Title

Long-Term Monitoring Of The Decreasing Understory At Hobcaw Barony’S Cypress Forests Post-Hurricane Hugo

Author(s)

Charles Ison

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

2nd Place

Written Paper Award

1st Place

Abstract

When Hurricane Hugo struck the South Carolina coast on September 21, 1989, it damaged over a million hectares of coastal forests. Because of the wide-ranging damage, the Hurricane Hugo Recovery Study was launched in 1994 at four separate study sites to monitor the long-term effects of the storm on coastal forests. Hobcaw Barony, a 7,100 ha forest preserved used for research in Georgetown, SC, was the closest of these four cites to the eye of the Hurricane Hugo. Cypress forests are one of four forest types at Hobcaw Barony and play a prominent role in the coastal ecosystem. In order to understand the long-term regeneration trends following Hurricane Hugo, the Cypress forests of Hobcaw Barony were examined. Every three years the understory seedling and sapling distribution were recorded. The data revealed that the total number of seedlings and saplings in the cypress understory at Hobcaw Barony has steadily decreased over the course of the study. To understand this trend, the fluctuations in small, medium, and large seedlings and saplings were analyzed, the dominant understory species were independently examined, overstory data was studied, and drought records were considered. The data suggests that increased competition from overstory regeneration post-Hurricane Hugo in combination with drought and flooding could be responsible for the decreasing cypress understory at Hobcaw Barony.

Start Date

4-11-2015 10:30 AM

End Date

4-11-2015 10:45 AM

COinS
 
Apr 11th, 10:30 AM Apr 11th, 10:45 AM

Long-Term Monitoring Of The Decreasing Understory At Hobcaw Barony’S Cypress Forests Post-Hurricane Hugo

When Hurricane Hugo struck the South Carolina coast on September 21, 1989, it damaged over a million hectares of coastal forests. Because of the wide-ranging damage, the Hurricane Hugo Recovery Study was launched in 1994 at four separate study sites to monitor the long-term effects of the storm on coastal forests. Hobcaw Barony, a 7,100 ha forest preserved used for research in Georgetown, SC, was the closest of these four cites to the eye of the Hurricane Hugo. Cypress forests are one of four forest types at Hobcaw Barony and play a prominent role in the coastal ecosystem. In order to understand the long-term regeneration trends following Hurricane Hugo, the Cypress forests of Hobcaw Barony were examined. Every three years the understory seedling and sapling distribution were recorded. The data revealed that the total number of seedlings and saplings in the cypress understory at Hobcaw Barony has steadily decreased over the course of the study. To understand this trend, the fluctuations in small, medium, and large seedlings and saplings were analyzed, the dominant understory species were independently examined, overstory data was studied, and drought records were considered. The data suggests that increased competition from overstory regeneration post-Hurricane Hugo in combination with drought and flooding could be responsible for the decreasing cypress understory at Hobcaw Barony.