Skip to main content

Species Composition and Diversity During Secondary Succession of Coniferous Forests in the Western Cascade Mountains of Oregon

Buy Article:

$29.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Species diversity and community composition were studied at 23 sites on similar western hemlock/Douglas-fir forest habitats, in undisturbed old-growth stands and stands at 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, and 40 years after clearcutting, broadcast burning, and planting with Douglas-fir. Vegetation was sampled with three 5 x 60 m transects at each site. Invading herbs, then invading and residual shrubs, and finally conifers dominated through the first 30 years. Late seral species, which account for 99% of cover in old-growth stands, are nearly eliminated immediately following disturbance, but account for almost 40% of vegetative cover after 5 years, 66% after 10 years, 83% after 20 years, and 97% at 40 years. After an initial drop following disturbance, species diversity trends weakly upward with heterogeneity peaking at 15 years and richness at 20 years. This initially high diversity (higher than that of old-growth stands) is short-lived. After the tree canopy closes, species diversity declines reaching its lowest values at 40 years. Only two species were eradicated after disturbance, both mycotrophs. Pacific Northwest old-growth forests are relatively poor in species, but moderately high in heterogeneity values. For. Sci. 34(4):960-979.

Keywords: Old-growth forests; Pacific Northwest; disturbance

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Research Instructor, Department of Forest Science, College of Forestry, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97731

Publication date: 1988-12-01

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

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
  • Submit a Paper
  • Membership Information
  • Author Guidelines
  • Podcasts
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free ContentFree content
  • Partial Free ContentPartial Free content
  • New ContentNew content
  • Open Access ContentOpen access content
  • Partial Open Access ContentPartial Open access content
  • Subscribed ContentSubscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed ContentPartial Subscribed content
  • Free Trial ContentFree trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more