Spatial Aspects of Structural Complexity in Old-Growth Forests
Abstract:Old-growth forests typically have complex structures, including heterogeneous spatial arrangements as well as a diversity of individual structures. Two aspects of this spatial complexity are discussed and illustrated: (1) vertical distribution of foliage, often apparent as multiple layers; and (2) horizontal heterogeneity, often evident as canopy gaps and dense reproduction patches. Shifts in mortality processes from competitive-based mortality in young stands to agent-based mortality (i.e., insects, diseases, and wind) in older stands play an important part in the development of structural heterogeneity. Old temperate forests can be viewed as fine-scale structural mosaics in which all stand development processes are simultaneously present within the stand. An additional definition of forest stand that incorporates the entire structural mosaic of old-growth is needed.
Keywords: environmental management; forest; forest health; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; silviculture
Document Type: Regular Article
Affiliations: 1: Professor Research Faculty, College of Forest Resources University of Washington Box 352100 Seattle WA 98195, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 2: Research Faculty, College of Forest Resources University of Washington Box 352100 Seattle WA 98195
Publication date: April 1, 2004
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