Chapter 6 Spatial and Temporal Patterns in the Amount of Young Forests and Implications for Biodiversity.
|Authors:||Stephen R. Shifley, Frank R. Thompson|
|Station:||Southern Research Station|
|Source:||Sustaining Young Forest Communities: Ecology and Management of Early Successional Habitats in the Central Hardwood Region, USA. Managing Forest Ecosystems Volume 21.|
Forest inventory data provide simple indicators of forest structural diversity in the form of forest age distributions and their change over time. A result of past land use and disturbance, more than half of the 51 million ha of forest in the Central Hardwood Region is between 40 and 80 years old and young forest up to 10 years old constitutes only 5.5% of the area. Simulations of a sustained level of management over time produce more uniform (flatter) age-class distributions. A management scenario designed to maintain about 7% of total forest area as young habitat results in a region-wide young forest deficit of one million ha relative to current conditions. However, management activities that create an average of 200 ha of additional young forest per county per year would be sufficient to erase that deficit.