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Abstract

Invasion and subsequent heavy defoliation of a composite forest in eastern New England by the gypsy moth produced visual symptoms that disappeared in a few years, but secondary consequences lasted for decades. Repeated defoliation resulted in drastic alterations in the forest, stand density dropped dramatically, and overall species composition changed. However, these changes reduced the forest's susceptibility to further defoliation and damage. Patterns of forest succession can be altered through defoliation.

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