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Woody Debris Volume on Clearcuts With and Without Satellite Chip Mills

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During public forums on the ecological impacts of satellite wood chip mills in North Carolina, environmentalists and hunters stated that less downed woody debris is left on sites harvested with a satellite chip mill component than on sites without a chip mill component. We conducted a pilot study to obtain preliminary evidence of differences in the volume and spatial distribution of downed woody debris between sites harvested with and without a satellite chip component. We used a transect method to estimate the volume of woody debris on seven harvest sites: four with and three without a satellite wood chip component. The mean volume of fresh coarse downed woody debris (≥10 cm diameter), fresh downed woody debris (≥2.5 cm diameter), and total downed woody debris (≥2.5 cm diameter) was lower on sites harvested with a satellite chip mill component than on sites harvested without a satellite chip component. On all sites, debris was found in clusters rather than spread evenly across the site. The consensus among forest ecologists is that downed woody debris promotes biodiversity and facilitates ecological processes and that more woody debris is almost always better than less. South. J. Appl. For. 25(4):173–177.
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Keywords: Woody debris; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; satellite chip mills; utilization

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, University of Iowa, 233 Schaeffer Hall, Iowa City, IA, 52242, Phone: (319) 335-0818 [email protected]

Publication date: 01 November 2001

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