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Title: Variable density management in riparian reserves: lessons learned from an operational study in managed forests of western Oregon, USA.

Author: Chan, Samuel; Anderson, Paul; Cissel, John; Lateen, Larry; Thompson, Charley.;

Date: 2004

Source: Forest Snow and Landscape Research. 78(1/2): 151-172

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: A large-scale operational study has been undertaken to investigate variable density management in conjunction with riparian buffers as a means to accelerate development of late-seral habitat, facilitate rare species management, and maintain riparian functions in 40-70 year-old headwater forests in western Oregon, USA. Upland variable retention treatments include matrices of four thinning intensities embedded with patch openings and leave islands. Additionally, four types of streamside buffer delineation are being examined. The study includes 13 sites, each averaging about 100 hectares. Metrics of stand structure and development, microclimate, aquatic ecology, invertebrate populations and biology., lichens, and bryophytes, are being evaluated with respect to overstory thinning, patch openings and riparian buffer treatments Results of this study can contribute to a development of riparian buffer delineations based on ecological functions and linkages to upland forest conditions.

Early findings suggest that the near-stream riparian environment provides critical functions and habitat for diverse populations of organisms. Using large, operational experimental plots we are able to demonstrate statistically significant initial responses to a complex suite of treatments for selected vegetation and environment parameters. It remains to be determined if the experimental design will be robust for long-term temporal trends in vegetation and microclimate, or synthesis with companion studies focusing on invertebrates or aquatic-dependent fauna. Meaningful interdisciplinary inferences are more likely achieved if integration is explicitly incorporated into study design and implementation, rather than post-study component synthesis. Conducting a large-scale interdisciplinary study with adaptive management implications requires a strong commitment to collaboration between management and research partners.

Keywords: density management, thinning, riparian reserves, buffers, npland forests, habitat, microclimate, headwater

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Chan, Samuel; Anderson, Paul; Cissel, John; Lateen, Larry; Thompson, Charley. 2004. Variable density management in riparian reserves: lessons learned from an operational study in managed forests of western Oregon, USA. Forest Snow and Landscape Research. 78(1/2): 151-172

 


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