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Distribution patterns in the abundance of wild harvested medicinal herbs in the Wayne National Forest (Ohio, USA). (Floristics and Invasive Species 02:00 PM, Saturday, April 5, 2003 Brewer/Frost Science 109 Dr. Brian C. McCarthy-Presiding).

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Numerous forest herbs are indiscriminately harvested from National Forests and sold in the profitable herb market. As demand and economic value of wild harvested herbs increases, land managers urgently need baseline ecological data to formulate management policies. We used a strip transect sampling scheme to estimate the abundance and distribution of the seven most popular wild harvested herbs in the Wayne National Forest (WNF). In total, ten forest stands were randomly surveyed with four 1000 [m.sup.2] transects that traversed a variety of slope positions, aspects, and forest types. Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa L.) was the most abundant and frequently encountered herb (G = 30.7: ou[]P < 0.001), with 58% of the transects containing at least one ramet. The distribution of black cohosh varied in a complex manner, with north and west facing mid-slopes having the greatest abundance. We encountered only 33 Virginia snakeroot (Aristolochia serpentaria L.) ramets and 45 ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) ramets in the entire sampled area (4 ha). Stands differed significantly (F = 4.27; P < 0.01) in the abundance of herbs. However, forest stands, classified as "special areas" by the WNF, did not harbor more medicinal herbs than forest stands without this distinct designation (nested ANOVA; P > 0.05). No difference in herb density was found between different forest types (F = 1.61; P = 0.16). The overall patchy distribution and infrequent encounter rate impedes the effective management of these valuable non-timber forest resources.

MATTHEW A. ALBRECHT MATTHEW.ALBRECHT@OHIO.EDU AND BRIAN C. MCCARTHY MCCARTHY@OHIO.EDU, DEFT OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND PLANT BIOLOGY, 317 PORTER HALL, OHIO UNIVERSITY, ATHENS OH 45701
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Article Details
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Author:Albrecht, A. Matthew,; McCarthy, Brian C.
Publication:The Ohio Journal of Science
Article Type:Abstract
Geographic Code:1U3OH
Date:Mar 1, 2003
Words:271
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