Identifying Trees in Riparian Areas That Can Provide Coarse Woody Debris to Streams

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The natural fall of trees into mountain streams provides coarse woody debris that can improve fish habitat and influence stream morphology. Geometric and empirical equations, based on tree size and distance from the stream, were used to determine the conditional probability of a tree's adding coarse woody debris to a stream. Additional equations were developed to relate this probability to basal area factor. For conditions in the Pacific Northwest, Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirb.] Franco) was selected to illustrate how the equations can be used for varying tree sizes and probabilities. After selecting a probability and determining basal area factor by these equations, resource managers can use prisms or wedge devices before timber harvesting in riparian areas to identify specific trees that can potentially add woody debris to the stream. For. Sci. 36(3):790-801.

Keywords: Debris recruitment; forest practice rules; large woody debris; streamside management

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor of Forest Hydrology, Forest Engineering Department, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331

Publication date: September 1, 1990

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