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Accuracy of Regeneration Surveys in New England Northern Hardwoods

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Four 5-ac demonstration harvests were initiated in 1951 on the Bartlett Experimental Forest, New Hampshire: light selection, moderate selection, diameter limit, and liquidation. In 1952 and 1959, regeneration surveys were conducted that measured several different attributes of the seedlings and saplings in the cutover stands. In 2005, the stands were remeasured to determine the relationships of the various regeneration measures to current species composition of the pole-timber portion of the stands. Although predictions were somewhat variable and imperfect, the best measures for shade-tolerant species were those that took account of the sapling layer, and measures based on the dominant stem per small plot were best for less-tolerant species. Combining both attributes, these results suggest that the best approach would be a small-plot survey (milacre or slightly larger) that simply records the dominant stem per plot including stems up through the sapling size classes (less than 4.5-in. dbh). This could be taken before harvest, to predict the effects of a light partial cut, or 5–7 years after harvest, to predict future species composition after any harvest intensity.
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Keywords: northern hardwoods; regeneration; regeneration surveys; species composition

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-09-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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