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Publications Book Chapters Multi-millennial Record of Erosion and Fires in the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains, USA
Abstract - Bottomland sediments from the southern Blue Ridge Mountains provide
a coarse-resolution, multi-millennial stratigraphic record of past regional forest
disturbance (soil erosion). This record is represented by 12 separate vertical accretion
stratigraphic profi les that have been dated by radiocarbon, luminescence,
cesium-137, and correlation methods continuously spanning the past 3,000 years
of pre-settlement (pre-dating widespread European American settlement) and postsettlement
strata. Post-settlement vertical accretion began in the late 1800s, appears
to be about an order of magnitude faster than pre-settlement rates, and is attributable
to widespread deforestation for timber harvest, farming, housing development,
and other erosive activities of people. Natural, climate-driven, or
non-anthropic forest disturbance is subtle and diffi cult to recognize in pre-settlement
deposits. There is no indication that pre-settlement Mississippian and
Cherokee agricultural activities accelerated erosion and sedimentation in the
region. A continuous 11,244 years before present (BP) vertical accretion record
from a meander scar in the Upper Little Tennessee River valley indicates abundant
charcoal (prevalent fi res) at the very beginning of the Holocene (11,244–10,900
years BP). In contrast, moderate to very low levels of charcoal are apparent over
the remaining Holocene until about 2,400 years BP when charcoal infl ux registers
a pronounced increase. These data are consistent with the idea that Native
Americans used fi re extensively to manage forests and to expanded agricultural
activities during Woodland and later cultural periods over the past 3000 years.
However, there is no indication that prehistoric intentional use of fi re and agriculture
caused accelerated erosion and sedimentation.
(contributed by D. S. Leigh, 2016)
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    Frequency and Magnitude of Selected Historical Landslide Events in the Southern Appalachian Highlands of North Carolina and Virginia: Relationships to Rainfall, Geological and Ecohydrological Controls, and Effects
Abstract - Landsliding is a recurring process in the southern Appalachian Highlands
(SAH) region of the Central Hardwood Region. Debris fl ows, dominant among
landslide processes in the SAH, are triggered when rainfall increases pore-water
pressures in steep, soil-mantled slopes. Storms that trigger hundreds of debris fl ows
occur about every 9 years and those that generate thousands occur about every 25
years. Rainfall from cyclonic storms triggered hundreds to thousands of debris fl ows in 1916, 1940, 1969, 1977, 1985, and 2004. Debris fl ows have caused loss of
life and property, and severely affected forest lands by altering forest structure and
disrupting aquatic ecosystems. Forests on mountain slopes are critical in mitigating
the impacts of recurring landslide events. Forest cover is an important stabilizing
factor on hillslopes by intercepting precipitation, increasing evapotranspiration, and
reinforcing roots. Precipitation and hillslope-scale landforms have a controlling
effect on soil moisture, root strength, and debris fl ow hazards. Anthropogenic infl uences
have increased the frequency of mass wasting for a given storm event above
historical natural levels through changes in vegetation and disturbances on mountain
slopes. Climate change that results in increased occurrences of high intensity
rainfall through more frequent storms, or higher intensity storms, would also be
expected to increase the frequency of debris fl ows and other forms of mass-wasting
in the SAH. The interdisciplinary technical and scientifi c capacity exists to investigate,
analyze, identify and delineate landslide prone areas of the landscape with
increasing reliability.
(contributed by Richard, M. Wooten, 2016)
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    Nutrient Spiraling and Transport in Streams: The Importance of In-Stream Biological Processes to Nutrient Dynamics in Streams
Abstract - We developed a computer model to evaluate the effects of in-stream processes on nutrient concentrations and then examined potential climate change effects on these processes. Our model includes stream spiraling, ecological stoichiometry, and autotrophic and heterotrophic processes. We found significant synergistic interactions between microbes that immobilize nutrients and microbes that mine nutrients from detritus. Algae and microbes often competed for critical nutrients, but there was evidence of some synergistic interaction during parts of the year. Elevated temperature increased both net primary production and leaf decay, but net nutrient uptake was reduced. Elevated nutrients illustrated dual nutrient limitation. Because of the strong land-water linkages of streams, more complete analysis of potential climate change effects on streams would need to include both direct and indirect climate change effects through changes to terrestrial vegetation. What happens in streams cannot be ignored, either for studies of watershed nutrient dynamics, or for evaluating climate change effects on stream chemistry.
(contributed by J. R. Webster, 2016)
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    The Politics of Earth Stewardship in the Uneven Anthropocene
Abstract - The Anthropocene is not only an epoch of anthropogenic dominance of the Earth’s ecosystems, but also an epoch characterized by new forms of environmental governance, institutions, and uneven development. Following the literature in political ecology, we are calling these new forms of environmental governance,
“global assemblages.” A key argument from a political ecological perspective is that socio-ecological changes historically disproportionately impact communities in the Global South, and minority and low-income communities in the Global North. While global assemblages are powerful mechanisms of socio-ecological change, we demonstrate the ways transnational networks of grassroots organizations can challenge their negative social and environmental impacts, and thus foster socioecological resiliency.
(contributed by Laura Ogden, 2015)
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    Bridging the gap between ecosystem theory and forest watershed management. A synthesis of 30+ years of research on WS 7.
Abstract - The history of forests and logging in North America provides a back drop for our study of Watershed (WS) 7. Prior to European settlement, potentially commercial forests covered approximately 45% of North America, but not all of it was the pristine, ancient forest that some have imagined. Prior to 1492, Native Americans had extensive settlements throughout eastern North America, but to European settlers, the area was a wilderness. It was described by early settlers as “repugnant, forbidding, and repulsive….The forest were wild areas, alien to man and in need of felling, firing, grazing, and cultivating so that they could become civilized abodes”. Across North America, forests were cleared for agriculture and forest products, primarily lumber and fuel. First in the Northeast, then the Midwest, the Great Lakes region, the Southeast, and the Pacific Northwest, forest were cleared, with little regard for future forest values. Forests were viewed as an inexhaustible natural resource, and large logging companies would “cut and run” to the next tract in the forest. By the mid-nineteenth century, commercial forest land in the United States had been reduced to about half its original area. In the southern Appalachian region, almost 90% of the forests were cut; and many of these areas were burned by the turn of the century. In the later nineteenth century, George Perkins Marsh, Frederic Starr, and others began to raise concerns about extensive forest loss. Scientist such as Bernhard Fernow and Gilford Pinchot began the era of forest management in the United States. As a result of improved forest management in the United States. As a result of improved forest management, decline demand for forest products (especially fuel), fire suppression, and agricultural land abandonment the area of forest land began to increase. “Regrowth can be seen everywhere, and one is struck by the robustness of the forest”. The resilience of American forest is especially evident in the southern Appalachians. For example, there was a 38% increase in wood volume in the forests of the southern Appalachian region of North Carolina between 1984 and 2006, with no change in forest area.
(contributed by Jackson R. Webster, 2014)
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    Long- and short- term changes in nutrient availability following commercial sawlog harvest via cable logging
Abstract - (none)
(contributed by Jennifer, D. Knoepp, 2014)
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    Recovery of particulate organic matter dynamics in a stream draining a logged watershed. A pressing situation.
Abstract - (none)
(contributed by Jackson, R. Webster, 2014)
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    Watershed clearcutting and canopy arthropods
Abstract - (none)
(contributed by Barbara, C. Reynolds, 2014)
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    Recovery of Decomposition and Soil Microarthropod Communities in a Clearcut Watershed in the Southern Appalachians
Abstract - (none)
(contributed by Liam Heneghan, 2014)
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    Successional forest dynamics
Abstract - (none)
(contributed by Lindsay, R. Boring, 2014)
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    Programmatic background, site description, experimental approach and treatment, and natural disturbances.
Abstract - (none)
(contributed by Wayne, T. Swank, 2014)
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    Response and recovery of water yield and timing, stream sediment, abiotic parameters, and stream chemistry following logging
Abstract - (none)
(contributed by Wayne, T. Swank, 2014)
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    Dynamics of dissolved organic carbon in a stream during a quarter century of forest succession
Abstract - (none)
(contributed by Judy, L. Meyer, 2014)
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    Soluble organic nutrient fluxes
Abstract - (none)
(contributed by Robert, G. Qualls, 2014)
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    Wood decomposition following clearcutting at Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory.
Abstract - (none)
(contributed by Kim, G. Mattson, 2014)
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