Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

The Vegetation of West Virginia Grass Bald Communities

James S. Rentch and Ronald H. Fortney
Castanea
Vol. 62, No. 3 (Sep., 1997), pp. 147-160
Published by: Allen Press on behalf of the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4033964
Page Count: 14
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($36.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Vegetation of West Virginia Grass Bald Communities
Preview not available

Abstract

Site conditions and vegetation of five high elevation areas in West Virginia historically considered grass balds were examined. All occurred on rounded peaks or ridges, with south or southwest facing slopes, above 1150 m, in the transition zone between red spruce (Picea rubens) and northern hardwood forests. Mountain oat grass (Danthonia compressa) was the dominant herb, although other grasses were abundant. At two sites, forbs and ferns were codominant. Blueberries (Vaccinium spp.) were dominant in the shrub strata at all sites. Comparison of the vegetation of West Virginia sites to five grass balds studied by Gilbert (1954) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) revealed the following differences: (1) balds of the two regions shared some dominants, but West Virginia balds were more diverse in the herbaceous layer, with lower levels of dominance. (2) West Virginia balds also had a more highly developed shrub strata. Recent studies of Gilbert's GSMNP sites in 1958, 1964, and 1979 have revealed a significant shrub and tree invasion, and a decrease in dominance of grasses. These changes suggest that Gilbert's GSMNP balds are becoming more similar to the West Virginia sites. All of these grass balds are successional communities, although succession on West Virginia balds is presently confined to shrub species.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
147
    147
  • Thumbnail: Page 
148
    148
  • Thumbnail: Page 
149
    149
  • Thumbnail: Page 
150
    150
  • Thumbnail: Page 
151
    151
  • Thumbnail: Page 
152
    152
  • Thumbnail: Page 
153
    153
  • Thumbnail: Page 
154
    154
  • Thumbnail: Page 
155
    155
  • Thumbnail: Page 
156
    156
  • Thumbnail: Page 
157
    157
  • Thumbnail: Page 
158
    158
  • Thumbnail: Page 
159
    159
  • Thumbnail: Page 
160
    160