There are many factors that influence forest species composition and many are linked to topographical features. This study, conducted on the Ferrum College campus in the Upper Piedmont Physiographic Province of Virginia revealed three major forest types associated with topographic factors using cluster analysis and detrended correspondence analysis . The first type of forest occurred mostly on northeastern slopes on toe slope topographic positions and was mainly composed of tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) and red maple (Acer rubrum). The second type of forest was found on shoulder and side slope positions and was composed mostly of high densities of sourwood ( Oxydendrum arboreum ), red maple and chestnut oak (Quercus prinus) species. The final forest type was located mostly on ridgetops and shoulder slope positions with a southwestern aspect and was composed mostly of white pine (Pinus strobus), sourwood, chestnut oak and scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea). In general, tree density increased with ascending slope position while DBH decreased. Species richness did not differ significantly by topographic position or aspect.
Brown, Rachael C. and Fredericksen, Todd S.
"Topographic Factors Affecting the Tree Species Composition of Forests in the Upper Piedmont of Virginia,"
Virginia Journal of Science: Vol. 59
, Article 1.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.odu.edu/vjs/vol59/iss1/1