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Early Successional Pathways Following Wildfire and Subsequent Silvicultural Treatment in Douglas-Fir/Hardwood Forests, NW California

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Early successional sites were contrasted with old-growth Douglas-fir/hardwood forests to detect community-level, life form, and species diversity differences due to postwildfire silvicultural treatments. Treatments included: (1) salvage logged after wildfire; (2) not salvage logged after wildfire; and (3) previously established plantations. These silvicultural treatments were compared 2 yr after a 1987 wildfire and 12 yr after a 1977 wildfire. There was more forb and shrub cover on 1987 unsalvaged sites than on salvaged. Sites salvaged following the 1977 fire had more hardwood cover but less shrub cover than unsalvaged sites. Old-growth sites had more conifer and hardwood cover than the early successional sites. There was no difference in species diversity among the successional treatments; old-growth sites, however, were less diverse than all treatment sites combined. Based on these and results from other studies, tanoak and other hardwoods inhibited the establishment and growth of Douglas-fir on salvaged sites, while deerbrush and other shrubs inhibited Douglas-fir on unsalvaged sites. For. Sci. 39(3):561-572.

Keywords: Salvage logging; disturbance; diversity; old-growth

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor, Department of Forestry, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA 95521

Publication date: August 1, 1993

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.
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