D. A. Starkey

Oak Decline Alters Habitat in Southern Upland Forests

Wildlife Outstanding Technical Paper

Oak decline is a complex disease involving interactions between initiating environmental or biological stresses and subsequent attack by normally secondary pests. It causes crown dieback, reduced radial growth and tree mortality, which in tum, influences wildlife habitat. In upland hardwood stands, oaks (Quercus spp.) are affected most while other species infrequently show crown symptoms or mortality. Recent surveys of declining stands in the southeastern United States show that 80% of the dominant and codominant trees are affected. Species in the red oak group are damaged more than those...