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The structure and developmental dynamics of old-growth forests often serve as important baselines for restoration prescriptions aimed at promoting more complex structural conditions in managed forest landscapes. Nonetheless, long-term information on natural patterns of development is rare for many commercially important and ecologically widespread forest types. Moreover, the effectiveness of approaches recommended for restoring old-growth structural conditions to managed forests, such as the application of extended rotation forestry, has been little studied. This study uses several long-term datasets from old growth, extended rotation, and unmanaged second growth Pinus resinosa (red pine) forests in northern Minnesota,...
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Drought is an important stressor in forest ecosystems that can influence tree vigor and survival. In the U.S., forest managers use two primary management techniques to promote resistance and resilience to drought: prescribed fire and mechanical thinning. Generally applied to reduce fuels and fire hazard, treatments may also reduce competition for resources that may improve tree-growth and reduce mortality during drought. A recent severe and prolonged drought in California provided a natural experiment to investigate tree-growth responses to fuel treatments and climatic stress. We assessed tree-growth from 299 ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) in treated and untreated stands...
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Calcium oxalate (Ca oxalate) is an insoluble biomineral that forms in plants and fungi, and occurs in soils across many types of ecosystems. Assessing how Ca oxalate may shape ecosystem Ca cycling requires information on the distribution of Ca oxalate among plant biomass, detritus, and mineral soil, and how it varies with ecosystem Ca status. We compared two Douglas-fir forests of contrasting ecosystem Ca availability, and found that Ca oxalate was partitioned similarly among plant biomass, detritus and mineral soil major ecosystem compartments at both sites, and total pools of Ca oxalate were greater in the high-Ca forest. However, the proportional importance of Ca oxalate was greater in the low-Ca than high-Ca...
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Snags provide essential habitat for numerous organisms and are therefore critical to the long-term maintenance of forest biodiversity. Resource managers often use snag creation to mitigate the purposeful removal of snags at the time of harvest, but information regarding how created snags change over long timescales (>20 y) is absent from the literature. In this study, we evaluated the extent to which characteristics of large (>30 cm diameter at breast height [DBH]) Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) snags created by topping had changed after 25–27 y. We also tested whether different harvest treatments and snag configurations influenced present-day snag characteristics. Of 690 snags created in 1989–1991, 91% remained...
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While fire shapes the structure of forests and acts as a keystone process, the details of how fire modifies forest structure have been difficult to evaluate because of the complexity of interactions between fires and forests. We studied this relationship across 69.2 km2 of Yosemite National Park, USA, that was subject to 32 fires ⩾40 ha between 1984 and 2010. Forests types included ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), white fir-sugar pine (Abies concolor/Pinus lambertiana), and red fir (Abies magnifica). We estimated and stratified burned area by fire severity using the Landsat-derived Relativized differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (RdNBR). Airborne LiDAR data, acquired in July 2010, measured the vertical and horizontal...
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We investigated the long-term effects of a lock and dam and greentree reservoir management on a riparian bottomland hardwood forest in southern Arkansas, USA, by monitoring stress, mortality, and regeneration of bottomland hardwood trees in 53 permanent sampling plots from 1987-1995. The lock and dam and greentree reservoir management have altered the timing, depth, and duration of flooding within the wetland forest. Evaluation of daily river stage data indicates that November overbank flooding (i.e. 0.3 m above normal pool) of 1 week duration occurred only 10 times from 1950 to 1995 and four of these occurrences were the result of artificial flooding of the greentree reservoir. Results of the vegetation study indicate...
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In bottomland hardwood forests, partial cutting techniques are increasingly advocated and used to create habitat for priority wildlife like Louisiana black bear (Ursus americanus luteolus), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and Neotropical migrants. Although partial cutting may be beneficial to some species, those that use dead wood may be negatively affected since large diameter and poor quality trees (deformed, moribund, or dead) are rare, but normally targeted for removal. On the other hand, partial cutting can create dead wood if logging slash is left on-site. We studied foraging behavior of pileated woodpeckers (Dryocopus pileatus) in one- and two-year-old partial cuts designed to benefit priority...
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Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) ecosystems are characterized by a diverse community of native groundcover species. Critics of plantation forestry claim that loblolly (Pinus taeda) and slash pine (Pinus elliottii) forests are devoid of native groundcover due to associated management practices. As a result of these practices, some believe that ecosystem functions characteristic of longleaf pine are lost under loblolly and slash pine plantation management. Our objective was to quantify and compare vegetation composition and structure of longleaf, loblolly, and slash pine forests of differing ages, management strategies, and land-use histories. Information from this study will further our understanding and lead to inferences...
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Measurements of net nitrification rates in forest soils have usually been performed by extended sample incubation (2-8 weeks), either in the field or in the lab. Because of disturbance effects, these measurements are only estimates of nitrification potential and shorter incubations may suffice. In three separate studies of northeastern USA forest soil surface horizons, we found that laboratory nitrification rates measured over 1 day related well to those measured over 4 weeks. Soil samples of Oa or A horizons were mixed by hand and the initial extraction of subsamples, using 2 mol L-1 KCl, occurred in the field as soon as feasible after sampling. Soils were kept near field temperature and subsampled again the following...
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Koa (Acacia koa) is an endemic Hawaiian tree that serves as a keystone species in the upper elevation forests of all the main islands. In the Mauna Loa Strip area of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, mature koa stands are suffering from an unexplained dieback that has increased in severity since it was first noticed approximately 25 years ago. The dieback is often evident in patches, and generally spreads within stands in a radial fashion from a localized infection center. Entire crowns of affected trees become wilted, with foliage gradually progressing from an apparent healthy to a completely chlorotic condition. Although most trees die soon after the onset of symptoms, some trees are able to survive crown death...
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In bottomland hardwood forests, partial cutting techniques are increasingly advocated and used to create habitat for priority wildlife like Louisiana black bear (Ursus americanus luteolus), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and Neotropical migrants. Although partial cutting may be beneficial to some species, those that use dead wood may be negatively affected since large diameter and poor quality trees (deformed, moribund, or dead) are rare, but normally targeted for removal. On the other hand, partial cutting can create dead wood if logging slash is left on-site. We studied foraging behavior of pileated woodpeckers (Dryocopus pileatus) in one- and two-year-old partial cuts designed to benefit priority...
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Extensive areas that are currently in agricultural production within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley are being restored to bottomland hardwood forests. Oaks (Quercus sp.), sown as seeds (acorns) or planted as seedlings, are the predominant trees established on most afforested sites. To compare stand development and natural invasion on sites afforested by planting seedlings or by sowing acorns, we sampled woody vegetation on ten 14- to 18-year-old oak plantations established to provide wildlife habitat. Stem densities of about 900 oaks/ha were comparable between stands established by sowing 4000 acorns/ha and stands established by planting 900 seedlings/ha. Densities of oaks in stands established from seedlings increased...
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To investigate whether mechanical mixing during harvesting could account for losses observed from forest floor, we measured surface disturbance on a 22 ha watershed that was whole-tree harvested. Surface soil on each 10 cm interval along 81, randomly placed transects was classified immediately after harvesting as mineral or organic, and as undisturbed, depressed, rutted, mounded, scarified, or scalped (forest floor scraped away). We quantitatively sampled these surface categories to collect soil in which preharvest forest floor might reside after harvest. Mechanically mixed mineral and organic soil horizons were readily identified. Buried forest floor under mixed mineral soil occurred in 57% of mounds with mineral...
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Recently airborne Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) has emerged as a highly accurate remote sensing modality to be used in operational scale forest inventories. Inventories conducted with the help of LiDAR are most often model-based, i.e. they use variables derived from LiDAR point clouds as the predictive variables that are to be calibrated using field plots. The measurement of the necessary field plots is a time-consuming and statistically sensitive process. Because of this, current practice often presumes hundreds of plots to be collected. But since these plots are only used to calibrate regression models, it should be possible to minimize the number of plots needed by carefully selecting the plots to be measured....
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The Big Stump Grove of giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum (Lindl.) Buchholz) was heavily logged between 1883 and 1889 and the stand naturally regenerated from seed following logging. In 1968, as part of a 100% sequoia tree inventory, all living sequoias (n = 3587) and dead trees and stumps (n=588) were measured (diameter at breast height, dbh) and mapped. A comparison of pre- to post-logging (85 years later in 1968) stand characteristics showed the estimated basal area of 56.7 m2 ha−1 in the pre-cut 1883 Big Stump Grove was very similar to the population mean basal area of 30 other giant sequoia groves (with more than 30 trees) in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Sequoia density in 1968 was 1.5 times...
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Snags (standing dead trees) are an essential structural component of forests. Because wildlife use of snags depends on size and decay stage, snag density estimation without any information about snag quality attributes is of little value for wildlife management decision makers. Little work has been done to develop models that allow multivariate estimation of snag density by snag quality class. Using climate, topography, Landsat TM data, stand age and forest type collected for 2356 forested Forest Inventory and Analysis plots in western Washington and western Oregon, we evaluated two multivariate techniques for their abilities to estimate density of snags by three decay classes. The density of live trees and snags...
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The pine forests in the southern portion of the Rocky Mountains are a heterogeneous mosaic of disturbance and recovery. The most extensive and intensive stress and mortality are received from human activity, fire, and mountain pine beetles (MPB;Dendroctonus ponderosae). Understanding disturbance interactions and disturbance-succession pathways are crucial for adapting management strategies to mitigate their impacts and anticipate future ecosystem change. Driven by this goal, we assessed the forest disturbance and recovery history in the Southern Rocky Mountains Ecoregion using a 13-year time series of Landsat image stacks. An automated classification workflow that integrates temporal segmentation techniques and...
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Commercial thinning has the potential to increase structural diversity in managed conifer stands and redirect development of young stands towards structure characteristic of late-seral habitats. Thinning to increase diversity, however, is likely to require different strategies than thinning to maximize timber production. To prescribe thinning regimes that will promote diversity, managers need more information on response of wildlife to a range of thinning intensities and patterns. We studied the response of forest songbirds to three different intensities and patterns of thinning in 40-year-old stands dominated by Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) in the Oregon Cascades. We estimated densities of songbirds for...
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The capacity of prescribed fire to restore forest conditions is often judged by changes in forest structure within a few years following burning. However, prescribed fire might have longer-term effects on forest structure, potentially changing treatment assessments. We examined annual changes in forest structure in five 1 ha old-growth plots immediately before prescribed fire and up to eight years after fire at Sequoia National Park, California. Fire-induced declines in stem density (67% average decrease at eight years post-fire) were nonlinear, taking up to eight years to reach a presumed asymptote. Declines in live stem biomass were also nonlinear, but smaller in magnitude (32% average decrease at eight years...
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Timber harvesting has been proposed as a management tool to enhance breeding habitat for the Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea), a declining Neotropical–Nearctic migratory songbird that nests in the canopy of mature eastern deciduous forests. To evaluate how this single-species management focus might fit within an ecologically based management approach for multiple forest birds, we performed a manipulative experiment using four treatments (three intensities of timber harvests and an unharvested control) at each of seven study areas within the core Cerulean Warbler breeding range. We collected pre-harvest (one year) and post-harvest (four years) data on the territory density of Cerulean Warblers and six additional...


map background search result map search result map Structure and development of old-growth, unmanaged second-growth, and extended rotation <i>Pinus resinosa</i> forests in Minnesota, USA Landscape-scale effects of fire severity on mixed-conifer and red fir forest structure in Yosemite National Park Landscape-scale effects of fire severity on mixed-conifer and red fir forest structure in Yosemite National Park Structure and development of old-growth, unmanaged second-growth, and extended rotation <i>Pinus resinosa</i> forests in Minnesota, USA