Community composition and allometry of Leucothoe davisiae, Cornus sericea, and Chrysolepis sempervirens

James A. Lutz, Kaitlyn A. Schwindt, Tucker J. Furniss, James A. Freund, Mark E. Swanson, Katie I. Hogan, Gillian E. Kenagy, Andrew J. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Leucothoe davisiae Torr. ex A. Gray (Ericaceae), Sierra laurel, is an endemic shrub of the Sierra Nevada, Klamath Mountains, and Warner Mountains. We compared the woody plant community and allometry of Leucothoe with one widespread wetland shrub, red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea L. (Cornaceae)), and one widespread upland shrub, bush chinquapin (Chrysolepis sempervirens (Kellogg) Hjelmq. (Fagaceae)), in an Abies concolor - Pinus lambertiana forest. We examined 2282 mapped shrub patches and 34 392 trees in the Yosemite Forest Dynamics Plot (25.6 ha), Yosemite National Park, California, USA.Wedissected 40-41 stems of each shrub species and determined foliage, bark, wood, and total biomass as a function of stem diameter. Community compositions determined from plants within a 5 m buffer of Leucothoe were different from those reported for Leucothoe communities in the Siskiyou National Forest and the Central Klamath. Leucothoe allometry based on basal diameter was more variable (total biomass R2 = 0.64; P < 0.001) than that of Cornus (R2 = 0.93; P < 0.001) or Chrysolepis (R2 = 0.95; P < 0.001), reflecting greater canopy variation. Allometry based on diameter at 1.37m along the main stem offered equivalent explanatory power for Cornus (R2 = 0.89; P < 0.001) and Chrysolepis (R2 = 0.84; P < 0.001), but Leucothoe rarely reached that stature. These allometric equations that we report can improve species-specific modeling of carbon dynamics, fuel loading, and fire behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-683
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Forest Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Allometric equations
  • Biomass
  • Chrysolepis sempervirens
  • Cornus sericea
  • Leucothoe davisiae
  • Yosemite forest dynamics plot
  • Yosemite national park


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