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Sensitivity of a Riparian Large Woody Debris Recruitment Model to the Number of Contributing Banks and Tree Fall Pattern

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Riparian large woody debris (LWD) recruitment simulations have traditionally applied a random angle of tree fall from two well-forested stream banks. We used a riparian LWD recruitment model (CWD, version 1.4) to test the validity of these assumptions. Both the number of contributing forest banks and predominant tree fall direction significantly influenced simulated riparian LWD delivery, but there was no apparent interaction between these factors. Pooled across all treatments, the average predicted 300-year cumulative LWD recruitment was 77.1 m3/100 m reach with both banks forested compared to 49.3 m3/100 m reach when only one side was timbered. Total recruitment within bank cover categories (one versus both forested) depended on the directionality of the falling stem. When only one bank was forested, the CWD model predicted the same riparian LWD recruitment for the random and CWD default tree fall patterns (∼39 m3/100 m reach), the pattern biased toward the channel yielded twice this volume, a pattern quartering toward the channel produced 64% more LWD, and the pattern paralleling the channel contributed almost 30% less than random. With both banks forested, the random, default, and quartering simulations resulted in similar delivery (about 78 m3/100 m reach), the pattern biased toward the channel contributed almost 14% more LWD, and the parallel pattern yielded 26% less. Because CWD is similar in design and operation to other riparian LWD recruitment models, it follows that any simulation of wood delivery to streams should be checked for their consistency with local forest cover and tree failure patterns. West. J. Appl. For. 19(2):117–122.

Keywords: CWD; FVS; LWD; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; riparian zone management

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Southern Research Station USDA Forest Service P.O. Box 3516 UAM Monticello AR 71656 Phone: (870) 367-3464 ext. 18, Email: 2: USDA Forest Service, Fish Ecology Unit, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Utah State University Logan UT 84322-5210

Publication date: April 1, 2004

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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 Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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