forest in spite of its prominence in the presettlement forest. Beech does not give evidence, in the dynamics of the modern forest, of returning to its presettlement dominance. Some pioneer stands are as rich in species and as diverse as are those usually thought of as climax. The comparison of presettlement and recent forests is related to recent discussion of climax concept.

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