Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

H. R. DeSelm

Committee Members

F. H. Norris, M. E. Springer, G. E. Hunt


Introduction: The present study seeks to estimate and compare rates of annual net primary production and flux of four macronutrients in contrasting high elevation Pica rubens-Abies fraseri (spruce-fir) and Betula lutea (yellow birch) ecosystems and to relate variations of net production and nutrient flux to certain site and stand structural parameters. The study was conducted at elevations between 1524 and 1954 meters in the Balsam Mountains of Western North Carolina. Biomass and pools of calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus were determined in each of five vegetational strata, the forest floor, and the solum. Net production of dry matter and nutrient flux through annual litterfall, annual nutrient uptake by vegetation, accumulation in perennial components, and precipitation input and transfer of nutrients leached from trees were estimated.

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