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Spatial patterns of early forest succession following harvest in Lookout Creek Basin, OR Public Deposited

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  • The general objective of this project was to test a method to document rates and pathways of early succession and investigate potential predictive factors on a landscape to regional scale. The method incorporates remote sensing, vector Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and raster GIS modeling. Similar projects have been conducted elsewhere with success. Hall et al. (1991) compared two dates of classified Landsat imagery and calculated probabilities of transition rates between successional states. Potential explanations for the spatial pattern of successional transitions were offered, but associations were not quantified. White and Miadenoff (1994) used a vector (polygon) GIS approach in their investigation of successional transitions in northern Wisconsin. The authors used historical and modern vegetation maps to document transitions in vegetation cover over a 120 year period, calculate transition probabilities, and formulate hypotheses for controlling processes, including landforms and history of ownership. With both of these methods, future forest composition can be easily estimated through transition probabilities. Since transition rates are estimated for the landscape as a whole, however, the future of individual stands cannot be predicted. Also, due to this lack of locational information, associations between rates and pathways of succession and explanatory factors can not easily be quantified. The specific objectives of this project were (1) to verify the existence of divergent trajectories of early succession in post-harvest communities in the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest and map their distribution, (2) to quantify associations between environmental and treatment factors and successional trajectories on a landscape scale, and (3) to evaluate the usefulness of generalized spatial databases for investigating these questions. The study focused on the first forty years of growth after harvest.
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