Tree damage risk factors associated with large, infrequent wind disturbances of Carolina forests

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Past studies of large, infrequent wind disturbances have shown that meteorological, topographic and biological factors interact to generate complex damage patterns, but have left open the extent to which these limited past findings are representative and can be used to predict future damage. We present a multi-scale, comparative analysis to examine how risk factors change over spatial scales and to evaluate the consistency in risk factors associated with three major wind events: a North Carolina Piedmont tornado of 1988, Hurricane Hugo of 1989 and Hurricane Fran of 1996. Our results reveal that the risk factors that best explain variation in damage vary with scale of observation. Tree size and species explain damage variation at the stand scale; topographic, site and stand factors explain damage variation at the landscape scale and wind speed and precipitation explain damage variation at the regional scale. However, it is possible to integrate these factors by incorporating factors from the finer scales into coarser-scale studies. We also found distinct differences in the damage caused by the hurricanes relative to the tornado, and to some extent consistency between hurricanes. © Institute of Chartered Foresters, 2008. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Xi, W; Peet, RK; Decoster, JK; Urban, DL

Published Date

  • July 1, 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 81 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 317 - 334

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1464-3626

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0015-752X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/forestry/cpn020

Citation Source

  • Scopus