We compared historical (1909–1913) and contemporary (1997–1999) forest structure and composition on 15 permanent plots in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws.) forests of Arizona and New Mexico. We used the same sampling methods as in the early 1900s and
compared stand density, diameter distributions, species composition, and broad age classes from the two periods. Stand density (trees ≥9.14 cm dbh) significantly (P < 0.001) increased on plots from an average of 77.4 trees per plot (s = 49.9) at plot establishment
in 1909–1913 to 519.1 trees per plot (s = 252.3) at remeasurement in 1997–1999. Basal area significantly (P < 0.001) increased from 8.0 m2 per plot (s = 3.5) to 28.5 m2 per plot (s = 10.1). Contemporary tree
diameter distribution shifted toward smaller size classes as demonstrated by a significant (P = 0.001) decrease in quadratic mean diameter from 38.5 cm (s = 7.5) in 1909–1913 to 28.6 cm (s = 7.1) in 1997–1999. Broad age classes yielded
an average of 61.5 (s = 49.5) residual live trees classified as “blackjack” ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa <150 years) and 13.3 (s = 11.9) “yellow pine” (P. ponderosa ≥150 years) in 1909–1913. In 1997–1999, 416
live trees (s = 229.6) were “blackjack” and 57.2 (s = 28.5) trees on average were “yellow pine.” Twelve of the 15 plots were not invaded by other tree species (remained pure ponderosa pine type), while composition shifted slightly on three
plots toward more shade-tolerant and fire-intolerant species. Ninety-one percent of the historically (1909–1913 or older) mapped tree structures (live trees, snags, logs, stumps, etc.) were relocated, which suggested that the forest reconstruction field techniques are reliable within
10%. Dramatic increases in tree densities may represent an increased potential for bark beetle epidemics and stand replacing wildfire over large areas in the Southwest. FOR. SCI. 50(2):162–176.
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forest structural changes;
natural resource management;
Document Type: Regular Article
Professor School of Forestry Northern Arizona University Box 15018 Flagstaff AZ 86011 Phone: (928) 523-7457;, Fax: (928) 523-1080, Email: [email protected]
Research Associate Ecological Restoration Institute Northern Arizona University Box 15018Flagstaff AZ 86011
Associate Professor School of Forestry and Ecological Restoration Institute Northern Arizona University Box 15018 Flagstaff AZ 86011
Regents' Professor School of Forestry and Ecological Restoration Institute Northern Arizona University Box 15018 Flagstaff AZ 86011
Applications Systems Analyst Ecological Restoration Institute Northern Arizona University Box 15018 Flagstaff AZ 86011
Publication date: 2004-04-01
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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.
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