• A survey of northern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis) limestone woodlands at Point au Roche State Park, New York

      Shearman, Timothy; Adams, Kenneth (Scientia Discipulorum: SUNY Plattsburgh, 2011)
      Limestone woodlands are an ecological community type identified by the New York Natural Heritage Program. These communities are characterized by shallow soil over limestone bedrock. Two northern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis) limestone woodland stands were surveyed in Point au Roche State Park (Clinton County), one at Middle Point and the other at Ram's Head. Both stands were dominated by white-cedar and both stands were essentially even-aged. The Ram's Head stand was determined to be the older of the two stands. The structure of these stands indicates that they were probably regenerated by a clearcut. Northern white-cedar survivorship was determined for the Middle Point stand based on snag density per diameter at base height (dbh) class. The northern white-cedars showed a "type II" survivorship curve, with relatively constant mortality rates between 26 and 79 years of age. Although northern white-cedar is a commercially valuable species, the white-cedar limestone woodlands at Point au Roche State Park should be protected for their ecological value.
    • Assessment of a Forest Stand for Old-Growth Status at Point au Roche State Park, Clinton County, New York

      Soranno, Matthew; Adams, Kenneth (Scientia Discipulorum: SUNY Plattsburgh, 2009)
      Potential old-growth stands continue to be located and quantified. Although there is no generally-accepted definition of oldgrowth, there is a set of attributes that describe old-growth forests. The Hemlock-northern hardwood stand at Point au Roche State Park in Clinton County, New York has been proposed for old-growth classification. The composition and structure of this stand were sampled between September and November, 2008. Attributes of this stand were compared with old-growth conifernorthern hardwoods. The list of attributes included species composition of overstory and understory, maximum tree ages, stand structure, standing dead trees (snags) and fallen trees (logs). The Hemlock-northern hardwood stand in this study compared favorably with old-growth conifer-northern hardwood stands for all measured attributes except the number and size of logs on the forest floor. Although abundance of large logs is an important component of old-growth stands, the Hemlock-northern hardwood stand at Point au Roche State Park could be described as old-growth.
    • Effects of an Ice Storm on Fuel Loadings and Potential Fire Behavior in a Pine Barren of Northeastern New York

      Sargis, Gregg; Adams, Kenneth (Scientia Discipulorum: SUNY Plattsburgh, 2004)
      Ecological effects of natural disturbances depend on the disturbance type, frequency, intensity and spatial scale. Of the major natural disturbances in the Northeast, ice storms are more frequent than fires or wind storms. Affecting nearly ten million hectares, the ice storm of January, 1998 was probably the most intense and widespread natural disturbance in the Northeast during the 20th Century. Some of the areas heavily impacted by this ice storm were sandstone pavement pine barrens of northeastern New York, among the rarest ecological communities in New York State. Jack pine (Pinus banksiana) is the dominant tree species in the barrens. Ice storm damage to pine trees resulted in estimates of woody debris averaging 18 tons/ac (40 tonnes/ha) at the eight sites sampled in this study. These unusually high fuel loadings increase the probability for catastrophic wildfire. Predictions of fire behavior and fire intensity in these ice storm-damaged stands were made using the TSTMDL subsystem of BEHAVE. Estimates of fire behavior in these ice storm-damaged stands include flame lengths between 10 and 17 ft (3 and 5 m) and fireline intensities between 900 and 2600 Btu/ft/sec (3175 and 9400 kW/m). Fires of these intensities would be very difficult to suppress and would cause adverse ecological effects, including destruction of seeds contained in the slash. Further research is necessary to customize fuel models used to predict fire behavior in northeastern forests affected by disturbances.
    • Habitat Usage by Birds at the Lake Alice Wildlife Management Area Chazy, New York

      Juneau, Kevyn; Adams, Kenneth (Scientia Discipulorum: SUNY Plattsburgh, 2006)
      The Lake Alice Wildlife Management Area (LAWMA) in northern Clinton County, New York is a popular location for birding enthusiasts. However, this study is the first comprehensive survey of bird species within major habitat types at LAWMA in more than 20 years. Birds were identified by sight and sound in four habitats at LAWMA between June 2 and July 22, 2003. Relative abundance and diversity were calculated for bird species in the forest habitat, and the forest-field, forestwetland and wetland-field ecotones. Thirty-one residential species were observed during the summer, with between 14 and 21 species per habitat type. The highest diversity indices were in the forest ecotones. Recommendations were made for habitat management projects to enhance bird species richness at LAWMA and increase the populations of bird species that are either threatened or of special concern status in New York.
    • Long-term Impact of an Ice Storm and Restoration Cutting in a Rare Pine Barren

      Ceradini, Joseph; Dame, Caitlin; Glidden, Brian; Hays, Daniel; Livensperger, Carolyn; Schiesser, Robert; Adams, Kenneth (Scientia Discipulorum: SUNY Plattsburgh, 2009)
      One of the more significant natural disturbances in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada in recent memory was the ice storm of January, 1998. In northern New York, thick accumulations of ice on tree branches caused severe crown damage across 280,000 ha of forest, including a rare pine barren in Clinton County. More than half of the trees in the pine barren were severely damaged by the ice storm, especially small-sized jack pine (Pinus banksiana) and mid-sized pitch pine (P. rigida) and red pine (P. resinosa). Over 60 percent of the sampled trees were dead after 10 growing seasons. Survival of damaged pitch pine trees was enhanced by growth of new branches from epicormic buds on the main stem. Experimental restoration cuttings were used in portions of the ice-damaged barren to decrease hazardous fuel loadings, reduce the density of ericaceous shrubs, scarify the soil surface and stimulate the release of jack pine seeds from the serotinous cones attached to broken branches. After 10 growing seasons, jack pine seedling density in the restoration cuttings averaged 9,500 stems per ha. The experimental cuttings successfully regenerated new jack pine stands without fire. Meanwhile, tree regeneration in the ice-damaged, unmanaged stands was sparse and most of these seedlings were generally red maple (Acer rubrum) or red oak (Quercus rubra). This study demonstrated that ice-damaged, fire-structured pine stands can be successfully regenerated using mechanical site treatments in northern New York.
    • Plant Community Succession Following Disturbances in a Pine Barren and Adjacent Hardwood Forest

      Krill, Allison; Newell, Collette; O'Neil, Maggie; Phommala, Orathai; Adams, Kenneth (Scientia Discipulorum: SUNY Plattsburgh, 2004)
      The sandstone pavement barren and adjacent cobblestone formations in Clinton County, New York were created by the sudden release of water from glacial Lake Iroquois approximately 12000 ybp. Today, the barren is a rare ecological community type in New York State, dominated by jack pine, a species that can tolerate a water- and moisture-deficient soil. The soil in the cobblestone deposits supports hardwood trees such as northern red oak, sugar maple, red maple, and American beech. In January 1998, several days of freezing rain in the Northeast blanketed 10 million ha with 2 to 10 cm of ice. Two million ha of forests were severely affected, including the pine barren and adjacent forests in Clinton County, New York. This study investigated the effects of the ice storm and subsequent "restoration cuttings" on plant community succession in the pine barren and adjacent hardwoods. The William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute, Chazy, New York owns the eight stands sampled in this study. Both disturbance types had dramatic effects on plant community structure. Nearly half of the hardwood trees were severely affected by the ice storm, but most survived through epicormic branching. Understory trees and regeneration proliferated beneath the temporary canopy gaps in the main canopy. Overstory species are represented in the regeneration size classes, with shade-tolerant species being most important. In the hardwoods, neither the ice storm or restoration cuttings caused plant community succession in the strict definition; the disturbances caused shifts in importance of species present at the time the disturbances occurred rather than a replacement of one plant community by another. In the pine barren, ice storm damage was especially intense, causing severe crown breakage in more than half of the pine trees. The majority of pine trees were killed by the ice storm and no pine seedlings were observed in the ice storm-damaged stands. Moderate amounts of jack pine regeneration (between 18000 and 24000 stems per hectare) were found in the areas treated with a restoration cutting. This amount of jack pine regeneration was considered sufficient to replace the original stand. The future of ice storm-damaged, uncut stands in the barren is not promising. Here, the majority of pine trees are standing dead stems and the regeneration, while sparse, is primarily red maple. Without silvicultural intervention, ice storm damaged areas of the barren will have a shift from dominance by jack pine to heath shrubs, especially black huckleberry. The restoration cutting showed that mechanical treatment, while not as effective as fire in regenerating jack pine, can bring about adequate amounts of jack pine regeneration, along with red maple, white birch and gray birch.