Canopy-understory Interaction Effects on Forest Population Structure

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A sequence of 49 small stands of increasing mean diameter from Menominee Forest in northern Wisconsin illustrates the development of stand structure. Density-diameter distributions of natural old-growth stands of small area or uniform structure are of a rotated sigmoid form rather than the previously reported negative exponential form. The negative exponential form seems characteristic of large forest tracts having localized patches of even-aged trees. In smaller stands where interactions between canopy and understory are important, the typical stand structure curve shows an understory phase of slow growth and high mortality, a vigorous canopy phase of relatively rapid growth and low mortality, and an older canopy phase of reduced growth and increasing mortality. Forest Sci. 21:98-108.

Keywords: Spacing; stand growth; thinning

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Ecologists, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37830

Publication date: June 1, 1975

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