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Predicting the Effects of Rotation Length, Harvest Intensity, and Fertilization on Fiber Yield From Northern Hardwood Forests in New England

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A generalized computer model of organic matter and nitrogen dynamics in forest ecosystems (FORTNITE) is presented. Data from studies on northern hardwood forests of northern New England are used to adapt the model to simulate this forest type. Validation runs show that the model accurately predicts successional changes in basal area, species composition, leaf production, forest floor biomass, and dead wood mass following clear cutting. The model allows numerous combinations of harvest intensity, species selection, rotation length, and fertilization to be tested. Results indicate that extremely short rotations can reduce yield by as much as two thirds and that fertilization can offset some of this loss. Whole tree harvesting on a 90-year rotation increased yield relative to clearcutting while results from selection cutting were slightly lower. Forest Sci. 28:31-45.

Keywords: Nitrogen cycle; computer model

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, U.S. Forest Service, Durham, NH 03824

Publication date: 1982-03-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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