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Zampella, R. A. and R. G. Lathrop. 1997. Landscape changes in Atlantic white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides) wetlands of the New Jersey Pinelands. Landscape Ecology. 12:397-408. (Summary)

Using aerial photography dating from 1930 through 1991 and recent satellite imagery, we quantified trends in the extent and composition of Atlantic white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides) swamps within the 1,473 km² Mullica River basin in the New Jersey Pinelands (Pine Barrens). Although the composition of individual cedar patches changed in response to varying disturbance regimes over the 61-yr period, total cedar cover remained relatively constant. The dominant changes were conversion of cedar cover to shrub cover and succession from shrub to cedar. Conversion of undisturbed cedar patches to hardwoods was not a major transition. Cedar harvesting was the dominant disturbance. Although the extent of cedar harvesting declined throughout the study period, regeneration of more recent cedar cuts was less successful than regeneration of earlier harvests. This decline in regeneration success may be related to an increase in the Pinelands deer herd. Other major disturbances included wildfires and flooding. Most flooding was due to beavers. Based on our results, we identified post-harvest management of cedar and reestablishment of cedar in emergent or shrub dominated sites that previously supported cedar as important management strategies. We also suggested that because conversion of undisturbed cedar patches to hardwood dominated patches was not a major transition, cedar harvesting is not necessary to sustain Atlantic white cedar wetlands in the Pinelands.

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