03, 2002 04:29 PDT
I'm responding via
ENTS. Your message is too good not to be shared.
First, the Ice Glen acreage that we comb for the big trees is 30
most. If we allow for some unexplored corners, we could raise
the number to
40, but not more. The Shagbark was re-measured a couple of times
and I went
with the lower figure, thus my 131.2 feet. Beyond these
comments, I'll let
others digest your thoughts before extending the thread, with
comment. Your observation that "Averaging ten species is
and seems to strike a balance between a handful of exceptional
running away with the prize, and southern diversity taking
advantage." seems very much on target. I like your method
of site ranking
better than any I've proposed in the past.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Colby Rucker"
Sent: Sunday, June 02, 2002 11:14 PM
Subject: Top Ten stuff
Sounds like you had a good long tramp around the Glen. I entered
numbers on the top ten list, but got a slightly higher average.
I had the
Shagbark as 131.7' by Leverett & Knuerr 12/15/01 (vs. 131.2'
Averaging ten species is very convenient, and seems to strike a
between a handful of exceptional specimens running away with the
southern diversity taking unfair advantage.
With a decent number of sites on the list, it's interesting to
specific areas rank, and speculate on why. For starters, I
looked at the #
10 tree for each site, and noticed that CCW & MTSF were not
only taller than
the sites ranked lower, but taller than a couple above. This
goes to that
"deep depth" factor - lots of species over 100 feet.
Belt Woods is quite the opposite. Although the visual impact is
overwhelming, the tall-tree diversity is very low, with the #10
at the bottom of the list. If the list were based on just five
list would be quite different: Sevier 158.1, Congaree 152.7,
Tamassee 145.8, Cook 141.9, Cohutta 140.0, Mohawk 139.8, Kelly
137.6, IceGlen 136.2, L.Pinnacle 130.0, Long Cane 129.7, Monroe
Lake 126.5, Beall 126.1, Corcoran 124.8.
If we take the average of the smaller five (trees #6 through #
10), we see
that "deep depth" factor again. Sevier 142.1, Congaree
125.9, Kelly 124.1, Chase 121.4, Mohawk 119.7, Long Cane 118.7,
Belt 116.2, LPinnacle 115.8, Corcoran 114.7, IceGlen 114.2,
Cohutta 109.8, GreenL 109.5, Monroe 105.4.
In the above list, Mohawk & Chase improved their rankings,
as did Long Cane,
LPinnacle, IceGlen and Corcoran, suggesting considerable
diversity in the
upper canopy. Although we are aware that the loss of a single
tree could change the numbers, that single tree does represent,
as best as
we can determine, the potential of that species at this time, so
reasonable. If the lost tree is the last of its kind, it
suggests that the
forest structure has changed, and there's no longer a niche for
Of course, numbers aren't the whole story, but it's interesting.
averages go down as we split up the immense acreage. Big is
there are more trees, more diversity, and more variety of
goes back to the problem at Belt; 43 acres makes a great grove,
little diversity of habitat. Chase Creek is bigger, and has a
great deal of
diversity. Some of its trees are older, but most are younger
The Collington soils are the same. In a section of national
thousands of acres, both sites might be in the same study area.
Such hypothetical combining gives us a "dream team,"
with five species from
each area, as it turns out. The average would be 136.81, which
behind Congaree. Yes, that's a bit unfair, and a plug for
but what it really means is that the numbers for GSMNP and
somewhat misleading. We can see that temperature, rainfall, and
aren't the whole story. If we split those areas up until the
the diversity of habitat were not greater than MTSF or CCW, the
wouldn't change, but the numbers would be much closer.
Enough! I've gone on too long. Maybe you can make something out
Also, what's the acreage at Ice Glen?