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 (2.22 MB bytes)

Title: Assessing ecosystem restoration alternatives in eastern deciduous forests: the view from belowground

Author: Boerner, Ralph E.J.; Coates, Adam T.; Yaussy, Daniel A.; Waldrop, Thomas A.;

Date: 2008

Source: Restoration Ecology, Vol. 16(3): 425-434

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Both structural and functional approaches to restoration of eastern deciduous forests are becoming more common as recognition of the altered state of these ecosystems grows. In our study, structural restoration involves mechanically modifying the woody plant assemblage to a species composition, density, and community structure specified by the restoration goals. Functional restoration involves reintroducing dormant-season, low-severity fire at intervals consistent with the historical condition. Our approach was to quantify the effects of such restoration treatments on soil organic carbon and soil microbial activity, as these are both conservative ecosystem attributes and not ones explicitly targeted by the restoration treatments, themselves. Fire, mechanical thinning, and their combination all initially resulted in reduced soil organic C content, C:N ratio, and overall microbial activity (measured as acid phosphatase activity) in a study site in the southern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, but only the effect on microbial activity persisted into the fourth post-treatment growing season. In contrast, in a similar forest in the central Appalachian Plateau of Ohio, mechanical thinning resulted in increased soil organic C, decreased C:N ratio, and decreased microbial activity, whereas fire and the combination of fire and thinning did not have such effects. In addition, the effects in Ohio had dissipated prior to the fourth post-treatment growing season. Mechanical treatments are attractive in that they require only single entries; however, we see no indication that mechanical-structural restoration actually produced desired belowground changes. A single fire-based/functional treatment also offered little restoration progress, but comparisons with long-term experimental fire studies suggest that repeated entries with prescribed fire at intervals of 3-8 years offer potential for sustainable restoration.

Keywords: deciduous forests, fire, microbial activity, restoration alternatives, soil organic carbon

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.
  • You may send email to pubrequest@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)

XML: View XML

Citation:


Boerner, Ralph E.J.; Coates, Adam T.; Yaussy, Daniel A.; Waldrop, Thomas A. 2008. Assessing ecosystem restoration alternatives in eastern deciduous forests: the view from belowground. Restoration Ecology, Vol. 16(3): 425-434

 


 [ 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.