Hurricane Effects on a Fagus/Magnolia Forest in Southeast Texas, USA, in the Context of Long Term Forest Monitoring
Bill, Christopher Jason
Master of Arts
In 1986, Hurricane Bonnie passed over Wier Woods, a well-developed mesic forest in the Big Thicket Area of Texas, causing substantial tree mortality and opening several canopy gaps. Mortality was high during the hurricane interval, but did not vary significantly among species. Ingrowth into the 4.5 cm DBH size class was accelerated by the hurricane. Tree growth was largely unaffected by the hurricane; however, small individuals of all species experienced slightly increased growth rates after the hurricane. Mortality in the years after the storm did not decrease or increase. Even though Bonnie caused approximately three times "normal" mortality, there was only a slight decrease in basal area from 1985 to 1987. The low frequency of hurricanes and the modest effects of this hurricane suggest that hurricanes may have limited effects on the structure and dynamics of forests of the Big Thicket.
Big Thicket (Tex.); Hurricanes; Forest management