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Keywords:

  • Convergence;
  • Forest dynamics;
  • LTER;
  • Succession;
  • Tree damage;
  • Tree mortality;
  • Wind disturbance

Abstract. We measured tree damage and mortality following a catastrophic windthrow in permanent plots in an oak forest and a pine forest in central Minnesota. We monitored changes in forest structure and composition over the next 14 years. Prior to the storm, the oak forest was dominated by Quercus ellipsoidalis, and the pine forest by Pinus strobus. The immediate impacts of the storm were to differentially damage and kill large, early-successional hardwoods and pines. Subsequent recovery was characterized by the growth of late-successional hardwoods. In both forests the disturbance acted to accelerate succession. Ordination of tree species composition confirmed the trend of accelerated succession, and suggested a convergence of composition between the two forests.