Simulating Landscape-Level Effects of Constraints to Public Forest Regeneration Harvests due to Adjacent Residential Development in Northern Wisconsin

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Abstract:

Residential development in rural forests is currently one of the most prominent land use changes in the United States. Such development can have important effects on ecosystem processes and landscape patterns. It can also constrain forest management on public lands, influencing tree species composition and age structure at the landscape scale. We used the forest landscape simulation model LANDIS-II to analyze changes to the landscape patterns of tree species composition, age structure, windthrow disturbance, and aboveground live biomass across a range of constraints to public forest timber harvests on a northern Wisconsin landscape. Our results demonstrate that decreasing harvest area through the use of buffers reduces the dominance of early-successional species, increases the dominance of mid to later-successional species, and shifts the stand age distribution within the landscape toward older forests. These buffers increase the spatial heterogeneity of dominant species and age structure at the landscape scale, and lead to more windthrow disturbance. We believe that our study can inform policymakers, forest managers, and scientists about potential long-term landscape-level effects of interaction between residential development and forest management. FOR. SCI. 51(6):616–632.

Keywords: Landscape ecology; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; landscape composition; landscape modeling; landscape structure; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Forest Ecology & Management University of Wisconsin–Madison 1630 Linden Drive Madison WI 53706 Phone: (608) 265-6321;. Current address: Missoula Fire Sciences Lab USDA Forest Service–Rocky Mountain Research Station 5775 West Highway 10 Missoula MT 59808 Phone: (406) 829-6792, Fax: (406) 329-4877, Fax: (608) 262-9922, Email: bward@fs.fed.us 2: Department of Forest Ecology & Management University of Wisconsin–Madison 1630 Linden Drive Madison WI 53706 Phone: (608) 265-6321;, Fax: (608) 262-9922

Publication date: December 1, 2005

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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