Multiscale Controls on Natural Regeneration Dynamics after Partial Overstory Removal in Douglas-Fir Forests in Western Oregon, USA Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/articles/rf55z9308

This is an author's peer-reviewed final manuscript, as accepted by the publisher. The published article is copyrighted by the Society of American Foresters and can be found at:  http://www.safnet.org/publications/forscience/

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  • Multi-scale controls on natural regeneration dynamics after partial overstory removal in Douglas-fir forests in western Oregon, USA
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  • We examined natural regeneration following operational-scale variable density retention treatments in 40-60 year old Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) forests at seven sites for a decade following treatment. Treatments included residual overstory densities of 300, 200, and 100 trees/ha, with leave islands and gaps of three sizes (0.1, 0.2, and 0.4 ha) and an untreated control (~600 trees/ha). Natural regeneration was influenced by factors from multiple spatial scales including broad-scale differences in overstory composition among sites, mesoscale variability in topographic position, and fine-scale variability in overstory and understory competition. High local basal area (BA) decreased the probability of seedling establishment, though some seedlings established even under high BA, particularly shade-tolerant western hemlock. In contrast, recruitment of saplings (> 1.37 m height) required lower residual overstory density (i.e., 100 trees/ha), especially for shade-intolerant Douglas-fir. Understory vegetation had little effect on saplings, but was negatively related to seedling densities, particularly when overstory density was low. Variable density prescriptions can take advantage of the importance of fine-scale variability to promote regeneration of desired species mixtures, though other factors such as site overstory species composition and variation in topographic position will also influence regeneration dynamics. Including heavy overstory removal or gap creation could facilitate rapid recruitment of saplings, especially for shade-intolerant Douglas-fir.
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  • Dodson, E. K., Burton, J. I., & Puettmann, K. J. (2014). Multiscale Controls on Natural Regeneration Dynamics after Partial Overstory Removal in Douglas-Fir Forests in Western Oregon, USA. Forest Science, 60(5), 953-961. doi:10.5849/forsci.13-011
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