Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (1.2 MB bytes)

Title: Forest stand structure and pattern of old-growth western hemlock/Douglas-fir and mixed-conifer forests

Author: North, Malcolm; Chen, Jiquan; Oakley, Brian; Song, Bo; Rudnicki, Mark; Gray, Andrew; Innes, Jim;

Date: 2004

Source: Forest Science, Vol. 50(3): 299-311

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: With fire suppression, many western forests are expected to have fewer gaps and higher stem density of shade-tolerant species as light competition becomes a more significant influence on stand pattern and composition. We compared species composition, structure, spatial pattern, and environmental factors such as light and soil moisture between two old-growth forests: Pacific Northwest western hemlock/Douglas-fir at the Wind River Canopy Crane Research Facility exhibiting gap-phase replacement and southern Sierra Nevada mixed conifer at the Teakettle Experimental Forest after 135 years without a fire. We hypothesized that fire suppression at Teakettle would create a current tree composition and distribution more like Wind River where light is an important influence on stand dynamics. Wind River has nearly continuous canopy cover and a high foliage volume that severely reduces understory light and stratifies the canopy composition by shade tolerance. Large trees are regularly spaced from 0 to 15 m and shade-tolerant and intolerant species are "repelled." In contrast, Teakettle’s canopy cover is discontinuous, foliage volume is one-fifth that of Wind River, and understory light is 15 times higher. Trees at Teakettle are significantly clustered in groups containing a mix of shade-tolerant and -intolerant species, separated by large gaps. Although Teakettle’s gaps have higher moisture and a thinner litter layer than tree groups, regeneration in gaps is scarce. Fire suppression has increased stem density at Teakettle but it has not filled in gaps, stratified the canopy by shade tolerance, or produced a composition consistent with patterns at Wind River. Teakettle’s distinctly clustered stem distribution may result from a minimum canopy cover threshold needed for tree establishment. If high temperatures produced by direct sunlight inhibit stem patterns, traditional stand management that reduces canopy cover to release regeneration should be applied with caution in the southern Sierra Nevada.

Keywords: spatial pattern, shade tolerance, stand dynamics, Wind River Canopy Crane Research Facility, Teakettle Experimental Forest, Ripley's K analysis, forest gaps, canopy cover

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

XML: View XML

Citation:


North, Malcolm; Chen, Jiquan; Oakley, Brian; Song, Bo; Rudnicki, Mark; Gray, Andrew; Innes, Jim 2004. Forest stand structure and pattern of old-growth western hemlock/Douglas-fir and mixed-conifer forests. Forest Science, Vol. 50(3): 299-311

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.