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Students Monitoring the Decline of Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis L.) in the Bluestone River Gorge, West Virginia
Presented by Dr. Tom SALADYGA on 15 May 2013 from 18:00 to 21:00
Type: Poster Presentation
Session: Poster Session + Reception
Board #: 32
Across much of its native range, eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis L.) is threatened by the invasive forest pest, hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) (Adelges tsugae Annand). In West Virginia, the Wildlife Diversity Unit (WDU) has listed hemlock forest systems as a “very high” conservation priority due to the extrinsic threat of HWA infestation and declining quality of these systems. Eight permanent plots were established at Pipestem Resort State Park as part of a course taught by Saladyga at Concord University. All trees ≥ 10 cm diameter at breast height (DBH) were tagged and measured and distance and bearing from plot center, species, and vigor were recorded. All hemlock trees (DBH ≥ 10 cm) were cored to determine establishment dates. Preliminary results indicate an association between site factors and hemlock decline. Student participation in baseline and future data collection will instill an understanding and appreciation of natural resources in West Virginia and provide training for future scientists and land managers.