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Old-Growth Douglas-Fir and Western Hemlock: A 36-Year Record of Growth and Mortality

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Growth and mortality were measured at 6-year intervals in a 1,180-acre old-growth stand in southwestern Washington. Principal tree species were Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), Pacific silver fir (Abies amabilis), western redcedar (Thuja plicata), and western white pine (Pinus monticola). They composed 59, 27, 6, 6, and 1%, respectively, of the total cubic volume (13,290 ft³) in 1947. Gross volume growth averaged 94 ft³ per acre per year, and mortality averaged 86 ft³ per acre per year. Net growth was therefore minimal, and total stand volume remained nearly constant for 36 years. Douglas-fir, which accounted for only one-third of the gross growth and nearly one-half of the mortality, is losing dominance to western hemlock, which provided nearly one-half the gross growth and only 28% of the mortality. Pacific silver fir increased in importance in the lower canopy and composed 60% of the in-growth. Thus, although net gain in timber volume was nil, substantial changes occurred in stand characteristics during the 1947-1983 period. West. J. Appl. For. 2(4):111-114, October 1987.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Pacific Northwest Research Station, Corvallis, Oregon 97331

Publication date: 01 October 1987

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