Title

Long-Term Monitoring Of Hurricane Hugo’S Effects On Santee Experimental Forest, Near Charleston, Sc

Author(s)

Olivia Smithson

School Name

South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics

Grade Level

12th Grade

Presentation Topic

Botany

Presentation Type

Mentored

Mentor

Mentor: Bo Song, School of Agricultural, Forest, and Environmental Sciences, Clemson University

Oral Presentation Award

1st Place

Abstract

In September of 1989, Hurricane Hugo struck the South Carolina coast, causing damage to cypress forests due to winds and tidal surges. In order to better prepare for future natural disasters, a study was created to observe the forests’ compositions for 20 years after Hugo. Within the Hurricane Hugo study, four sites were monitored for their long-term change of regeneration after Hurricane Hugo. Of these four, three were studied for understory regeneration: Beidler forest, in Harleyville, SC; Hobcaw forest, in Georgetown, SC; and the Santee Experimental Forest in the Francis Marion National Forest, located in Huger, SC. The number of seedlings and saplings were recorded every three years in all sites. Santee was the closest site to the storm and had 47-70 percent of all hardwood trees damaged. In 1994, bald cypress and water tupelo were the dominant species in the swamp overstory. The invasive species, Chinese tallow, was present in the entire twenty years of the study. Bald cypress seedlings and saplings decreased by 2013. From 2000 to 2013, the green ash seedling count almost reached 0. Chinese tallow small saplings showed little variation over the years. Twenty five years after Hugo, results show that the Santee cypress swamp did not return to pre-hurricane composition. In order to know if the cypress swamp will ever return to its original composition, the forest must be studied further. This data will allow for better preparation before another storm and provide a possible description of the forests’ compositions for the years after.

Start Date

4-11-2015 9:00 AM

End Date

4-11-2015 9:15 AM

COinS
 
Apr 11th, 9:00 AM Apr 11th, 9:15 AM

Long-Term Monitoring Of Hurricane Hugo’S Effects On Santee Experimental Forest, Near Charleston, Sc

In September of 1989, Hurricane Hugo struck the South Carolina coast, causing damage to cypress forests due to winds and tidal surges. In order to better prepare for future natural disasters, a study was created to observe the forests’ compositions for 20 years after Hugo. Within the Hurricane Hugo study, four sites were monitored for their long-term change of regeneration after Hurricane Hugo. Of these four, three were studied for understory regeneration: Beidler forest, in Harleyville, SC; Hobcaw forest, in Georgetown, SC; and the Santee Experimental Forest in the Francis Marion National Forest, located in Huger, SC. The number of seedlings and saplings were recorded every three years in all sites. Santee was the closest site to the storm and had 47-70 percent of all hardwood trees damaged. In 1994, bald cypress and water tupelo were the dominant species in the swamp overstory. The invasive species, Chinese tallow, was present in the entire twenty years of the study. Bald cypress seedlings and saplings decreased by 2013. From 2000 to 2013, the green ash seedling count almost reached 0. Chinese tallow small saplings showed little variation over the years. Twenty five years after Hugo, results show that the Santee cypress swamp did not return to pre-hurricane composition. In order to know if the cypress swamp will ever return to its original composition, the forest must be studied further. This data will allow for better preparation before another storm and provide a possible description of the forests’ compositions for the years after.